Setting Marketing Goals for Your Business
January 14, 2021 | Sarah Kelley; Media Venue
The beginning of a new year often comes with the opportunity for evaluation. Now is a perfect time to reflect on the last year, including the success and struggle you experienced, where you want your business to go, and how to utilize marketing to get there. It’s likely no surprise that planning is a valuable process. In fact, according to original research from CoSchedule, only 61% of marketers have a documented strategy— but those who do see 313% more success. The foundation of your marketing strategy should be well-reasoned, specific goals. How do you determine what those goals should be? This five-step process will put you on the right path:
1. Review the current period.
As previously mentioned, begin with a bit of reflection. Set aside some time and collect your records and any goals you set from the previous period. Evaluate whether you have met, exceeded, or failed to meet your expectations, and why. Furthermore, think about where you want to go moving forward. Knowing where you are will help you figure out where to go next.
2. Identify desired growth areas.
Do you have a new product dropping that you want to promote? Is there a new market you want to break into? Or, are you just looking to generate awareness of your brand within a certain audience group? Each business has unique opportunities to grow—so what are yours? Knowing specifically where you want to grow will help you down the road in determining which methods and strategies will best serve your business.
3. List your current marketing efforts.
Ask yourself what you have done in the past to promote your business. Consider any avenue—did you put out radio ads or creative social media content? Maybe you produced postcards or launched a new website. It’s likely that you used more than one method of advertising. Once you have a comprehensive overview of past programs, determine what you felt was valuable, what didn’t work as well, and which methods you want to keep utilizing in the new year.
4. Talk to your team.
A second opinion never hurts. Talk to influential partners to see what they think has and has not worked over the last year, what they might like to see changed, or what ideas they may have for new ways of advertising. Two (or three, or four) heads are better than one, and their perspective may bring your attention to something you may not have otherwise considered.
5. Set SMART Goals.
Once you have formulated a vision for the future, you’re ready to set your marketing goals. The SMART method of goal-setting often yields the most success—that is, making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
- Specific: Rather than making a general goal, such as “building brand awareness,” begin your goal with a specific area for improvement. For example, “increase number of social media followers.”
- Measurable: Put a metric or a target value to your goal, such as increasing profits by a certain percentage or adding a certain number of people to an email list.
- Achievable: Rome wasn’t built in a day, or even in a year. Choose a goal that is realistic for where your business is at. If you currently have 1,000 Facebook followers, it is not achievable to aim for 100,000 by year’s end.
- Relevant: Choose a goal that aligns with your values and long-term objectives. If your goal doesn’t contribute to your overall business dreams, you may be headed in the wrong direction.
- Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadline! You may stick to a full year (ex: by December 31, 2021) or you may segment into months or quarters. But adding a timeline to your goal will help you stay accountable.
So, while your goal may be “Build brand awareness,” a SMARTer goal would be “Increase Facebook followers by 25% over the first 6 months of 2021.”
BONUS STEP: Know that it is okay if you don’t meet your exact goals.
It’s no secret that the last year has been an unusually difficult time for people across the board. With uncertainty shadowing the new year, it is especially important to be flexible and know that things may not happen exactly as planned. However, any progress is good progress! Having a plan in place can only be beneficial to your business, even if it must be modified later. Following these steps to formulate your marketing goals will put you on a path to success in 2021—no matter what it may bring.
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