We’ve all been there. You start the year off with the best intentions. “This year is going to be great! I’m going to achieve my business goals for growth and profitability, and maybe meet some personal goals, too!”
Unfortunately, by the time March rolls around you realize that you’re not as well on your way to achieving those goals as you’d like. Maybe your goals weren’t specific enough. Perhaps you realized that, with the daily tasks associated with running your business you just didn’t have time. Or, maybe you never set goals in the first place.
We’re here to help. Whether you’ve gotten off track to meeting your goals or need assistance with the goal setting process, this post is for you. Rest assured, this isn’t another post about setting SMART goals, nor will we give you a template to follow for goal setting. Instead, use these five simple but impactful tips to set and achieve your marketing goals this year.
1. Review and analyze your data from past years.
If we’re being honest, this is something you should be doing anyway. However, it’s critical to the goal setting process that you set specific goals for yourself. To do this, you’ll need to look at what has and has not worked in years past, then reevaluate your marketing strategy to get the results you want.
As you analyze your data, identify your most important KPIs. Will you focus on online conversion rates? Decreasing the cost per lead? Maybe you’d like to increase the percentage of return visitors or customer lifetime value?
Of course, your digital marketing strategy will encompass each of the most important key performance indicators to your business, but by exploring what may have been weaknesses in past years, you can set measurable, attainable marketing goals that are based on improving your strategy.
2. “You do you.”
Every business is unique, and yours is no exception.
You may have one marketing goal or you may have ten. You know your business better than anyone, so you decide what works for you. Following a cookie cutter list of metrics to track or vowing to be “number one on Google searches” will only set you up to fail to meet your goals.
Decide what’s important to you and to the growth of your business and set your goals accordingly. You do you, and you’ll find you have more motivation to succeed.
3. Be realistic.
Realistic goal setting is critical to success. Setting the bar too high is a recipe for failure; that’s true for personal and professional goals. A very simplistic example of this would be a person who resolved to lose 100 pounds in three months. Can it be done? Maybe. Is it realistic? Certainly not.
Setting realistic goals may mean different things for different businesses. Consider breaking down your long-term goal into smaller benchmark goals. For instance, you might want to set a goal of increasing your lead conversion rate to 3 percent in the first two quarters of the year.
Look back at your growth over the past several years, then set attainable goals based on that data. Break your long-term goals down into bite-sized chunks, and get to work.
4. Challenge yourself.
The flip side of setting attainable goals is setting challenging ones. Remember that person who wanted to lose 100 pounds in three months? Imagine he had set a goal for himself of just 10 pounds. That’s setting the bar very low, and it’s conceivable he could meet that goal in just a few weeks’ time.
Your goals, both personally and professionally, should be about challenging yourself to always do better. To always be better. To constantly strive to improve, and to grow and learn in the process. Setting easy to achieve goals won’t assist you in that growth. Seek to challenge yourself with the resolutions you make.
Setting challenging goals for yourself means you’re going to need a strategy. Consider your budget, the resources at your disposal and give some thought to the obstacles you might face. Then, create a strategy that will have you on your way to achieving a challenging (yet attainable) set of goals.
5. Check your progress regularly.
You’ve already identified your most important KPIs. You know the metrics you want to see for your digital marketing goals and you have a strategy in place to get you where you want to be. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting to check your progress regularly.
No matter what goal you set for yourself, you’re going to have setbacks. Let’s consider the weight loss goal one more time. Imagine that, after a week of exercise and healthy eating, our weight loss friend has only lost a pound. That’s discouraging! In fact, it’s enough for some to just give up the goal entirely.
“Weighing in” regularly will be discouraging sometimes, but it’s essential to the process of reaching your digital marketing goals. Rather than becoming discouraged by the occasional setback, celebrate your successes and use the data you collect to course correct. We recommend you check your progress once each week. Whatever you decide, keep your schedule consistent and don’t let minor setbacks impede your progress.
Setting goals isn’t a “set it and forget it” thing. Reaching your goals is going to take work, and you’ll need to self-evaluate and course-correct from time to time.
As you implement a digital marketing strategy, goal setting is going to be extremely important. After all, it’s how you’ll measure if the strategy you’re using is moving the needle. However, don’t spend so much time considering possible goals and strategies that you forget to take action!
If you find you need help setting goals, or could use assistance getting back on track toward meeting your digital marketing resolutions, download our free cheat sheet “10 Steps to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy”!
In this download, we break down the whole process into 10 simple steps so you feel equipped to design a digital marketing strategy that is effective for your business! We've intentionally designed this guide to work for any individual, organization or business, no matter the type or size.