Many of us would like to know what our target is before we start a project. Yet when it comes to sales, so many advertisers travel by the seat of their pants — and that’s a big mistake. Why? Why? Because marketers who develop a clear, documented strategy are more likely to be successful.
Creating marketing plans before identifying the marketing goals is putting the cart ahead of the horse.
That’s why today we’re going over what you need to learn to make sure that you’re setting up your company for success with actionable, successful marketing goals. Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Which are the brand objectives?
- How different they are from marketing goals
- How to set marketing goals for your company
- Which are the campaign targets?
Marketing goals are actionable priorities intended to include not only an overall goal, but consistent and concrete steps. Goals are precise, measurable, attainable, achievable and time-based (these are also referred to as SMART goals, an acronym that you’ve certainly heard before!).
Marketing targets should be related to the overall performance of the organisation, not just an arbitrary number.
But how are you going to get there, and what is the purpose of that traffic? When would you like to hit that number?
Objectives outline more than just a specific number, but also how you plan to achieve that number and what impact that endpoint will have on the company as a whole.
What’s the difference between a marketing goal and a goal?
The goals and objectives are two sides of the same coin. In general, the endpoint is defined by the business objectives, while the objectives are a more specific outline of how your marketing team will get there.
Such words are sometimes used interchangeably and may have different meanings in different organisations. However, there are distinct differences for digital marketers:
Marketing objectives are specific, measurable objectives designed to provide guidance and objectives. Marketing objectives are broader destinations designed to outline how your business can benefit from digital marketing efforts.
Why are marketing objectives so important?
Without defined objectives, your marketing objectives will lack clarity and follow-up.
When digital marketers do not take the time to outline objectives and measure their impact, they can not tell whether their efforts have had any impact. What are the key characteristics of effective marketing objectives? In order to be successful, marketing strategies should adopt the SMART theory. This means that they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
Specific: Specific metrics can be used for the marketing goals. Don’t just say you want to increase your sales — say, how much you want to increase your sales by either a percentage or a dollar.
Tangible: Goals must be tangible, and you will specify how you assess success. Your goal may be to increase brand awareness, but your goal must include how you measure it — for example, by measuring an increase in organic brand searches, social references, or social followers.
Attainable: You might want to increase your sales by 200 per cent, but is that objective really attainable? Make sure the goals you set are realistic and workable — and explain what steps are required to achieve that aim.
Relevant: One of the key disadvantages of the target is that it defines the destination, but not how the overall marketing campaign as a whole can affect the achievement of that goal. Objectives should be relevant to the overall purpose of your business.
Time-Based: Finally, objectives should include a reasonable time frame for the achievement of a specific benchmark. Most marketing objectives are based on the year or the financial quarter, but this may vary on the basis of the objective and the amount of work required to achieve the benchmark.
Marketing Objective Examples
All this sounds great, but how do marketing objectives work in real life? Below, we outlined a number of marketing objectives — including how these objectives will be pursued. These examples can be used as inspiration for the creation of your own objectives.
If you’re selling products or services, you might want to focus on increasing sales to increase revenue. For example , the goal could be: “Increase revenue by 15% over the next six months by raising new orders by 10% and raising existing customer orders by 20%.”
Then, outline how you’ll get there — maybe by increasing the production of lead generation content or automating your email marketing to suggest related products.
Increase the lead
If you offer an expensive product or are on the B2B market, you might want to increase the number of people who land in your sales pipeline so that you can work to convert those people over time. Your goal may be to “Boost the number of customers by increasing the number of leads by 25 per cent over the next year by launching two new lead generation funnels on our website.”
Growing brand awareness
If you are a new company or are launching a new product or service, you may be interested in increasing your brand awareness in order to increase sales. Without a specific target, this aim can be difficult to track.
Here’s what your goal might look like: “Increase market share by increasing brand awareness in the next 12 months, as measured by an increase in organic brand name search by 50% through social media saturation, social media ads, and an influencer campaign.”
Remember that this objective not only defines the goal of increasing brand recognition, but also how you quantify it — through increasing the organic quest for your brand name.
Increase the registration of the trial
If you are a SaaS company, the key performance indicator is probably how many test registrations you get per month. The objective for the registration of the trial could be: “Increase the registration of the trial by 25 per cent over the next six months by increasing the number of guest posts and using retargeting to push social followers to sign up for the trial.”
Decrease in turnover
You could be a well-established business and have a good distribution enclosure — but you’ve got a hard time keeping customers. Since it is cheaper to keep customers that you have already earned than to bring in new customers, you could set an objective to reduce the turnover of your customers.
The target could look like this: “Decrease customer churn by 5 per cent in the next quarter by reducing customer service wait times by 15 per cent and cultivating customers through email automation.”
The ultimate aim will be to increase revenue, but the target is to increase sales for the next six months.
Increase traffic on the website
Businesses just starting up or seeking to expand their market share could be trying to drive web traffic in an attempt to increase brand recognition, revenues, and overall growth.
The goal of the website traffic may have an executive summary that looks like this: “Increase the number of unique website visitors by 20% by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020 through guest posts, social promotion and link building.”
A fully defined strategy will likely provide information about how many guest posts, what forms of social networking and strategies to construct.
5 steps to achieve actionable marketing objectives
So that you understand what marketing goals are and why they matter, you ‘re ready to build your own. Yet what does the cycle of development look like? Are you going to create a strategy or figure out what your goal is first?
We have set up a five-step process to help create useful, measurable marketing objectives.
Step 1: Outline your main marketing objective
Which is the primary result you ‘re aiming for? Do you want to increase sales, improve customer retention, improve lead quality?
Remember that your objective should be specific and measurable, not just a generic statement.
Get more traffic on the X website
Increase the traffic on the website by 20% in 6 months
Get more X customers
Reach 25.000 sign-ups 6 months after start-up
Step 2: Set short-term objectives
What short-term targets are there to help you reach your marketing goal? Are you going to set time-based benchmarks? Increase particular behavior, such as creating more content? What are you going to determine whether your marketing goals are attainable in six months?
For example, your goal may be to reach 15000 in traffic for your eCommerce company six months after its launch. Where do you plan to be in one, two , or three months? Have you taken into account the time it can take for SEO or content marketing efforts to be effective?
Step 3: Delineate your marketing plan
You know where you’re going, but how are you going to get there? This step is where you outline the strategies that you will use to achieve your objectives.
So, if your goal is to increase website traffic by 20% in six months, your marketing strategy may include:
Create a marketing plan for SEO-driven content.
Write and publish three or four guest posts a month.
Use Facebook ads to get traffic to your website.
Step 4: Coordinate your objectives and long-term objectives.
This step is a reflection — do the strategies you outlined match your main goal and your short-term goals? Do you have a buy-in from executives or department managers, and are there any gaps in your current strategy?
Most marketing strategies are not developed by a single person — or even a single department. A brainstorming session can be helpful, but it can also pull your objectives off the target if you don’t take the time to ensure that every step of your strategy makes sense for your main goal.
Finally , make sure that your mission and plan support the long-term growth objectives of your company.
Step 5: Measure your results
To complete this step, you first need to decide how you calculate the effects. Were you using Google Analytics to calculate traffic or other tools? Decide how you measure, what you measure, and how often you take these measurements. Get this clear before you start your campaign — otherwise, you risk having data that you can’t compare precisely.
Need someone to assist you with your marketing strategy and defining your marketing objectives? Get in touch with us today.