Goal Setting 101
This time of year, we’re all thinking about what we want to achieve in the new year and what our resolutions should be. When thinking about your company, what are your resolutions for the coming year? It’s likely time to set some goals.
Why do we set goals?
Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.“
That quote perfectly summarizes why we set goals. Goals give us direction and purpose. Setting and pursuing goals allows us to work together toward a common vision for the future. Without them, teams run the risk of meaningless productivity.
When it comes to marketing, proper goal setting and measurement can also help us determine whether certain strategies, campaigns, and other efforts are effective.
There are many approaches to goal setting in use today, but at ALINE, we prefer to use the SMART goals approach, which requires that each goal be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
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Goals should be clear, unambiguous and precise - you need to understand exactly what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it.
Each goal should identify a quantifiable outcome so you can measure your progress against the goal and determine if you have met it or not. For instance, if your goal is to increase sales, put a percentage increase or revenue number on it: “increase sales 20% over last year” or “meet a net sales goal of $200,000.”
Set goals that are challenging but possible to achieve. If your goal is to increase sales 2,000% over last year, but your increases over the last few years with similar marketing efforts were only 10-20%, it’s unlikely you will meet that goal. Consider what your needs dictate and balance that against the resources available to develop goals that are aggressive, yet attainable.
How does this goal align with your company’s larger goals? Does it advance your strategic plan? A relevant goal will neatly fit with your larger marketing, business and strategic goals.
Give yourself a set timeframe to achieve your goal. How long will the display ad campaign run? When do you need the website to go live? What date is the event you are promoting? These are all great questions to ask when putting a timeframe on a goal.
Examples of SMART Goals
Let’s say your boss has asked you to create a marketing campaign to re-engage lapsed customers. When you turn to the ALINE team, we will work with you to turn that into a SMART goal.
The goal is clear in that there’s a result stated, to re-engage lapsed customers. However, it is not specific as to what “re-engage” constitutes; does that mean that they open an email, or does it mean that they make a purchase? What counts as a lapsed customer? Someone who hasn’t made a purchase in three years, or five years?
This goal is also not measurable - how many lapsed customers do you need to engage? How are we going to define success in this project?
We also need to make sure that the goal is achievable. If you have a list of 20,000 lapsed customers, how many can you realistically expect to engage over the set timeframe? How much information on the list is outdated or incorrect? If there’s a revenue number attached, how much is one re-engagement worth?
Is the goal relevant to larger company goals? Consider your customer life-cycle and how this goal advances larger strategic initiatives.
Finally, we need to put a timeframe around the goal. State the date the goal needs to be met by and the length of time (example: within 6 weeks).
Once we know the answers to all of those questions, the SMART version of that goal could be easily defined.
Stated goal: to re-engage lapsed customers.
SMART goal: By the end of Q2, we will generate $15,000 in sales from customers who have not made a purchase in the last two years.
We hope these insights into creating SMART goals can help support, shape and kick-start your New Year marketing plans. Need a bit more help? ALINE Account Managers can help you and your team set and achieve specific, measurable goals for your marketing next year. Let’s make some resolutions together!