Goals are a critical component of any successful marketing strategy. They provide direction and help to ensure the success of your product or service in the marketplace. Aligning your goals with your company objectives, as well as making it clear how they tie in with your marketing plan, is essential. Establishing focused, achievable and quantifiable goals from the start serves as a benchmark for all future marketing efforts and demonstrates its importance to business operations, enabling you to proceed with confidence in what your plan sets out.
How to Define Your Marketing Goals
Many companies choose to incorporate a goal setting framework. These are acronyms that help you to accurately define what your marketing goals are and what success looks like. By following a framework for goal setting you can better understand what your goals are and how you and your team can achieve them through collaboration and marketing efforts.
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. This is a management framework for setting company, team, and marketing objectives. Three to five objectives are defined at each level and associated with key results. Objectives are set on a quarterly basis and reviewed each month or each week depending on desired outcome.
Objective – Establish 3 – 5 goals that are quantifiable, actionable, and time sensitive.
Key Results – Quantify your success by establishing what the desired outcome is for your objectives. These should be based on measurable statistics.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound. Using the SMART structure to set goals is one of the most popular and effective ways to clearly outline your marketing goals and how to best achieve them. It helps identify what needs to be accomplished and how best to achieve the desired outcome.
Specific – Define goals that are unambiguous and have a clear outcome so you and your team know what is expected.
Measurable – Choose goals that are quantifiable so you can accurately measure the success of your initiatives. This is key in determining whether you’ve hit your goal or not.
Attainable – Set realistic goals that are actually achievable. Setting too high of a goal will set you up for failure.
Relevant – Align your marketing goals with you company’s overall vision and mission.
Time – Set a start and end time for your goals so that you can create urgency and have a hard and fast deadline that you need to hit.
Setting KPIs for Your Marketing Goals
Once you have defined your goals, you can use various performance indicators to monitor how your activities are performing against those goals. This helps you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns, so you can adjust your plans as needed to achieve the best results.
KPIs such as bounce rate, click through rate, conversion rate, are all great indicators of success in your marketing campaigns and how well your initiatives are working. By reviewing your previous performance among these indicators, then setting a new goal for their growth, you can better track your marketing success and overall growth. Some great KPIs to track your marketing success would be:
- Bounce rate
- Channel-specific traffic
- Click-through rates
- Cost per lead
- Lead to close ratio
- Marketing leads
- New sessions
The key takeaway is that clearly defining your marketing objectives can help you to truly track how successful your efforts are. By going through the steps of defining your goals and finding what key performance indicators can inform you of your success, the more likely you are to have clear and defined goals with a specific outcome.