How to Set Marketing Goals for 2019
By Jacob Brain
It’s that time of the year again. Gyms suddenly get busy. Book sales increase. The crowd at fast food restaurants thins out. Why? New Year’s resolutions.
If you make New Year’s resolutions, you may already know what they are. Lose weight. Make more money. Learn a new skill or hobby.
But what about your marketing goals?
Where should your company’s marketing be at the end of 2019? How about the end of Q1? How are you going to get there? What makes up a good goal?
Let’s take a look.
Why you need marketing goals
If you want your business to grow and progress, you need to know what that progression is towards. If everyone on your marketing team is pulling in different directions there won’t be any progress. Goals paint a clear picture of what your team is working towards so everyone can create congruent work with that end-point in mind.
Even if you get your whole team working in the same general direction, without a goal you still won’t know when you have crossed the finish line or how close to it you are. A good goal is attached to an objective measurement so that you can not only tell when you have completed it, but so that you can measure your steps toward it. You can tell what campaigns brought you closer to that desired state, and which ones didn’t.
“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker
What makes a good goal?
Not every goal is a good goal. Many “goals” are not even true goals, but nonspecific wishes or lofty notions of “better”. A goal stating that you want your business to “rank number one on Google” provides very little value. What keywords(s) do you want to rank for? When do you want to rank number one by? Is that even a realistic goal for your business?
Many of us have heard of the classic SMART acronym, but it is easy to get so dragged down by minutia that we miss the “obvious,” so it is worth a review:
Nebulous goals will only create confusion. Each goal you create needs to be clear and specific as to avoid any confusion in purpose. Think through the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) when deciding whether your goal is specific enough. Your goals should answer these, even if they are implicit.
As mentioned earlier, in order to determine progress and completion towards a goal it needs to be measurable. Those who see your goal need to know exactly at which point it is considered accomplished. Most of the time in a marketing context these will be numbers, but they can also be more boolean in nature.
It is easy to go to one of the two extremes when setting goals: either shooting unrealistically high, or pitifully low. Generally, in a business context it will be the former. Rarely would an executive set a goal for himself “not to get a salary cut this year”.
That being said, the goal needs to be challenging but achievable. Big enough to excite and energize …read more
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