Marketing Smart Goals
We all have goals for our businesses or our lives, even if those goals only live in our brains. If I were to ask you right now what are your goals for next year, could you tell me? You might have a few ideas floating around in your head, but nothing concrete. This is why we need to write down our goals. It has been documented that people who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them, compared to those who don’t.
There is also a method for writing down your goals, which is better than merely scribbling them on a napkin. First of all, you need to have a plan. Sometimes that plan can change, but you always need to start with one. And, one of the best ways to create a plan is with the SMART process—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
First of all, you need to have a plan with goals in mind—the same way you operate your business. Granted, sometimes marketing can seem nebulous and unpredictable; this is an even better reason to have a plan, work it, and determine what’s working and what’s not. We will lay out some steps for creating that plan.
Start out by creating specific marketing goals. What do you want to accomplish when marketing your business? Sometimes it’s easiest to think big and broad, and then get more specific. If you say you want to have a good marketing year, that’s not going to cut it. You could say, “I want to increase my social media following.” Then, if you get more specific, you might say, “I want to increase my Facebook following.” Think about what specifically you want to accomplish. If you are having trouble deciding what goals you want to accomplish, have a brainstorming session with your team. You can even bring in a marketing consultant to help.
As the saying goes, “That which gets measured, gets improved.” Often, we set goals that are not trackable. You need to know where you are now and where you want to end up. With the same Facebook example, you need to know how many followers you currently have and how many you want to get by the end of the year. If you don’t currently have any metrics start now. We all have to start somewhere. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can go back in time to see what you have done in the past. You will want a good analytics platform to measure this information, but it will depend on what you are measuring. Sometimes a good old spreadsheet works just fine.
Setting big goals is important. You always want to stretch yourself, but if you set goals that are unrealistic, you will get discouraged. You also don’t want to set goals that too easy. Push yourself a little bit. The important thing is to find the right balance. This often requires us to reevaluate our plans and goals periodically.
If you have 20 facebook followers, it is probably not realistic to set your goal for the following month to 20,000. It is also not ideal to set your goal at gaining just 2 more in a month. Maybe set your goal of gaining 10 more followers per month. If you crush that goal then reset your goal to 15 the next month. Keep evaluating until you know what kind of results are attainable for you.
Make sure you’re setting goals that actually matter. If you have a company that makes a small electrical component for smartphones and you only sell to large phone manufacturers, maybe getting more Facebook followers is not where you should be spending your marketing efforts. Facebook users may not be the right audience. Instead, you need to be writing more white papers or research papers that engineers would read. Make sure that you understand your customer and where they are. Market to your customers in a medium that they use and in a place that they will find your content. One good way to do this is through inbound marketing. Don’t push content on them, but rather put out content that will attract and pull them in.
Now that you have goals that you can accomplish and you know that accomplishing them will be beneficial, you now need a timeline. When do you plan to reach those goals? Often, we have many goals that are interdependent on each other. Back to our Facebook example. You might decide that your end goal is to have 1,000 new followers by the end of the year. That breaks down to about 84 followers each month. Eighty-four followers a month Seems much more attainable. IT will be easier to track how you are doing as well. I would recommend breaking it down by week as well. To reach a goal of 1,000, you would need approximately 20 new followers a week.
Download our Marketing SMART Goals template to help you create your own marketing goals for the new year. If you need help discovering what your marketing goals should be or how to accomplish them, Angry Ape Creative can help. Don’t put it off. Contact us now. The new year is right around the corner.