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Have you ever sat planning your social media posts for the week and thought, what am I actually doing this for? Or, you may have gone to an event and sat thinking, this really isn’t what I expected. It’s common for business owners launching into marketing their businesses to find themselves doing a lot of everything without any return from any of their time. We’ve all been there, and we all know it’s not sustainable. That’s why it’s important that when you market your product or service, you do so with goals in mind.
In life, we don’t tend to jump into something without an idea of how we’re going to achieve it first – a plan. The same applies to marketing – whatever activity you’re doing is there to help you work towards achieving something in your business. That thing you’re working towards is your goal and should underpin your outputs and the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis.
According to Coschedule’s industry survey of marketers, those who set goals were 376% more likely to report success than those who didn’t.
It is suggested by Hubspot that there are 5 key areas which marketing goals align with:
Some of these will align with where you are more closely than others. It’s important here to identify what your specific goals are in business and use this information to determine how your business should be marketing itself – so that you can measure whether or not you’re successful in the activity.
One of the most difficult parts of identifying what your goals are, is the fact that it requires a bit of big-picture thinking, to the point it can be difficult to pinpoint whether you’re talking vision and mission, or milestones you should be checking that you’ve achieved. An approach you can take here while brainstorming is to tier your thoughts.
Tier One of this approach is to think large picture – your Vision and Mission. Have you ever written a vision and mission statement? A vision statement is the big picture of a change you would like to see as a result of your work. Your Mission statement is then a more tangible version of this – what you’re doing, who it’s for, and how you’re doing it. You may find that your mission statement then becomes very similar to your pitch at a networking event, because it’s one of the easiest ways of answering the question: ‘so, what do you do then?’
The second tier of determining your goals is then to break down how you’re going to achieve your vision and mission into objectives. An objective is like a target you want to reach in order to say that you’ve done what you set out to do. For example:
A baker has the vision of removing bad quality gluten free bread from the shelves. Their mission is to provide the UK gluten intolerant community more pleasure in their meals by baking high quality and tasty bread. In order to achieve their objectives are to have bakeries and delis across the UK, have wholesale relationships with farm shops, and to build a reputation for quality produce via online sentiment and reviews. These are things which they could measure in order to say that they have achieved their overall mission and vision, therefore become objectives.
Objectives are still quite big picture, so become difficult to measure in the short term. This is where goals come in. When you’ve determined what your objectives your next job is to break these down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Neil Patel suggests choosing 1-2 core goals which impact the bottom line, and 3-5 supporting goals from this (milestones which you can tick off to bring you closer to achieving these bottom-line driven goals). Continuing with the above example:
The baker has an objective to build a reputation for quality produce. Based on this, a bottom-line driven goal may be to automate the customer journey and requesting customer feedback/reviews. A milestone for this may then be to set up Google My Business and Trustpilot, aiming to collect a minimum of 10 reviews per year in business.
AHA suggests using a DMTS framework when setting goals, to ensure you’ve got all information needed to measure your success in reaching them. DMTS stands for:
D – Description of impact: what do you want to achieve and why is it important
M – Metrics for success: attaching a number to this goal means you can track the impact and progress.
T – Timeframe: when do you want to have achieved this goal by?
S – Support: what is the supporting work which needs to be completed in order to achieve this goal? Should projects be designed, or teams be formed?
To help you picture exactly what kind of things you could have as goals related to your marketing, we have a list of things you could aim towards:
Now that you have your goals, and you understand exactly what you need to do to achieve them, it’s time to start acting. Designing campaigns with these goals in mind will help to ensure that the investment of your time and marketing budget are going to bring in a return. How do you do this? Tracking and Analytics. Whether it’s social media insights, Google Analytics, website traffic or event ticket sales, your job from now on it to gather and compare data so that you can measure the change between before you launched your plan, during and after.
Remember: Organic marketing is a long game – allow for a minimum of three months to see a difference in your output when starting something new. This gives time for algorithms and perceptions to change.
Yes, it’s incredibly important that marketing campaigns work and you receive a value from them which matches or exceeds your investment – that’s a given. However, we advise that you proceed with caution. Make sure not to forget why you’re here: for your customers. It’s easy to lose sight of the value you’re creating for your customers when you are fixed on the bottom line, so make sure your actions are driven by purpose before profit.
So, now you know why marketing goals are so important, and how to set and measure your own. You’ve got ideas of things you want to try in order to grow you business and reach those goals, and need a sense of direction in where to start.
Our dedicated marketing consultants are able to research key opportunities, underpin these with a marketing strategy driven by results, before you then get creative with your marketing campaigns. From setting KPIs to helping you curate the perfect social media campaign for your target audience, we can help you reach your goals.
Want us to help you organise your ideas? Book a discovery call with Laura