The start of the year is such a great time to reevaluate your marketing goals. Unfortunately, it is estimated that close to 80% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions have given up on them by the end of January. How can you decide what your marketing goals should be? And how can making your goals SMART help you reach them?
Why should you set marketing goals?
Simply, having good marketing goals is the key to marketing success. A CoSchedule study found that “Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t. And 70% of those successful, goal-setting marketers achieve them.”
376% higher success rate certainly proves the value of setting goals. Without clear goals, it is easy to drift aimlessly. Having goals provides structure and direction. The clarity goals provide minimized wasted time. Goals not only provide direction and a path, but also motivation. There are few better feelings than achieving a long-worked-toward goal. That feeling of accomplishment is a massive push toward continued success and action.
The value of good marketing goals
It is not enough to just have goals. It’s important to have the right goals. Working towards the wrong goals or ones that are poorly defined can be counterproductive. A poorly defined goal provides sets you up for disappointment and frustration. Focusing on the wrong goals also creates frustration. Even when reaching goals, if they are not the right goals, it will lack satisfaction and fulfillment.
One of the most effective ways to choose good marketing goals is to start with your business goals. Starting with the overall business goals makes sure that your marketing goals will move you in the right direction. Personally, I find it helps to think of business goals in a triangle. A business’s mission is the overarching goal. Directly below that, are the long-term goals the business as a whole is working towards. After that, are the marketing-specific goals. Each goal should be on the path to the goal above it.
Let’s use a theater as an example. The theater’s overall mission is to provide entertainment, opportunities for discussion, and a place for the community to gather. Their long-term business goals are to expand the theater with a second location to be able to host large-scale events. Their short-term goals are to sell at least 60% of the available tickets for upcoming shows. Both of those goals move them closer to fulfilling their mission. What about marketing goals? Their general marketing goal could be to expand their social media presence. A larger social media presence helps create a community and advertise upcoming showings and events.
However, having the right general goals aren’t going to be achievable without a plan. How can you build a plan based on general goals?
Using the S.M.A.R.T. goal formula is popular for a reason. S.M.A.R.T. goals take a general goal and a road map to achieving it. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Specific goals focus on one clearly defined metric. Keeping goals specific makes it easier to work towards them.
Measurable goals are necessary in order to track progress. Making a goal measurable gives it a starting and finishing point. Without a defined endpoint, a goal is then just something you are working towards forever. A non-measurable goal is basically a dream.
Attainable is an important metric because no one wants to work towards a goal that is impossible to reach. So much of what drives the pursuit of a goal is the belief that it can actually be accomplished. Therefore, realistic and attainable goals are key to having belief and motivation in your goals.
Relevant. The goal has to matter. A goal might be a great goal, but if it doesn’t align with what you are doing and more importantly, why, it isn’t the right goal. The more you believe that a specific goal is relevant to your broader purpose, the more motivated you will be to work towards it. It will also help you to be more effective at reaching the goal because it will be easier to see how the goal impacts other things.
Timely goals are important to both create a sense of urgency and to have an endpoint. Without an endpoint, it is very difficult to gauge a goal’s success. With a timeline attached to a goal, it will be easier to see what has been accomplished. Seeing what has been achieved already will grow your belief and confidence in your ability to reach the goal. An increased belief and confidence will build momentum and help you reach the goal faster.
Example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
Let’s use the theater’s goal of an expanded social media presence as an example. Expanding its social media presence is a good goal, but it is not a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It has no specific metrics, no ways to measure success, and no deadlines attached to it. What would be a better goal?
Using the S.M.A.R.T. framework, their new goal could be, “By the end of 2022, the Theater with have an Instagram following of 10,000, with a 4.5% monthly growth rate.”
What are some good marketing goals?
Some common general marketing goals are:
- Increased brand awareness
- Expanded social media following
- Building out an email list
- Improved conversion rates
- Increased website visitors
- Higher website or social media engagement rates
- Driving a higher Click-Through-Rate on ads
Every business is going to need different specifics or metrics connected to each of these general goals.
How can you stick to your goals?
Having specific, measurable goals are much easier to stick to than general goals. One of the biggest reasons people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions is that they don’t have a plan of smaller tasks connected to the goal. Crossing off measurable tasks connected to a S.M.A.R.T. goal instead of the larger goal itself prevents burnout or frustration.
For example, the measurable task of posting on social media three times this week is a lot more attainable than “growing a social media presence.” Reaching all the benchmarks of your big goals keeps you on target to stick to your big goals. Every time you reach a small goal and see the results, you are motivated to keep going.
So, what are going to be your 2022 Marketing goals? We would love to hear about them on Instagram!