Running a business includes making decisions on a frequent basis. These decisions determine the success of your business, which means they shouldn’t be made arbitrarily. In-depth research, meticulous planning, and perfect execution leads to a successful business, with goals underlying each phase.
The same goes for making decisions in your marketing. Campaigns aren’t executed simply for the sake of it. In fact, you should scrutinise every resource spent and how it contributes to your business. Having a marketing strategy means you want to achieve something. Your marketing efforts mean you’re working towards a goal.
Importance of goals for your marketing
Goals provide your business with a clear and concise sense of direction. They’re a way to measure progress. Whether it’s generating sales, expanding business territory, or making a stand on something, goals set your plan for success. Once you’ve established the goals for your marketing, you can start to identify what elements of your strategy are most effective, and replicate those efforts in future campaigns.
Setting goals means you’re tracking your efforts to see if they’re making the results you aim for, and to see where your investment is delivering a return. And hitting those goals means you’re moving forward. By knowing your goals, you’ll know what works for your business and what doesn’t.
Your company’s ability to generate customers and build a loyal following can be credited to your marketing. Several key areas of marketing influence your business’ growth.
Since every business is different, your needs are likewise so. However, a key factor in creating your marketing goals is that they should be closely aligned with your overall business ambitions.
In terms of marketing, there are tried and tested goals that most of these fit into. Ultimately, your marketing is designed to support your business, and there are some key ways where that can be achieved.
Increase brand awareness
Whatever industry you’re in, one of your primary goals in terms of marketing is almost always to be recognised. In fact, even some of the world’s biggest and most well-known brands put time, effort, and investment into brand awareness and recognition campaigns.
An increase in your market’s awareness of your brand means your business is at the top of people’s minds when they’re looking for a solution that fits them.
Much like your business, your brand has a unique personality. It’s shaped by your tone of voice, the topics of your content, and the platforms you use.
When you set a marketing goal for increasing your brand awareness, you can start by setting your brand personality and how to present yourself to your target market.
To align your plan with this goal, consider the place where your target market is most active. That’s where you want to spend your time and energy, as they’re the people you want to become more aware of your brand.
Being active on social media means you’re directly connecting with your audience. Some customers, others being nurtured in. Choosing the right platform means you’re in the right place to engage with the right people.
Brand awareness campaigns are generally not focused around specific products or services, it’s more to do with people seeing your overall brand. The more often people see you, the more recognisable you become. And the more helpful you are, the more positive that awareness.
Once you’ve hit your goal and have increased your brand awareness, the effect amplifies itself. After you’ve made a positive impact to your audience, they’ll become advocates of your brand. Through word-of-mouth, referrals, or simply sharing your content, you’ll get more exposure for the same level of effort.
Maintain thought leadership
It shouldn’t suffice that your business is recognised—you should aim to stand out. Establishing your business as an industry expert proves that you have a high level of knowledge and that you’re recognised in your field. Setting a goal of becoming a thought leader drives you to be more progressive in communicating with your audience while actively improving your knowledge behind your business.
. It’s about being the best among your industry that calls for attention even amongst other business owners.
Maintaining and developing thought leadership can be done in different ways. One is by consistently creating content for your audience. Continuously publishing content for your audience ensures that you’re not left out whenever there’s discussion involving your industry. This means you need to be up to date and be at the top of the latest industry news to remain relevant.
Another method is by providing solutions. Putting forward ideas in your industry won’t make you a thought leader unless you offer possible answers as well. By leveraging your knowledge into something meaningful, your audience and peers will identify you as an authority figure. Having innovative ideas means you’re contributing ideas to your industry, and not just simply flooding the market with your products.
As you work towards your goal of being a thought leader, your online visibility will play a major role. In addition to being credible, you’re also able to create new connections. For example, being on the first page of Google means you’re among the most trustworthy and up-to-date source of the information they seek out. Alternatively, being an influencer on LinkedIn puts you in front of people in your industry as well as customers.
Empower your team
Aside from setting goals for your outreach marketing, having goals for your internal communications amongst your team and employees is something else to considere.
Help your team understand your target audience and what they should provide them. Buyers in different stages of their journey have different needs, which your team should address in a timely manner. Ensuring that your team has the necessary tools and resources makes them confident in marketing your products and in closing leads, no matter what department they’re in.
One of the goals of an aligned sales and marketing team is to bring expertise from each team to create benefits for both. But communicating your marketing plans internally can also generate valuable insights from other teams that interact with your customers, from delivery and operational teams through to the finance department.
Another internal goal for your marketing success is a seamless transition between your marketing and sales team. Routing your leads between these teams is crucial to provide them what they need, when they need it.
Generate high quality leads
The success of your business won’t be determined simply by the number of leads you’ll be able to generate, but the number of quality leads you can convert into paying customers.That’s not to say your efforts in generating leads should be disregarded but you should focus on generating high quality leads that your sales team can nurture and convert.
Although there are hundreds of ways you can generate leads, the challenge comes when identifying which of them are of the best value and should be focused on. Studying your MQLs (marketing qualified leads) or SQLs (sales qualified leads) allows you to understand which of your targeted audience should be focused on.
On top of that, once these leads have been accepted by your sales team, the opportunities grow as they are aligned with your sales strategy.
Take a look at the different actions you’re asking leads to take in the first instance – is it filling in a form (traditionally becoming an MQL) or requesting a demo (closer to SQL)? You should have a variety of actions, and understand the difference in where in the customer journey that lead is likely to be. From there, you know how much additional nurturing that lead might need to move through the rest of the journey.
Increasing customer value
Marketing has gone beyond getting new customers. Now, after-sales service and support are as important as your first ever engagement. Thus, your customer’s value should now be considered as a primary goal as well.
Aside from the possibility of an upsell or a repurchase, your customers become advocates of your brand, promoting your business to other people. By keeping your existing customer base happy, they’ll return the favour by sharing the good word about your business.
Retention and growth of your customer base can be achieved in different ways. But first, you’ll need to fully understand your customers. Start by having a solid CRM to organise their contact information, from what they’ve bought to their most recent concern. This way, you’ll have visibility of each of your customers and be able to craft a strategy based on their needs.
Additionally, you should always educate your customers with other valuable opportunities available for them. Be it an upgrade on their software, coupon for a new product, or simple update on the service they received.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of your newsletters. Telling stories through their own relatable experiences strengthens your customer relationship.
Metrics to track your goals
Goals and metrics go hand in hand. Metrics are your guide to know if you’re effectively moving towards your goal. They can also serve as an indicator of when things are going wrong so you can get back on track.
Towards achieving these primary goals, there will be a number of activities across multiple channels that you would be performing. As you plan, execute, and maintain your marketing, it’s important to keep track of your progress. With tons of metrics that you could measure, there are some which you should focus on to help you better understand your marketing. Here are the metrics you should look into for your primary goals.
- Track brand awareness by looking at the quantitative metrics. These can include your social engagement, blog traffic, branded traffic, and overall website visitors. As the awareness of your brand increases, your traffic should increase as well.
- Track thought leadership by the number of backlinks to your website or blog, media mentions, branded queries, and social media following. This metric indicates that people are talking about you and that they recognise you as an authority on a given subject.
- Track your team empowerment by providing them with surveys, reviewing performance data, and by monitoring internal newsletters to see if employees clicked through. Direct communication and valuable feedback from your team allows you to track whether or not there’s been improvement.
- Track your customer value by monitoring their CLV (customer lifetime value) through their total purchases, referrals generated, and their length of time as a customer. Alternatively, you can also monitor the ratio between your CLV and CAC (customer acquisition cost). Focus on increasing your CLV and decreasing your CAC.
- Track high quality leads by analysing the attitude across leads who become customers. Measure your leads through your MQLs, SQLs, their average rating, visitors to leads rate, leads to opportunity, and time to conversion rates. This narrows down the leads coming in and allows you to focus on those more likely to become customers.