Ready, Fire, Aim – Don’t Be that Guy…
Set Powerful Marketing Goals for Your Business Success
At the beginning of any project or marketing relationship, we always ask clients about goals. It can be a sure way to get a blank stare! Put another way, we ask, “What does success look like?” Honestly, a lot of people don’t think about that. We’re here to say that they should!
Why Goals Matter in Marketing – they tell you where to go.
I have the worst sense of direction. If it wasn’t for GPS, I’d still be lost somewhere. Before GPS, I needed maps with benchmarks (turn right at the second 7-11). I love GPS. Just put your destination in the app and it tells you how to get there, step-by-step. Maybe in the future there’ll be a marketing app that does the same thing, but for now, we need to do parts of it manually. Certainly, AI and some of the great digital tools make it easier to assess what is and isn’t working, but you still need to know where you want to go.
Clear goals help develop effective strategies, tactics and benchmarks.
Setting goals benefits your marketing efforts:
- Focus and direction: Goals help guide your decisions and actions towards achieving specific outcomes. They also help ensure your team is clear on what you (and they) expect to achieve.
- Motivation and engagement: Clearly defined goals create a sense of purpose and drive. Eye on the prize!
- Alignment with business objectives: Effective marketing goals work in harmony with your overall business strategy, ensuring your marketing efforts contribute directly to your bottom line.
- Measurable progress: Goals provide benchmarks for tracking your success and identifying areas for change and improvement.
- A sense of accomplishment: Reaching your goals is a cause for celebration, boosting morale and motivating your team to keep aiming higher.
Tools and Resources for Goal Setting Success
Setting goals is the first step in building a foundation for success. The right tools and resources can help keep you on track:
Friends, family, colleagues and clients: Telling people what you want to do has two main purposes; it keeps you honest, you don’t want someone saying to you this time next year “Whatever happened to what you planned to do?” and it alerts folks to what you may need – partners, resources, referrals, opportunities, etc.
Set SMART Goals
Specific: Drill down as far as you can. Don’t be vague about your desired results. It’s okay to make an educated guess when you start, as measuring your progress will tell you if you are right or wrong and give clues on how to tweak your goals. Make sure you can clearly explain your goals.
Measurable: Put numbers on your goals. Define metrics that will track your progress, like how many new leads, how much new business from existing customers, how many proposals submitted, etc.?
Attainable: Set challenging yet achievable goals. Aiming too high can lead to discouragement, while setting the bar too low won’t help you grow.
Relevant: Ensure your goals are aligned with your overall business objectives and marketing strategy. Don’t chase metrics that don’t contribute to your bottom line.
Time-bound: Set deadlines and stick to them. If you miss deadlines, maybe they weren’t realistic.
Beyond SMART: Crafting Goals that Stick
While the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) provides a solid foundation, setting truly effective goals requires a deeper dive. Go beyond the basics:
- Understand Your Audience(s): What challenges do they face? What are their aspirations? Understanding their needs will ensure your goals are relevant and meaningful.
- Focus on Value: Understand what generates real value, like qualified leads, increased brand awareness, or customer loyalty.
- Think Big, Act Small: Don’t be afraid to dream big and set ambitious goals. However, break down those aspirations into smaller, actionable steps. This will make them feel less overwhelming and keep your team motivated throughout the journey.
- Embrace Flexibility: The marketing landscape is constantly shifting. Be prepared to adapt your goals as needed. Doing regular reviews allows to see what is and isn’t working.
- Celebrate and Learn: Reaching milestones is a cause for celebration! Recognize your team’s hard work and share the joy. However, don’t get too comfortable. Analyze what worked well and identify areas for improvement to continuously refine your approach.
Not All Goals Are Created Equal
You will have BIG goals; annual sales, profit margins, customer retention, etc., and you also have smaller goals within that, focusing on strategies and tactics you employ. Here are some examples to inspire you:
- Goal: Increase organic website traffic by 25% within 6 months through high-quality blog posts, SEO optimization, email and social media posts.affic by 25% within 6 months through high-quality blog posts and SEO optimization.
- Metrics: Organic search ranking, website traffic, keyword ranking, content engagement.
Social Media Marketing:
- Goal: Grow followers (of LinkedIn, facebook, etc, by 500 within 3 months through engaging visuals, targeted ad campaigns, and community building initiatives.
- Metrics: Follower growth, engagement rate, website clicks from social media, brand mentions, shares.
- Goal: Increase email open rates by 10% within 4 months through personalized subject lines and segmented campaigns.
- Metrics: Email open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate.
- Goal: Generate 75 qualified leads through Google Ads within a month with a target cost per lead (CPL) of $30 (or whatever makes sense for your market).
- Metrics: Impressions, clicks, conversions, CPL, return on ad spend (ROAS).
These are just a few examples to get you started. Remember, the key is to align your goals with your unique business.
Let’s make 2024 a year of exceptional achievement for your B2B business!
What are some top marketing goals?
While specific goals can vary greatly depending on the individual business and market, some general top goals include:
Revenue and Growth:
Increase revenue: This can be measured through sales figures, market share, or profitability. It can involve expanding to new markets, developing new products or services, or optimizing existing revenue streams.
Grow customer base: This can involve lead generation, conversion, and customer retention strategies.
Increase profitability: Not just the top line, but also the bottom line. Focus on cost-effectiveness, optimizing operations, and maximizing profit margins.
Boost brand awareness: Getting your business known and recognized within the target industry is the first step to attracting potential customers and partners. This involves marketing, reputation management, and thought leadership initiatives.
Establish thought leadership: Positioning the business as a trusted expert in its field attracts clients and builds credibility. This can involve content marketing, industry events, and participation in relevant groups.
Enhance customer relationships: Building strong relationships with existing customers fosters loyalty and repeat business. This involves excellent customer service, personalized communication, and exceeding expectations.