December is a special time in digital marketing. We start compiling all those yearly reports and revisiting everything we’ve accomplished over the past twelve months. What were our marketing goals and the plans we made to reach them? What were the challenges we anticipated and ran into? Did we stick to those timelines we set out all the way back in January? While it’s always important to look back on all of the success and shortcomings of the year, we still need to look forward.
January 1st not only marks the beginning of another year, but a brand-spankin’ new decade, and while we make plans for every new year, this New Year seems especially significant. So, how do you go about creating your marketing goals and plans for a new decade, let alone a new year?
How to Plan Out Marketing Goals
If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, establishing your goals may seem like a daunting task. There are seemingly unlimited avenues your marketing strategies can take, but where to start? When we talk about setting goals, we like to make sure they’re smart ones. Actually, we like to make sure they’re SMART. This nifty little acronym helps make sure your goals have the best chance of being reached. When you start thinking about your goals, make sure they’re:
The simpler, the better. Your goals might concern web traffic, social media likes or new leads. Keep them funneled. “Improving my overall digital marketing strategies” or ”building a better website”
aren’t very specific goals. However, “creating outbound email campaigns for potential leads” and “improving the UX of our website” are much more honed in.
Once you’ve specified your goals, the next step is to think about how you’ll analyze their progress. That’s much easier to do when you create goals attached to hard data. For instance, “more site traffic” isn’t a measurable goal. However, “increase site traffic to 1,000 visitors a month over the next year” certainly is.
Are the goals you’re planning realistic? We all want a marketing strategy that delivers results, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. “Increasing revenue by 500%” in six months might not be the best way to set yourself up for success, however, something like “acquiring 10 new leads a month” is much more attainable.
Digital marketing can help your organization achieve a lot of goals, however the baton does need to be passed at some point. Make sure the goals you set for your marketing strategy are within the scope of your efforts. “Present at 5 new speaking engagements” or “open new location in Florida” may not be the most reasonable goal by which to measure your marketing initiatives’ success.
Finally, the marketing goals you lay out should be on a timeline. Like we mentioned above, “increase site traffic to 1,000 visitors a month over the next year” binds your goals to a certain timeframe. This is keeps your stakeholders and marketing team focused with their eyes on the prize. There are benchmarks to hit. When your marketing goals aren’t tethered to a timeline, there’s no sense of urgency or sign of completion.
Marketing Goals Challenges
It’s impossible to anticipate every single challenge your marketing goals might encounter throughout the year, but figuring out what obstacles stand in your way at the onset is a great way to clear the path. Listing out your challenges requires a holistic approach and may even seem pessimistic, but it’s also realistic.
Challenges could mean anything from not having a Facebook page or training your sales team on a new CRM like HubSpot. As with your goals, the challenges should have solutions and a strategy in place for overcoming them. Oftentimes, these challenges can be goals themselves. “Set up a company Facebook page by February 1st,” or “train five salespeople on HubSpot by the end of Q1” turn your challenges into goals of their own and allow you to check more items off your list (who doesn’t love that?).
Partner with ProFromGo to Meet Your Marketing Goals
Every organization has its unique set of goals and challenges, and the PFG team has seen its fair share of them. We work with our clients to help them set SMART goals and overcome business challenges. Contact us to learn more about our wide array of services.