One of my favorite movies is Good Will Hunting. Do you remember one of the last scenes when Robin Williams and Stellan Skarsgard are leaving the office and they are talking about the chances of winning the lottery? Skarsgard (Professor Lambeau) used the permutations and combinations method to calculate the odds of winning the lottery…in his head. I searched 49!/(49-6)! in the Google search bar.
49!/(49-6)! = 10,068,347,520
Well, your odds of winning on a profitable inbound marketing scope of work are much more likely. But sometimes it does not feel like it, even though you have to select 6 winning numbers out of 49 for the lottery!
For a winning inbound scope of work, you need to select 2 out of a total of 3, easy enough right? The three factors in a scope of work are Timeline, Budget, and Goal. If any one of these factors changes, one of the other two must change as well.
3!/(3-2)! = 6
Recently we were about to kick off an inbound campaign for a client. This is how the conversation went:
Client: “We have to reduce the budget.”
Mojo: “Not a problem, that happens, would you like to push the timeline or pull back on the goal?”
Client: “Oh no, we can’t push the timeline, it’s the end of our fiscal year!”
Mojo: “I completely understand, so let’s talk about the goal, how can we pull back on that?”
Client: “Well, instead of 150, we could go with 50.”
WOW, a 66% reduction in their goal by simply suggesting if one factor changes one of the other two must also change! In my blog Inbound Marketing Results Are Not Directly Related to Value, I discuss that the client’s currency is dollars and the agency currency is time. In this case, if the budget changes, we have less time to invest in the campaign, so therefore, either the timeline or goal must also change.
The same applies to any other factor. If the goal increases (changes) so must either the budget or the timeline. If the goal increases by 50% ask yourself, “Do I need to give myself more time to hit it, or apply additional resources (marketing activities) in the same timeframe to accomplish that goal?”
If one factor changes and you can also change, not just one of the remaining two, but both, you only give yourself a better chance at winning the inbound lottery!