Marketing objectives are valuable for many reasons. They help us stay on track; they can be used as a measurement tool; the help us grow our business as a marketing professional. But before you start mapping out your objectives, let us clarify one very important thing: There is a huge difference between having marketing objectives and having marketing objectives that are practical and align with your business goals.
How can we determine if a personal objective is right for our business goals?
In today's post we are going to delve a little deeper into how you can pick the right objectives to help meet goals. It's never too late to start improving your marketing efforts and start meeting those goals!
Start by analyzing current efforts.
Before mapping out new objectives, start looking at ones that are currently in motion. Are they effective? Ineffective? Are they doing virtually anything positive or measurable for your business? If your objectives just aren't cutting it, out with the old and in with the new!
Nobody has time to waste on ineffective marketing efforts. We need to invest our time in a plan that will generate real results and grow our business.
In the event you have a strategy that is currently working for your business, start thinking of ways in which you can incorporate it into your new marketing strategy. Your goals may change, but ways to meet them may align with a plan you executed in the past. For example, staying consistent with your content is great for not only increasing the number of quality leads but it always keeps current customers engaged and happy.
What are SMART objectives?
Smart objectives are ones that are achievable and realistic to your business. Whatever your marketing objective may be, follow these 5 steps before implementing anything.
Smart: Setting objectives that are specific are essential to your success. If you are too broad, your objectives could be misinterpreted and won't give you accurate results.
Measurable: If you are unable to measure your objectives, how do you know they are working for your business? When mapping out your objectives ensure that they are something you can analyze later to see if they are generating results.
Attainable: Hopes and dreams are something everyone should have, however, trying to achieve something that isn't attainable for your business can be a waste of time and money.
Realistic: Do you have the resources? The time and money to invest? Being realistic is essential to meeting your goals. Setting objectives are important, but we want to make sure your business is capable of achieving them.
Time-Bound: Marketing objectives are great, but they can be rather useless if you don't have a deadline or if they aren't producing results (i.e. meeting your goals). It's important to stay true to your deadline, don't put it out a money and stay on track!
Determine objectives that are right for your business.
There are hundreds of different existing marketing objectives out there; however, how do we know if they will work for our business? It's true that what may work for someone else will definitely not work for another. In order to produce results be sure that your intentions align with your buyer personas and resources and that they encompass your company goals.
And here's why...
Buyer Personas: Where are your personas the most active and more importantly what are they looking for? Your personas should always be at the forefront of your marketing, because when it comes to having a goal of increasing quality leads or revenue, who is at the heart of that goal?
Your personas of course!
Resources: If you're employed by a small agency, what resources do you have in terms of your department and teams. Do you have a content team? Design team? What about a social media team? If you're lacking important departments, start to see how other departments can contribute to meet your objectives and achieve your goals. For example, you may not have a social media team but your content team could likely contribute to improving your social networks.
Since your personas are most likely engaging on at least one social channel, start thinking of ways in which social media can help you meet your goals.
Company Goals: Speaking of goals, what is your business trying to achieve this year? Are you a start-up company that's looking to increase your conversion rate by 20%? If your goal is to generate quality leads then you need to think of ways in which you can achieve that goal. For example, be consistent with your business blog, produce valuable content offers and engage with email marketing. You want to attract and then convert your leads, so you'll need to provide an incentive that will entice your prospects to move down through the funnel.
We can all pick an objective, but ensuring they align with your business and realistic is the hard but essential part to meeting your goals. To learn more about ways to grow your business and meet your 2014 goals, subscribe to our blog today!