November 11

How to Set Marketing Goals: a Complete Guide

How to Set Marketing Goals?

At the beginning of a new financial year, it is the perfect time to set or revise your marketing goals. The truth is, if you’re in business, you need a marketing plan. A marketing plan acts as an extension of your business plan; it’s important to have your business plan finalised first so that your marketing efforts are not made in vain. That way, your marketing plan will support your wider business plan and help your business move in the direction you wish to take it.

So, why is it so important to plan your marketing goals? Having clear goals and a refined focus will make success much more likely than if you are simply “winging it” with a Facebook campaign. Your goals can be weekly, monthly or yearly targets. Once your goals are set, you can determine what marketing channels and tactics will help you get there.

How to Choose Marketing Goals?

Any marketing plan should have a healthy combination of long-term and short-term marketing goals. These goals should be in line with your business plan and where you envision your business going in the far future. It might seem easier to think small and focus on the quick wins only, but we recommend doing just the opposite. Think big and work your way backward!

Here is the process that we recommend going by to define your marketing goals:

  1. Look at the big picture: ask yourself where you want your business to be in a few years. It could be that you want to expand to a new location, retire early or perhaps employ your family in the business full-time!
  2. Choose long-term marketing goals that will help you get to that point. We go over these later in this article.
  3. Choose short-term marketing goals to your support your long-term goals.

Example Marketing Goals: Short-Term

Short-term marketing goals can be reached within a few months, a few weeks or even just a few days. Your short-term goals should bring you some quick successes to help pave the way towards your long-term goals. The long-term goals, in turn, will take anywhere from a few months to a few years to achieve. Essentially, your short-term goals are there to support your long-term goals, whether it is by bringing in revenue or by building your brand.

Here are some examples of the most common short-term marketing goals. Where does your business fit?

1. Traffic

Increasing website traffic is a pretty common goal in the digital age. Set weekly, monthly or yearly goals for the increase you’d like to see. For example, a 10-15% increase in traffic each month, or 40-45% increase by mid-year, and so forth. Google Analytics is a free tool that every business should use to measure website traffic.

All businesses need a digital presence. If you don’t have a website yet (or don’t have a good quality website), before you start thinking about traffic, set goals on how you can improve your online presence. If you don’t want to invest in a new website, ask us about the power of landing pages.

2. Conversions

Getting viewers to convert to customers is the end goal in any sales or lead-driven business. There are many techniques for improving conversion rates. Lead magnets, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns such as Google Ads campaigns and re-marketing campaigns are a few of these. First, define the revenue increase you need, so you can determine how aggressive your strategy needs to be.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a marketing strategy where you offer something for free in exchange for an e-mail address.  For example, you could give a discount code to your online store or a free consultation for a project. Then, put the e-mail addresses collected on your mailing list to receive newsletters and other marketing materials. Lead magnets are a great way of marketing to an audience that has shown interest in your services. This type of audience will have a positive attitude towards receiving marketing materials, as they have provided their e-mail addresses voluntarily.

What are remarketing campaigns?

Remarketing campaigns show ads to a targeted audience of people who have already visited your website. The most common re-marketing platforms are Facebook and Google. Re-marketing campaigns are cost-effective because the audience has already expressed an interest in your business.

3. Engagement

Creating a community may seem like the least urgent marketing goal. Yet, harnessing your very own band of loyal ambassadors can be a priceless asset for your business! In fact, it is one of the most successful marketing tactics in the social media world. Make sure to engage with your followers regularly to boost your presence on social media

For example, try decreasing the time it takes to respond to a message. To grow your audience, give your followers an incentive to share your offers with friends and family. Once your community has begun to grow and engage with you, you will be able to make use of user-generated content. This, in turn, saves you time on your marketing efforts!

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content (UGC) is media content created by consumers or end-users of a product or service. Typically, this will be content shared on social media, for example, images, videos, blogs or reviews. The great thing about UGC is that in the eyes of consumers it acts as another consumer vouching for your business. Thus, they perceive more trustworthy than marketing materials coming directly from you.

4. Subscribers

It’s important to focus on growing your own subscriber list, as we don’t own Facebook or other social platforms. A Lead Magnet can help here. Make sure your EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) strategy suits your audience and offers them valuable content. For example, you could introduce subscriber-only discounts or informative e-mails that don’t always put on a hard sell. Decide how you want to use e-mail marketing, then come up with relevant goals from there. Get in touch to ask us about how to put together a successful EDM strategy.

Example Marketing Goals: Long-Term

Now that you have your short-term marketing goals sorted, it’s time to look at your long-term goals. Here are a few suggestions for what you should be keeping an active focus on, well into the future of your business!

1. Brand Recognition

This should be a goal for any company. As consumers, we’re more likely to buy from brands we know and trust. So, while this goal may not be a direct “sales” goal, it’s one of the most important goals for driving revenue long-term. You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” So, how do you build your brand recognition? Here are a couple of easy ways to get started.

Get active on social media

One important way of building your brand recognition is to grow your social media presence. These days potential customers will look to your social channels to assess your offering and credibility.  That is why it is important to be available and active on your social channels. Don’t just post, but make sure to reply to comments and private messages too. Positively engaging with your audience is one of the best ways to build up your reputation!

Ask your customers for reviews

Another thing to focus on is getting positive reviews from customers online. Online reviews are one of the main resources consumers use for decision making now. A survey showed 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and 91% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations! Most of the time satisfied customers will be happy to give you a review, they might just need a little reminding. Don’t be afraid to send a follow-up e-mail requesting a review after a successful job!

2. Search Engine Optimisation

The most important long-term goal is to rank on page one of Google – organically. SEO is something you should be working on from day dot so that one day you’ll be able to phase out paid search ads. Google rankings are determined by a highly complex, ever-evolving algorithm. The algorithm aims to show people the very best, most relevant websites available on the web. Your brick-and-mortar store may only open 9 to 5, but your online store has the potential to turn traffic into sales 24/7!

3. Consumer Retention/Reputation Management

What’s better than acquiring a new customer? Retaining an existing one! While the probability of selling to a new lead is 5-20%, selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. Loyal customers are your best (and cheapest) business, so keeping your existing customers happy is essential.

Here are some ideas for a follow-up process that will make your customers stick to your services:

Encourage your customers to sign up for a database

Do you have a newsletter? If not, it’s time to set one up! Then, send your subscribers information that is valuable to them – beware of filling up their inbox with spammy material! Consider offering a perk, such as a discount, for those signing up for your newsletter. This way, you’ll quickly grow your subscriber list!

Embrace Feedback

Do you have an automated “check-in” e-mail, scheduled to send out 3 weeks after the sale? You should! A check-in e-mail takes the initiative to see if everything is going well with each customer. Allowing customers to air any grievances BEFORE they post comments online could save you from a lot of harm.

Complaints can be hard to deal with, but feedback is invaluable to any business! Make sure to allow your customers to give feedback and make them feel heard. Remember, customers usually won’t judge you based on their original problem, but on how you handled it.

Offer a hassle-free experience

While it’s not directly a marketing tactic, a sure-fire way to keep your existing clients around longer is to make their customer experience as seamless as possible. Vice versa, a rough customer experience will have them run straight to your competition!

So, how do you offer your customers a winning experience? Think about their journey when they buy a product or service from you. Starting from the first inquiry to a follow-up e-mail after-sale, make sure every step is convenient for them. Some ideas for improving your customers’ journey include having your contact details readily available on the website, responding to any communication swiftly, having convenient payment methods available and of course offering caring customer service.

Now get out there and start planning your marketing goals!

There you go, these are a few ideas for long-term and short-term marketing goals. Hopefully, they’ll help get your business to where you want it to be! If you need help with defining your digital marketing plan, get in contact to ask us how. At Gordon Digital, we always prioritise offering honest advice and recommendations to our clients, based on their big-picture goals.

about the author

Jessica Gordon