Having a clear marketing strategy is essential for growing your business. It helps your company perform better and maximize your resources. An integral component of your marketing strategy is establishing your marketing goals.
Marketing goals play many crucial roles. They help you determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and serve as a guide on how your products or services can do well in the market.
However, setting marketing goals can be challenging. Even more challenging is achieving them. Here, we list down ways you can excel in both.
Setting Your Marketing Goals
View Marketing Goals as a Journey
Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.” The definition seems straightforward, but it connotes different interpretations. For some, a goal is a destination. For others, a goal is a journey.
Construing an achieved goal as a reached destination may not be wrong, but it can be limiting and demotivating. Huang and Aaker posit that it prevents you from continuing behaviors aligned with the achieved goal.
Meanwhile, seeing an achieved goal as a completed journey allows you to acknowledge and embrace the smaller steps, victories, and habits you develop and apply them to other goals.
Create Well-Defined Goals
A goal is like a map and a compass combined. It gives you directions and guides you on how to follow them. Like a map and a compass, a goal should also be well-defined. Otherwise, you can get—and stay—lost along the way.
According to journalist Kimberlee Leonard at Chron, a goal is well-defined if it meets the following elements:
- It should be clearly stated.
- It should be realistic.
- It should have a target date.
- It should be in line with your company’s vision.
- It should have a quantifiable measurement, such as cost, quantity, or efficiency.
In other words, a well-defined marketing goal is a SMART goal. It is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, “we need to increase our website visitors, leads, and sales” is a poorly defined goal. It may be achievable and relevant, but it is not specific, measurable, and time-bound.
Inserting the lacking elements can turn this poorly defined goal into a well-defined one. For instance, you can rephrase it to this: we need 50,000 website visitors, 1000 leads, and 50 new customers from our social media campaigns within 12 months to achieve our revenue goal of $500,000.
Connect Marketing Goals to Business Goals
Keep in mind that your marketing goals are subordinate to your business goals. As such, the former should be tied with the latter in all instances.
One way to do so is to know and understand your business goals. You may know your business goals by heart, but it is always better to double-check with the other executives, like your chief marketing officer. Common business goals to consider are as follows:
- Driving more sales
- Increasing brand awareness
- Expanding market share
- Building stronger relationships with stakeholders
- Reaching new target markets
- Raising more revenue
- Boosting profits
Another way to connect your marketing goals with your business goals is to apply the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) method. Google uses the OKR method to improve focus, increase transparency, and enhance alignment by ensuring that all its departments focus on what is important for the business.
You can apply the OKR method by asking yourself how your marketing goals can benefit your business. For example, your marketing goal is to increase traffic to your Amazon dropshipping site. Achieving it can be advantageous to your business as it can mean less operating costs and more customers, thus leading to higher sales, revenue, and profit.
Include Short-Term Marketing Goals
Long-term marketing goals are important. They provide focus and clarity on how and where you want your business to be in the future.
Even so, long-term goals can have drawbacks. Since they take longer to accomplish, you may either not feel enough pressure and start to let loose or feel overwhelmed and waste time procrastinating. For this reason, you should include short-term goals that will lead you to your long-term goals.
To illustrate, your goal for your Instagram marketing campaign is to get 50,000 likes in 12 months. You can break this goal into 12 subgoals, say 4,166 likes every month.
Use Historical Data
Marketing is a numbers game. You leverage various channels to gain visibility for your brand, but visibility does not guarantee success.
You may want to reach a thousand people through social media, email newsletters, and search engines to increase your website traffic. In the end, you may only get 100 website visits and 20 sales.
Nonetheless, the numbers are relevant, no matter how small. They enable you to understand what marketing strategy is working and not working for your business.
How is it helpful in setting and achieving your marketing goals? Historical data can guide you on where to focus your time and energy.
Achieving Your Marketing Goals
Partner with a Digital Expert
Consumers spend most of their time and money online. In 2020, consumers across the globe spent $900 billion more at online retailers compared with the past two-year trend. Online transactions are expected to grow even after the pandemic.
The rise of online shopping has prompted many businesses to go digital. They leverage digital channels (e.g., social media platforms and search engines) to connect with existing and prospective customers. You should join too!
Before you do, consider partnering with a digital ads expert. They possess the expertise and experience necessary to understand customers’ needs and wants and optimize your ad campaigns.
Here are attributes you should look for in a digital ad expert:
- Data- and solution-driven
- Proven track record
- Expansive network
Run a SWOT analysis
Namugenyu, Nimmagadda, and Reiners explain that the failure of companies to achieve set goals within a given period is due to their inability to fix their strategies and alignments. Conducting a SWOT analysis can prevent you from committing the same mistake.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Running a SWOT analysis allows you to do these:
- Identify and examine existing resources to make your marketing goals a reality.
- Recognize factors take considerable time, energy, and money but do not help reach your marketing goals.
- Investigate trends and patterns that may help you attain or prevent you from achieving your marketing goals.
Identify Metrics to Evaluate
Without attaching measurables, you won’t know if you’ve achieved your marketing goals. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics you can use to gauge how far you are from achieving your marketing goals.
KPIs can be financial, customer focused, or process focused. They can vary from one business to another. The most commonly used KPIs are as follows:
- Revenue growth
- Revenue per client
- Profit margin
- Client retention rate
- Customer satisfaction
Besides KPIs, you may also want to use social media metrics to evaluate whether your digital marketing strategy is helping you achieve your marketing goals. Social media metrics include the following:
- Engagement rate
- Follower growth rate
Communicate Your Goals Often
Communicating your marketing goals can assure you that they connect with your business goals. It can also motivate your employees to voice their ideas to achieve your marketing goals.
Effective communication is an essential ingredient to business success. It ensures that all departments within an organization share the same goals and that their respective goals align with your business goals. Consequently, it encourages employees to work together to achieve common goals.
Moreover, founder and president of WebFX William Craig says that transparency raises employee morale. It makes employees feel their ideas are appreciated. Hence, employees strive hard to perform better.
Set Quarterly Benchmarks and Track Progress Regularly
Setting quarterly benchmarks is a realistic way to achieve your marketing goals. It allows your to divide tasks into more specific, more doable activities. You and your team can focus on doing quality work for a particular job instead of dividing energy and resources into multiple responsibilities.
In addition, you should also track your progress regularly. Tracking progress within specific intervals can help you better project the current situation. It can also reduce complacency.
Seeing how employees effectively do their assigned tasks can motivate others to improve their performance. No one wants to receive blame for delays or losses.
Goal setting is a mixture of art and science. It is an art because it is personal to you. As such, you can list as many marketing goals as you want. However, goal setting is also a science because it requires data to be achievable. Your time and efforts can go to waste if your marketing goals are hard to understand and not measurable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound.