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What do you want to achieve and how will you get there? OGSM is a widely-used approach for getting focus to translate a vision into business and marketing strategy.
OGSM stands for objective, goals, strategies and measures. It’s a way of defining what you want to achieve, and how you will get there. The model divides your aims into broad objectives, fixed and measurable goals, strategies to guide your actions, and measures to give you a direct way of monitoring your progress. Here is how the parts of the OGSM model link together.
Here’s a more specific definition of OGSM:
Objective: Defining an over-arching breakthrough vision
Goals: Stepping stones to achieving the higher level objective
Strategies: the choices we make to achieve our objective
Measures: Numerical benchmarks on our progress
An essential part of the beauty and versatility of the OGSM model is how easy it is to implement. You don’t need any special software or technical skills – you just need a single page. The most important part for success in creating an OGSM plan is making sure that you carefully and accurately define your terms: objective, goals, strategies and measures.
Objectives refers to your vision for what you need to achieve in the long term, taking into account your fundamental principles and mission statement.
Goals are about specific long-term targets aligned to your objectives, which should be measurable and will often have a financial basis.
Strategies are the ways you will deploy resources to achieve your goals. Measures are the things you will monitor to judge whether your strategies are working.
Overall, all stages of the model need to be strategically aligned, so that all your efforts feed back to your overall objectives for success.
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Let’s imagine a finance company called EZCash. They’re a growing company that prides itself on making money simple by letting customers synchronize their online banking information into one profile. There, customers can see an estimate of their credit score, their current and savings accounts, credit cards, and loan/mortgage information.
However, they’ve noticed during a situational analysis that the majority of their customers are over 40 years old. At the start of the year, EZCash decides to make a change.
Objective: Grow the number of customers in the 16-25 age group
In order to achieve this overall objective, EZCash sets three goals.
Goal 1: Create 30 educational resources by the end of the year that young customers can use to learn about financial matters
Goal 2: Work with 10 youth/student organizations in the next year
Goal 3: Host 5 public events in the next year that are aimed towards increasing the financial knowledge of young people
Each of these goals requires separate strategies in order to achieve them. To achieve each goal, some of the strategies that EZCash could undertake include:
Strategies for Goal 1:
Strategies for Goal 2:
Strategies for Goal 3:
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To monitor if each strategy will succeed, important measurements need to be monitored. For the strategies mentioned, these measurements could be:
Measurements for Goal 1 Strategies:
Measurements for Goal 2 Strategies:
Measurements for Goal 3 Strategies:
You can now see how each measurement directly feeds into specific strategies that will help achieve goals and, in turn, the overall company objective.
The true origins of OGSM are unclear, but it’s claimed that it was first devised in Japan in 1950 before being translated for American corporations. Research suggests that consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble played an important role in refining and championing the model, and it has been taken up by such major businesses as Coca-Cola and Mars and of course applied by consultancy firms.
OGSM planning has been developed and adapted by different consultants and you will find strong parallels in the Smart Insights approach to campaign planning.
Although OGSM is a widely used model people tend to define goals and objectives differently in different businesses. For example, it’s common to refer to broader goals and specific SMART objectives which we do as we explain in our Setting digital marketing goals and objectives module in our Campaign Planning Learning Path.
In the OGSM model, it all starts with your objectives – and everything else in the model should be aligned with this first element. When defining your objectives, it’s vital to think big, and to think long term. Create a compelling vision for where you want to be in the future. Paint yourself a picture of what success will look like. The better your picture, the greater your chances of achieving those objectives with the help of the OGSM model.
We hope you find this explanation of OGSM useful. It’s a great tool since it’s a simple way to show the importance of aligning strategy with goals and then putting in place the reight measurements to check you’re on track and can be agile to adjust tactics to meet the broader objective.
Like all business models, OGSM is a framework that can adapt to different situations. If you have used it, we’d be interested to hear how you find it and any adaptations you have made.
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