When it comes to setting marketing goals, it’s important to be strategic. But what does that mean exactly? Do you have to set SMART goals for everything? If you’re not familiar with the concept of SMART goals, it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Or can you dream bigger and have some lofty goals on the list?
When we talk about setting strategic marketing goals, we often use a paint analogy to help people understand why clear goals and action steps are important in small business marketing. Think about the idea of splatter paint art where you take a saturated paint brush and throw paint at a canvas over and over. It can easily turn into a beautiful piece of artwork, but it leaves a lot of room for interpretation by the viewer. If an artist starts with the same paint palette but instead has a plan for what they want to achieve on canvas, it’s more likely that viewers of that art will know exactly what they’re looking at.
The same goes for marketing. You want your marketing to tell a story and for people to understand that story. While you might find success with trying random ideas and seeing what sticks over time, the end result is typically much clearer when you start with a plan.
The absolute first step in setting strategy marketing goals is to identify your business goals. Do you want to increase your business revenue by 20% this year? Are you adding a new service to expand your offerings and want to ensure people know about it? Or are you simply wanting to maintain where you are for right now? Be sure your business goals are measurable so you know whether or not your marketing efforts help you achieve them.
Your marketing goals should also be measurable, but there are different ways to measure them. You can have a goal that’s centered around the activities and the output, or you can have a goal that’s centered around the outcome. An output goal might be posting two blogs per month, but then you want to a dig a little deeper and ask yourself about the outcome of that goal. Are you blogging in order to improve SEO rankings? Or are you blogging to showcase your expertise and gain new clients? What other output goals do you have that could also impact those two outcome goals?
If you’re spending the time on marketing activities (or investing in outsource support for those activities), it’s important to identify both your business goals and your marketing goals and how those marketing activities will help get you there. Otherwise, you may just be splattering paint on a canvas and hoping for the best.
If you need help developing a comprehensive communications plan for your small business or nonprofit, contact us to schedule a consultation and see if we’re a good fit for your needs.