At Beacon we like to view marketing your business like going on a trip. As you would with any trip you decide on a location, make preparations, and then go on your way. For marketing deciding on a location is setting your goals. Your goals are where you want to be after your journey. Because your goals serve as a waypoint, they determine what you need to do to reach your destination. Without goals, it can be really easy to get lost. In fact, you can almost guarantee yourself that you will spend a lot of time, money, and effort with marketing tactics which are inefficient and ineffective.
For your marketing efforts to be successful, setting marketing goals is an essential step.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
To set marketing goals we like to use the popular S.M.A.R.T. method of goal-setting. When setting goals for marketing it is important to keep in mind the organizational goals you are trying to achieve, but remember your market efforts are the vehicle by which you are going to reach those goals. Here is how you can set S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals to keep your organizational and marketing efforts aligned.
- Specific – Specificity is an important aspect of any good goal. For instance if your goal is to increase revenue over the next quarter by 15% and you have determined Instagram to be the best social media platform to reach your target audience, you cannot simply say “We want more followers in Instagram.”. Rather you should say: “We want to get 1000 new followers on Instagram.”. Be specifying the social media platform and the number of followers, you can begin planning on how to reach your new goal.
- Measurable – Setting a measurable goal means you will know when you reach it or when you fail to reach it. For the example above, “We want more followers on Instagram.”, there is no definitive way to measure success. If you get two more followers the following day, you technically achieved your goal but chances are those two new followers aren’t going to lead to huge growth. You want a goal with a specific metric that can be measured. This allows you to evaluate your performance and either reinforce the actions which are driving you towards your goal or correct any that are keeping you from it.
- Achievable – This is simple. While it is important to push yourself and your team, you want your goal to be realistic. Saying “We want 1 million new Instagram followers.” might be achievable over time, but depending your starting point it might take some time. Setting a smaller, more achievable goal is not only more attainable, but it will keep your team more engaged and motivated. Nothing is more deflating for a group of people than working towards goals which are not achievable.
- Relevant – The purpose of marketing is to increase the awareness of your brand so others outside your organization know who you can make their lives better. The goals you set for your marketing efforts should reflect that purpose. It can be tempting to say “We want to increase revenue.”. Besides not being specific, increasing revenue is NOT a purpose of marketing. Increasing revenue is the purpose of your sales team. To be clear, sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin which is why it is important to work together to ensure everyone is on the same page. Let sales worry about closing leads and focus your goals on increasing the leads they see.
- Timely – Your goals should have an expiration date. This is part of being specific, measurable, AND achievable. A goal with no end date creates no sense of urgency. You will not be able to measure it nor understand if it is achievable. Saying “We want 1000 new followers on Instagram tomorrow.” is specific and measurable, but probably NOT realistic. However saying “We want 1000 new Instagram followers in TEN weeks.” is specific, measurable, AND achievable.
You can call that last goal statement your “S.M.A.R.T. marketing statement”. It tells where you want to be and when you want to get there. You can devise a plan on how to reach your goal/destination as well as how you want to measure success. Keep in mind it is important to review your progress along the way to see what is working and what needs to be improved.