Setting marketing goal is probably one of the hardest and toughest things marketers have to do, because the goals should be suitable for and back up the overall business goals. Marketing goals are the building blocks or the foundation of the marketing plan, the starting point of the plan. In short, these are specific objectives plotted in a marketing plan which can be tasks, quotas, improvements in KPIs, or other performance-based benchmarks used to measure marketing success. They can be a big number, such as a certain year-end revenue figure. They might be a smaller number over a shorter period of time, such as four new clients per month. When explicitly stated, the goals are simple statement of the business’ culture or attitude: to be number one in customer satisfaction in a particular industry.
What does it mean to be SMART in setting your Marketing Goals?
Goals are great, but the thing is, they can be of no use if they are not grounded in reality. That’s why it’s very critical to set SMART goals.
Setting a SMART goal should be:
Set real number with real deadlines. Avoid unclear-set goals.
Make sure that you can track your goal. Do not hide behind buzzwords like “brand engagement” or “social influence.”
Work toward a goal that is arduous, but possible to achieve. Do not try to take over the world in one night.
Be honest with yourself, because you know what your abilities are, and your team’s. Do not forget any challenges you may need to overcome.
Give yourself a deadline. Do not keep pushing yourself towards a goal that you may “hit someday”.
Simple Steps in Goal Setting:
Step 1: Start with situation analysis
This first step defines your company, products and services, then shows how the benefits you provide set you apart from your competition.
Make your situation analysis a succinct overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses refer to characteristics that exist within your business, while opportunities and threats refer to outside factors. To determine your company’s strengths, consider the ways that its products are superior to others, or if your service is more comprehensive, for example. What do you offer that gives your business a competitive advantage? Weaknesses, on the other hand, can be anything from operating in a highly saturated market to lack of experienced staff members.
Next, describe any external opportunities you can capitalize on, such as an expanding market for your product. Don’t forget to include any external threats to your company’s ability to gain market share so that succeeding sections of your plan can detail the ways you’ll overcome those threats.
Step 2: Describe your target consumers or audience
You can describe prospects in terms of demographics—age, sex, family composition, earnings and geographic location—as well as lifestyle. Ask yourself the following: Are my customers conservative or innovative? Leaders or followers? Timid or aggressive? Traditional or modern? Introverted or extroverted? How often do they purchase what I offer? In what quantity?
You may define your target audience based on their type of business, job title, size of business, geographic location or any other characteristics that make them possible prospects, if you are a business-to-business marketer. No matter who your target audience is, be sure to scarcely define them in this section, because it will be your guide as you plan your media and public relations campaigns.
Step 3: Write your marketing goals
What do you want your marketing plan to achieve? For example, are you hoping for a 20 percent increase in sales of your product per quarter? Write down a short list of goals—and make them measurable so that you’ll know when you’ve achieved them.
Step 4: Create the marketing communications strategies and techniques you’ll utilize.
This section is the heart and soul of your marketing plan.
A good marketing program prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. Some marketing tactics, such as many forms of advertising, public relations and direct marketing, are great for reaching cold prospects. Warm prospects—those who’ve previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally—will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others. Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale. Generally, interpersonal sales contact (whether in person, by phone, or email) combined with marketing adds the final heat necessary to close sales.
To complete your tactics section, outline your primary marketing strategies, then include a variety of tactics you’ll use to reach prospects at some point in your sales cycle. For example, you might combine outdoor billboards, print advertising and online local searches to reach cold prospects, but use email to contact your warm prospects.
Step 5: Set your marketing budget
You will have to dedicate a percentage of projected gross sales to your yearly marketing budget. Of course, when starting a business, this may mean using newly acquired funding, borrowing or self-financing. Just bear this in mind—marketing is absolutely essential to the success of your business. And with so many different kinds of tactics available for reaching out to every conceivable audience niche, there’s a mix to fit even the tightest budget.
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