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Lucas HamonFeb 17, 2024 4:15:00 AM2 min read

Does Your North Star Goal Pass the 4-Part Test?

Does Your North Star Goal Pass the 4-Part Test?
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What is a North Star Goal? 

The North Star goal or North Star Metric (NSM) is the measuring device for determining the overall health and direction of an organization. It's a single metric that describes success for both the business and the customer.

A good North Star goal keeps you on track and invigorates the investments you make in Growth.

A misguided North Star goal can make it easy to go off course and distracted by shiny, costly objects. 

How can I tell if my North Star Goal is on point?

To determine whether a North Star goal is a viable model of success for your company, it MUST pass each part of the following test:

Part 1  - Simple to measure

One of the most daunting challenges of any business is attempting to measure ROI. With so much going on, it can be easy to lose sight of the simplest, most important standards of success. Your North Star goal, however, MUST be simple if you want it to drive results.

Vacation property tech company AirBnB has one of the most sound North Star metric examples we've found. Theirs is "booked rooms," which is as simple as it gets.

Part 2 - Directional

A North Star gets the term because, like the star sailors would use to navigate across open seas, it's the one constant that never changes. This couldn't be truer when it comes to the NSM in Growth.

Your North Star goal should still be true whether you're referring to the business 5 years ago or 20 years into the future — it's constant and should never change.

Think about AirBnB's "booked rooms." As long as the investments they make have to do with helping more room bookings happen they are following the right path. 

Part 3 - Cultural

A good North Star goal is culturally addictive. EVERY contributor knows what it is, and they're able to connect their contributions to the overall metric outcome. This is one of the big reasons why numbers or sales-specific NSMs tend to fall flat.

Part 4 - Balanced

Balance is important in every aspect of Growth Marketing. So, it's no surprise to see the expectation of balance tied to your single most important metric. Here, balance refers to two things: vision / data and company / customer.

For AirBnB, "booked rooms" conveys the purpose of the company (the vision) as well as a practical method of measurement (the data). It also balances the importance of that outcome between the tech giant and its customers (those listing properties as well as those booking rooms).

Conclusion

Your North Star goal is a valuable tool for rallying your teams and investments in marketing. It's the most important KPI in digital marketing. The 4-part test will ensure yours leads you to the desired  business Growth outcomes.

Learn more about developing and leveraging this important metric with our free lesson:

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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