One of the building blocks of any successful business is setting realistic marketing goals and working towards achieving them.
Whether the goal is to increase traffic to your website, generate more leads or improve sales, it should be aligned with the long term strategy of your business. However, setting goals is futile if you do not have an execution plan. A plan will guide your business to the final destination. The plan should break down the activities to be done, execution timelines and milestones.
Any marketing goals you set for your business should be SMART, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. Setting vague goals that fail the SMART rule often leads to stunted growth and false steps.
Before you set any goals, evaluate the current position of your business. Find out what you have and what you want to achieve. The evaluation may include determining your current market share, marketing assets, online marketing activities and execution resources.
Evaluating your current position will give you a head start, enabling you to build your goals on what you currently have. Having evaluated your current position, it’s time to set your goals.
Set specific goals for your business. The more specific the goals are, the better. When you set specific goals, you’ll be motivated to achieve them and celebrate your successes. If you are setting goals for different departments, make sure they complement each other and drive the business towards its primary goal.
Outline the specific activities that will have to be done to achieve the goals. Apart from this, highlight the key players that will be involved.
Create milestones to guide you on your quest to achieving your goals. Break down bigger goals into small attainable tasks. For example, what percentage of traffic are you looking to drive from social media? How much content do you look to create?
Keep track of your marketing activities and results to gauge your progress with the goals. Also, evaluate your marketing activities after a certain period. If you determine the activities are bringing positive results, well and good. If they are not, tweak them for better performance or scale down on them.
You can check different metrics to measure the success of your goals. There are many metrics you can measure but not all of them matter. For instance, if you are looking to improve sales, measuring lead conversion rather than engagement will be more important.
Identify the metrics that matter and use them to measure your goals.
Don’t bite more than you can chew with your marketing. Set realistic goals you can attain at the level and scope of your business. To determine whether you can achieve a specific goal, analyze your current metrics. While you want your business to reach the next level, setting unrealistic goals will only discourage and slow you down from getting success.
For example, if you are closing 5 leads per month, setting a goal to close 100 leads the next quarter can be challenging. You will get discouraged and beat yourself when you don’t achieve the goals. However, if you focus to close 7-10 leads by the next quarter, you are likely to achieve this realistic goal.
Your goals should be aligned with your overall business objectives. They should be relevant to your short term and long term objectives. Set goals that matter. These are goals that will help to improve your brand and impact your sales positively.
For example, if you are generating traffic during Q1, then setting goals on closing sales during the quarter will not be relevant. Relevancy is also tied to time-bound aspect of goal-setting.
The goals you set should not only be relevant, but they should also meet the three criteria discussed i.e. they should be specific, measurable and attainable.
All goals should have a time frame within which they should be implemented. Setting time frames for implementing your goals will keep you on toes, working to achieve them. Moreover, you will have a clear outline of what to do, and hence avoid getting sidetracked by shiny marketing ideas that can pop up within the course of your business cycle.
Business success is all a matter of setting smaller interconnected goals that lead to the main goal. The goals should help you improve your revenues as well as delight your customers. As you finish every goal, measure your success, celebrate your wins and evaluate your failures.
Every business has a vision that it looks to fulfill. However, without clear goals, it is easy to lose focus and get trapped in the falsehood of doing too much with little results to show for your efforts. Setting clear goals will help you stay focused and on track to achieving business success.