Goal setting is essential for measuring success (or failure) in marketing. Without goals, a campaign risks drifting off target without achieving anything of substance. In this introductory article we discuss how to set the right type of goals for your marketing campaign.
Let’s start by talking about ambition. We’re the first to encourage businesses to be optimistic and ambitious in their thinking – a lot can be achieved with the right marketing approach. However, the first rule of goal setting is that each goal must be realistic and attainable, or you risk setting yourself up to fail.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t challenge yourself with your goals, but it’s vital that you understand the steps needed to get there. If you’re a small business or breaking into a new market, it may be unrealistic to expect to be market leaders within 12 months. Make that five years, with secondary goals setting out milestone achievements on the journey, and you’ve got something attainable to aim for.
Goals operate on several levels, so how do you go about setting the appropriate marketing goals that align with where you want to take your business?
1) Align Your Marketing Goals With Your Business Goals
Business goals are practical, no-nonsense targets connected to things like revenue and the physical number of new customers. Marketing goals, on the other hand, can be more vague, being framed in terms of website traffic, search engine page rank, and shares on social media. Ensure that these two sets of goals align, with an understanding of how one relates to the other.
2) Work Backward From Revenue Targets
Decide how much extra you need from your current position to meet your target revenue. For example, if your target annual growth is 30%, and last year’s revenue was £500,000, next year’s revenue target will be £650,000. If we assume for the moment that £500,000 is accounted for through existing business, then your marketing strategy has to find an additional £150,000.
This is how business revenue targets inject marketing goals with a healthy dose of realism:
- Determine how many new customers are needed to reach £150,000. If the average value of a new order is £1000, then you need 150 new customers etc.
- Determine how many hot leads, or sales opportunities you need to generate 150 new customers. If your average closing rate is 20%, then you’ll need 750 new leads to reach your target.
- To secure these 750 opportunities, you will need a larger volume of sales qualified leads (SQL). These are prospects that have shown sufficient interest in your marketing material to have been passed to your sales team for active follow-up. If 50% of SQLs become active sales opportunities then you’ll need 1500 SQLs.
- Further down the pyramid from your SQLs are your marketing qualified leads (MQLs). These people have engaged with your marketing material or visited your website repeatedly, without yet showing an active intention to purchase. Between 30% and 50% of MQLs will convert to SQLs. So, being conservative, you’ll need 3000 MQLs to get the required number of sales leads.
- How much additional website traffic do you need to generate these 3000 marketing leads? A 10% conversion rate is a good general standard for most sectors, so you’d be looking at an additional 300,000 website visitors per year from your marketing strategy, in order to reach your revenue goals.
Your marketing goals will specify how you will achieve these web traffic goals and how you persuade people to convert to each successive next stage.
3) Create KPIs To Support & Influence Your Goals
Increasing website traffic by 300,000 isn’t as simple as pulling them out of a hat. Every marketing activity has a financial and time investment attached to it, and there are different conversion rates and ratios to be aware of when setting goals. These are the main KPIs to track when setting your specific marketing goals:
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Cost per customer acquisition (CPA)
- Traffic to lead conversion rate
- Lead to customer conversion rate
- Conversion rate for leads from specific sources, e.g. social media, mobile traffic, landing pages, core website, blog etc
- Specific return on investment (ROI) for different marketing activities, e.g. Google AdWords, SEO, content marketing
- Overall ROI
4) Analyse Your Results Consistently
Achievability is vitally important to goal setting, so analyse your results carefully and consistently. This means being honest and allowing the data to speak for itself. If you haven’t achieved a goal, or you can see that you’re not going to achieve it, careful analysis will identify which areas need improvement.
Find Out More
Have a chat with one of our marketing and sales experts about setting realistic, exciting, and achievable goals for your marketing strategy. Call us on 01332 982223 or click here to send us a message.
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