How Setting Marketing Goals Can Help You Find Success
Goals are an essential component of your marketing strategy. They set the direction for what needs to happen for your product or service to perform well in their market.
In addition, they are the foundation of the plan you build to help you get there. Unfortunately, most people don’t begin their marketing strategy with this critical piece of the puzzle. They just dive in, not truly prepared or with an end game in mind.
The purpose of marketing is to reach your target audience and communicate the benefits of your product or service, all in an attempt to acquire, keep, and grow your customer base. So, your marketing goals must reflect this and relate to the specific business objectives your company wants to achieve. A top-down hierarchy of goals keeps your marketing plan aligned with the business strategy and will show your marketing campaign’s impact.
Setting focused, realistic, and quantifiable goals upfront will establish a solid groundwork for your marketing efforts. This demonstrates the importance of what the team is working on and empowers you to show leadership why your marketing plan is the best approach. Keep reading to find out how setting goals is the key to finding marketing success.
Begin with the end in mind.
When you know where you want to end up, the points in-between will fall into line. Many organizations use a goal management framework to set marketing objectives. Frameworks provide a structured approach for creating actionable goals. Some of the most popular and effective frameworks include:
- CLEAR – An acronym for collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable, refinable.
- OKR’s – Objectives and clear results framework.
- SMART – Stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
Regardless of the framework your organization chooses to use, what matters is defining goals that communicate what you want to accomplish and outlines the criteria for success.
When we put together a marketing strategy for your brand, we always want to start with general, overarching concepts at the forefront then work to decide what framework will work best for your business. This way, no matter how we choose to get there, we know exactly what we need to accomplish when all is said and done.
Plan your route.
After you know where to go and where your starting point is, you can dive into the finer details. In marketing, these include more basic goals you can attain along the way and exactly what those will mean for you and your brand. It’s all well and good to say you’d like 1,000 more page likes on Facebook, but what does that mean in terms of quantifiable value and return on your investment?
There are many great tools out there that can help you get started on this part of the planning process. Still, we generally recommend discussing these goals with an experienced marketing team to get a better idea of what is attainable in a specific timeframe as well as what you’ll need to do to reach them.
Ensure your marketing goals are realistic.
So, what makes a goal realistic versus unrealistic? The answer depends on your unique business needs and your particular industry. Different companies measure success in different ways.
The most important thing to consider is whether it’s measurable so that you can quantify your results. Then, think through your goal from start to finish and really question if it’s achievable. Then be sure to run reports and have easy access to the data to ensure that your strategies are helping you reach your goals.
To avoid or embrace side-trips.
We’ve all been in the car, on our way to a new vacation hot spot, when a flashy advertisement catches our eye, and we just have to pull over and check it out. There’s nothing wrong with a quick divergence from the route – in fact, sometimes we recommend it! But especially at the initial launch of a marketing campaign or strategy, it’s usually better to stick to the plan, see how well it guides you in the right direction, and reevaluate after it’s had time to show more definitive signs of success or failure.
It’s a continual process, and while trying something new can boost your results, it can also stretch your brand’s marketing efforts thin, skew your perception of the value of your goals, and make your destination harder to reach.
It’s true what they say, it’s about the journey, just as much as it is about the destination. So, whether your map has dozens of pitstops or only a handful, it’s good practice to know just how important each one is to the trip as a whole.
If you’re ready to begin assigning values to each of your marketing goals and work toward your brand’s highest aspirations, contact Sage Island’s expert marketing crew!