Setting Marketing Goals
Updated: May 6
As a business owner, you most likely set yearly, quarterly, or even monthly goals to help create strategies to see your business grow and succeed. However, while setting marketing objectives is one thing, achieving them is another ball game.
Your marketing objectives are an integral part of your business plan. With a comprehensive strategy and robust marketing tools, achieving your goals can be much easier, but where do you begin?
STEP ONE: TACKLE YOUR MARKETING CHALLENGES
To set successful goals for your business, you first need to understand the challenges your business faces. Start by looking at your most prevalent marketing challenges. In its 2017 State of Inbound report, HubSpot found that for most businesses, the four most frequent marketing challenges were:
Generating traffic and leads (63%)
Proving ROI of marketing activities (40%)
Securing enough budget (28%)
Identifying the right technologies (26%)
You'll need to dive into the dark corners of your current and previous marketing strategies to find your business challenges and analyze the results. Looking back on past analytics can help you see how your business is performing over a broad spectrum of areas and discover where it's struggling and outperforming expected benchmarks.
STEP TWO: IDENTIFYING YOUR MARKETING OBJECTIVES
Once you identify the biggest obstacles in your business' path, you can see the areas your business needs to improve. From there, you can decide which metrics you'd like to see change in and set your goals.
In the 2017 State of Inbound, HubSpot found that their challenges and marketing priorities were aligned for many businesses. The study found that the top four marketing goals for businesses over the next 12 months are:
Converting contacts/leads into customers (70%)
Growing website traffic (55%)
Increasing revenue derived from existing customers (45%)
Proving the ROI of our marketing efforts (39%)
For almost every business, your top priorities will revolve around these areas—customer acquisition and efficiency. To grow your business, you need to be able to attract and convert new customers and prove that your marketing efforts are worth the cost. However, whatever your business priorities are, it's essential that you set objectives that are smart and will be most effective for your business.
STEP THREE: SETTING SMART GOALS IN STONE
After identifying your top priorities, it might be easy to think your goals are set, and your job is done. However, placing your preferences is only halfway to establishing your goals. To truly see results, your goals must be SMART. SMART goals are those that are tailored to your business and created in a way to help your business succeed. Most importantly, they are:
Specific: Your goals should be clear, meaning they need to be direct and straightforward and explain who is involved, what is expected to happen when it should happen, and any constraints in place.
Measurable: Your goals should be measurable, meaning they should have criteria for measuring progress toward the goal.
Attainable: It can be easy to "shoot for the stars" and set extremely high expectations for your business, but this can be a wrong move. Set goals that your company has a realistic capability to achieve.
Relevant: Your goals should be considered top priority and reflect core objectives within your business.
Timely: Give your goals a deadline to work towards. This will ensure that marketing objectives aren't pushed aside and forgotten.
With SMART goals, you're ready to gather resources and build a strategy to achieve them.
STEP FOUR: BUILDING A STRATEGY FOR RESULTS
If you're like most business owners, you may find that your business faces related marketing challenges and priorities.
Your marketing strategy is as unique as your business. From your business' marketing challenges to its priorities, a well-designed plan tailors each step to your clients and your business. Finding the right goals for your business to target takes research and understanding the results of previous marketing efforts. With SMART goals and identified priorities, reaching your marketing objectives is easy (or at least achievable)!