Is setting marketing goals necessary? That’s like asking if pictures of dogs wearing hats are necessary. Necessary, and we can't live without them.
Marketing goals, that is. Let’s take a look at why you need effective marketing objectives for business growth. And how to set them (with some great marketing goals examples to get you thinking).
Plus, read this article and you also get a prize: your very own marketing goals template (with some killer tips from us).
Marketing Goals — What’s the Fuss?
Marketing goals tell you what you need to achieve. With this focus, you can devise powerful strategies and become infinitely more successful.
This has been proven. According to a survey from CoSchedule, 70% of marketers state they set goals. Of those with pre-defined goals, 81% said their marketing was successful, compared to the 57% of the survey's overall applicants.
What this means: setting marketing goals makes you 429% more likely to be successful.
Why? When you run analytics, you can compare your results to your goals to see if a campaign was successful.
If it is, you can repeat the strategy for a greater bounty. If it’s not, you can adjust it to make it better.
Where Do Business Goals Fit In?
Again, business goals are hella important. Because you and your team need to know what success looks like in order to aim for it.
Here are a few examples of overarching company goals:
1. Reduce overall budget costs by 15% by 2020
2. Increase market share by 10% by 2022
3. Increase profit margin by 20% by 2020
4. Increase customer satisfaction by 30% by 2020
Your business goals should be intrinsically tied to your marketing goals. Since everything a marketer does, from building brand awareness to supercharging customer acquisition, contributes to more sales and the success of the business.
Let’s look at it like this: say your business goal is to reach a revenue target of £800,000 by the end of the next quarter.
To get there, you need to set specific marketing goals for direction. For example:
We need to convert 800 customers within the next six months. For that, we need to attract 800,000 visitors to our website.
In short, business goals give you a higher aim. Marketing goals tell you how to get there... but only if they’re SMART.
You want to set specific, relevant, realistic and inspirational targets to market your business.
It details everything your goals need to be in order to gain real, sustainable success from your marketing. This is what SMART stands for and how it works:
When setting marketing goals, if they’re too general neither you or your team will be clear on what needs to be done to achieve them.
Look at the example we used earlier. See how specific we got? It’s much better to say ‘We need to convert 800 customers within the next six months’ than ‘I want more profit’. Because you can break down the necessary steps you need to take to get there. And everything becomes more manageable.
You should be able to visualise exactly how that goal is going to help you succeed — otherwise, it isn’t specific and you won’t know what to do to achieve it.
Your goals need to be measurable through accurate data or else you can’t quantify your progress and learn from the experience. As the legendary Peter Drucker once said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
To illustrate, if your goal is to drive online engagement by 20%, you can use Twitter and Google Analytics to measure your performance, looking at click-through rates and reshares, for example. From this data, you can make educated, fact-driven decisions (which is miles better than acting on a hunch!).
Is what you’re asking from your team “mission impossible”? You want to challenge them to the point where they are highly motivated and will gain an immense sense of achievement once they reach their goal. But demanding too much is a recipe for failure — all you’ll get is your team accelerating as far away from your goal as they possibly can.
Shoot for the stars but be pragmatic about the time, money, resources and costs required to make your goals attainable.
It’s time to do a reality check. Look at your goals and ask yourself: Can we do this?
For example, you want to increase the number of visitors to your site. You decide your team of two content writers have to create 10 blog posts per week to drive brand awareness and online engagement.
Ha. Funny. Let’s be real. Realistically, you could create four quality blog posts per week (two posts each for your content writers). Now that’s a goal you CAN meet.
Establish a timeline so you know how much work needs to be done and the deadlines you need to stick with to stay on track. Ideally, you want to find a healthy balance between realistic deadlines and reasonable expectations to avoid overwhelming your team.
Example of a SMART Goal
Using the above requirements, your SMART goal should look something like this:
Specific: I want to increase our blog's traffic by upping our weekly publishing frequency from two to six times a week. Our content writers will increase their workload from writing one post a week to two posts a week. We will also hire a freelance copywriter to write two blogs per week.
Measurable: A 10% increase in blog traffic is our goal.
Attainable: Our blog traffic increased by 5% last month for one week when we temporarily increased our weekly publishing frequency from two to four times a week.
Realistic: We are going to invest in a freelance copywriter to make the workload doable.
Time-Bound: End of next quarter
SMART Goal: Achieve a 10% rise in traffic by the end of this quarter by increasing our weekly publishing frequency from two posts per week to six posts per week.
And that’s SMART goals in a nutshell! You can find more information about this technique plus more great marketing goals examples on our website.
If you think that’s a lot to consider, you’re not wrong. This is why we’ve created a template to make goal setting swift and simple.
The Only Marketing Goals Template You’ll Ever Need
Want to push out captivating and contagious content? Increase lead generation and customer acquisition? Overtake competitors and increase market share in your industry?
You’re in luck. Use our Goals, Plans, Challenges and Timing template and all of this will be much more achievable. It will help you build a marketing strategy that includes every bit of information you need to execute powerful campaigns that will get the customers rolling in.
How do you use it, you ask? It’s simple.
This section is all about defining and prioritising what you want to achieve from your marketing (keeping in mind your overarching business goals). Here are some marketing goals examples to get you going:
- To increase premium content downloads by 30%
- To increase newsletter subscriptions by 500 over the next month by increasing our email advertising budget
- We need 10,000 visitors, 200 leads, and 10 customers within the next 12-months from our inbound marketing efforts to achieve our revenue goal of £400,000
- We want to rank number one for the keyword term "WordPress website developer”
Mosey your way over to the SMART goals section of this article if you get stuck. The key thing to remember is: be specific and realistic!
Take a coffee break to reflect on your current situation and start thinking ahead. What do you need to do to achieve the goals you outlined in the first section?
For example, you might include something like this:
Our goal is to increase website visitors by 20% by investing in inbound marketing
The draft budget for the next two financial years is as follows:
2019/20 turnover £500,000
2020/21 turnover £800,000
This is your opportunity to clearly identify actions that pave the way to success. And consider the time, money, resources and costs required to make your goals attainable. Don’t worry if you get stuck on this section. Once you’ve finished the questionnaire, send it to us and we can help you beef-up your plans.
Your weaknesses are your secret weapon: acknowledging and learning from your mistakes is how you build a better and more valuable marketing strategy.
In this section, you want to interrogate your past marketing efforts (look at your data if you haven’t already) and detail the biggest challenges you’ve experienced. This should help you identify what needs to improve to make success attainable.
Was the engagement with your content as disappointing as the Game of Throne finale last quarter? Or perhaps you’re failing to stand out in an ultra-competitive market.
The fact that you recognise these shortcomings is fab. Because you know your weak points and can start learning how to make them stronger.
(By the way, if you’re weakness is creating engaging content, here’s a resource that’ll help: The Red-Fern Media Content Strategy Blueprint).
It’s time to organise yourself and your team. Use this section to get clear on your actions and deliverables according to a deadline.
For example, for your overall plan you might write:
Our timeline is two years starting from June 2019.
For projects and campaigns, you probably want to get more specific:
Our next Twitter campaign will be launched on 20th June.
The main thing to get right here is being realistic so you’re not asking for missed deadlines.
Communicating these timings to your team is essential — it keeps everyone accountable and stops you from veering off track.
It also eliminates the stress of trying to map out projects and campaigns at the last minute (a migraine in the making!).
Get Luminous Marketing Insight
Setting marketing goals using this template shouldn’t take long, but if you do get a bit bamboozled, don’t sweat it — we can help.
Download our marketing goals template, fill it in as best as you can and be sure to send it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll look through it and respond to what you need to do (and how we can help you) build the mother of all marketing strategies through seriously SMART goals.