How To Create and Achieve Marketing Goals That Impact Your Business
Determining your goals is the first step in developing a marketing plan that delivers results. Before you can successfully move forward with developing your strategy and executing tactics you must first be clear on what it is you want to achieve.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins
Why is it that some people have unbelievable success in their marketing and others flop? One of the main reasons is they’re missing their foundation, their goal. Either they don’t have an established goal, or they have a “goal” that doesn’t meet the basic requirements.
The first step of achieving a goal, is establishing a goal (Who would’ve thought?)
But not just any goal…the right goal.
In order to set the right goal you have to; make sure the requirements are met, create marketing goals that align with your business objectives, and reverse engineer these goals to make sure you’re on track to accomplish them.
Does Your Goal Meet the Requirements? Most Don’t.
We’ve heard about goals our whole life.
It’s important to set goals, nothing new here. The problem is that not much time is spent teaching and learning how to set the right goals.
In order to have a good goal there are several key requirements and a plan of action for achievement is necessary, without these you just have a wish.
Each goal you set requires that it be…
Your goals can be any performance-based benchmarks as long as they contain these requirements. Sales, quotas, and improvements in KPIs are common goals in marketing.
Let’s look at an example of a incomplete goal vs a goal that meets the minimum requirements…
Incomplete goal: Increase revenue.
Complete goal: Increase revenue by 20% in the next 12 months.
Let’s look at the requirements.
The goal is specific (increase revenue by 20%), measurable (sales increase can be quantified), attainable and realistic (we’ll assume it is), and time-bound (set to accomplish in the next year)
Could this goal be better? Of course, this is the simplest version. After reading this, you’ll notice that this simple goal example is still better than most of the “goals” you’ll come across…
We’re still at the surface level of goal setting, the example we’ll use is simple for demonstrating the key concepts of setting real goals and achieving them.
How to Create Marketing Goals That Align with Your Business Goals
Now that you know the minimum requirements that make up a goal, how do you choose the right one?
Achieving a goal within a business is only as good as the result it has on the organizations objectives. If you look at different departments within a company you may notice that it doesn’t seem like they are all working towards the same outcome.
Unfortunately, this is more common that we’d like to admit and the business as a whole suffers. If you’ve ever been in a meeting that seems like it’s battle of the departments then you know what I’m talking about.
In order for a business to operate at its highest potential the departments within it must share the same overall mission.
Sure, goals will be different depending on the function of the department but each goal should align with that of the businesses bigger mission.
This is a silly concept to talk about it. It seems like a no-brainer. And it is.
However, it’s an issue many companies face.
As you look to define your marketing goal, there is a three-step process you can use to reverse engineer your company objectives and make sure you’re aligned with the overall mission.
Using our example of the business goal being to increase revenue by 20% in the next 12 months we need to establish the marketing goals that will help us get there.
Step One: Determine the Numbers Behind the Business Goal
To keep our numbers simple, we’ll assume revenue in the past 12 months was $1 million dollars.
With our goal to increase revenue by 20% we can determine that $200,000 in additional revenue is needed. If we’re looking to achieve this with new client acquisition we need to identify the sales metrics we need, which brings us to step two.
Step Two: Identify the Key Metrics
How many sales will it take to reach $200,000 in revenue? To calculate this, we’ll first need to identify the average value of a sale. Let’s say the average sale is $4,000.
With this information we can determine how many new clients are needed by dividing $200,000 (amount of revenue needed) by $4,000 (average sale)
This tells us that we need 50 new clients at an average value of $4,000 in order to achieve the additional revenue goal of $200,000.
We’ve identified how much additional revenue we need and how many sales it is going to take to get there, we need to look at what it will take to get 50 sales, this brings us to step three.
Step Three: Which metric is the lead domino?
Now we need to determine what is the lead domino in getting our desired result, in this case, sales.
In step one, we found that increased revenue is the result we are wanting to achieve.
In step two, we determined that in order to achieve our revenue goal by new client acquisition we would need sales.
In step three, we determine what it takes to get sales we need— which is new opportunities.
How many opportunities will it take to get 50 prospects to become new clients? Let’s say on average 25% of prospects go through our sales process and convert to customers. This means it will take 200 new opportunities in order to convert 50 into sales.
This is our lead domino…
New opportunities will lead to sales which will lead to revenue.
In order to achieve the business goal of 20% increase in revenue we’ll need 200 new opportunities in order to convert 50 into sales. At an average of $4,000 per sale this will achieve our goal of $200,000 in additional revenue.
This can be our marketing goal: Create 200 new opportunities for the sales team in the next 12 months. (The sales goal will then be converting 50 sales and together the business goal will be achieved)
Having a clear goal establishes a purpose for your strategy and tactics.
Your goal is your foundation.
Goals first. Then strategy. Then tactics.
Analyze Your Goal
When going through the process of determining your marketing goals it’s important to look at other key business objectives.
The example we walked through is simplified for demonstration on how marketing goals should be designed to serve the overall business objectives, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to achieve the same goal that may provide a greater benefit to the organization. For instance…
Focusing on retention rate may achieve the goal at a lower cost than new clients acquisition…
Educating existing clients on products they aren’t currently utilizing, but could benefit from, may provide a greater return over time…
Systematically communicating with clients could increase their transaction frequency resulting in increased revenue and loyalty…
After we determine that we can reach the goal of $200,000 in revenue by generating 200 new opportunities we need to evaluate if this is the best possible option.
If increasing retention by 5% and generating 120 new opportunities achieves the goal of $200,000 in revenue at a lower acquisition rate and benefits the company better in the long run this would obviously be the best approach.
You may need to go through the goal creation process a few times to determine which path to take.
Remember, new clients (though important) are only one way to grow your business. Existing clients are more likely to make repeat purchases and statistically spend more.
Evaluate Your Results
Now that you have your goal it’s time to setup benchmarks to evaluate your results and hold your strategy and tactics accountable.
Start by identifying your key metrics and establish quarterly benchmarks for each — regular measurement and reporting keeps you focused and improves decision making.
Using our example, the minimum key metrics we will need to establish benchmarks for are: New Opportunities, Converted Opportunities, and New Revenue.
By identifying that in order to reach the business goal of $200,000 in revenue we will need 200 new opportunities in order to create 50 new clients at a value of $4,000 each we are able to focus on these key metrics required to achieve our overall goal-keeping us on track and increasing the chance of achieving our goal substantially.
One thing to keep in mind with your benchmarks and evaluating results — if you’re trying something new, realize that it may take time to see results.
Set benchmarks that make sure you are on track while your efforts gain traction to avoid abandoning a strategy prematurely. New strategies, new markets, lengthy sales cycles are a few things that can effect projections.
The key takeaway is you have a much greater chance of achieving your goals by…
Making sure your business goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound
Reverse engineering the business goal to create your marketing goal
Establish benchmarks — measure, report, evaluate, and focus
Using this process will give you a clear understanding of what you need to focus on while providing a roadmap to achieving your biggest goals.