Have you written down your New Years resolutions for your business? Wait, scratch that. Over 85% of New Years resolutions fail. Why? There are many reasons, but a few come to mind: they are too general, there’s no plan, or no deadline is established.
What are Your Company’s Marketing Goals for 2013?
Without setting any goals, you don’t have anything to strive for and you often end up just sticking with what you did in previous years.
In case you’ve missed it, there have been major developments in marketing over the past few years.
- Social media is on the verge (if not already there) of becoming a “mainstream” form of marketing. If your business isn’t using social media, read up on how to decide which social media is right for your business and then go for it!
- As I mentioned in my post on the Top Marketing Trends for 2013, content creation such as business blogging is here to stay with more and more businesses jumping on board.
- Video will continue to grow as a way to reach customers.
If you are sticking with the status quo and haven’t adapted to these and other changes, you’re likely missing out on opportunities to gain new customers (and you might even be losing customers).
What kind of goals should you set? Of course, your goals will be unique to your business, but good goals follow the SMART goal principles.
Setting SMART Goals
SMART stands for:
S – Specific M – Measurable A – Attainable R – Relevant T – Time-bound
I know this seems obvious about what it means, but you’d be surprised just how many goals are made that are overly general.
For example, a general goal would be “Grow my social media following” whereas a specific goal would be “Grow my Facebook followers from 150 to 300”. Making your goal specific gives you something concrete to work towards.
Choose a goal that you are able to measure. It’s easier to measure quantitatively than qualitatively (although you can measure both). For instance, “Signing up 1000 new people to our newsletter” is much easier to measure than “Increase brand awareness”.
Metrics also allow you to measure how you’re progressing along the way. This gives you an opportunity to make any changes or tweaks to the plan as you go.
I believe in stretch goals (aka going beyond what you think is possible) but you do want to aim for something that’s attainable. From the example of growing Facebook followers I selected “from 150 to 300”. I could have made the goal “150 to 1000” but depending on my situation, this may not be attainable.
You want to find the balance between pushing for just past what you think is possible, but not venturing into “impossible” territory (you don’t want your staff to be discouraged).
Your marketing goals should align with your overall business goals and objectives. If one of your company goals is to increase sales by 15% for 2013, then you should have some marketing goals that directly relate to helping to achieve that sales target.
Setting a deadline for your goals allows you to have a end point where you can evaluate whether or not you achieved the goal. From the example above, we would add a timeline, so the goal would then be “Grow my Facebook followers from 150 to 300 in 6 months”. You would note the date of the 6 month mark and at that time it will be very easy to see if you’ve made that goal.
Benefits of SMART Goals
There are many benefits to setting SMART goals; here are a few:
- Gives you clear focus and vision
- Gives you a sense of purpose
- Permit you to focus your energy
- Reduce doubt and procrastination
But don’t stop there!
Set SMART Goals then Take Action
Having goals is just the start. You then need an action plan. Here’s where I think many resolutions break down. Even if you create a specific, measurable goal, without a plan, how will you get there?
Map out what needs to be, when, and by whom. Create sub-deadlines for the various tasks and aspects of your goals. Hold your staff accountable to getting down their portion of the work done on time. Having a solid plan in place will greatly increase your chances of reaching your objectives.
What about your business: How do you set your goals? Do you assign deadlines? Are the goals measurable? Share some examples in the comments!