How to Create Attainable Marketing..

how-to-create-attainable-marketing-objectives

This isn't the first time you've set some goals for your marketing team, but do your goals sound more like a lofty new year's resolution or a true action plan? If it's the latter - great! But anything other than that is going to create inefficiencies in your day to day work and lead you off course as the year goes on. One of our favorite systems is the SMART goals system; it's straightforward, easy to implement, and has stood the test of time because it works! Putting this system into place will ensure that you attain your marketing goals and attract more business.

1. Specific

This is the stage where you really define the goal and drill down on the what, where, why, and who of your goal. Let's start with a key piece of this step; the "why". Before any change can take place, you need to state why the goal is important and why it's a part of the campaign. Studies show over and over that when employees know why they are doing something, they are much more invested in the process and more motivated to act. Once you've defined the specific goal for you and your marketing team, talk about who is involved and what each person's role is - this creates more buy-in too. It also gets people excited about seeing where they fit into the bigger picture and how they contribute to the overall goal. Once you've defined the "why" and "who" of the goal, the later step of figuring out "how" becomes much more streamlined since everyone is now on the same page. Working out the nuts and bolts of how the goal is going to play out over the marketing campaign is now simply a matter of each team member contributing to the plan.

2. Measurable

Now come the numbers - the stuff that every manager wants to see if you're on target! Decide how much or by what percentage you want something to increase. For example, if part of your goal is to increase qualified leads from your social media channels, first take a look at how many leads you currently have coming in from Facebook, Twitter, and other campaigns you've used in the past. Then make a reasonable goal based on your sales and marketing resources and how many leads you'll need to bring in to reach that target dollar amount. Beyond just being a number, you need to also be able to track this progress and measure it, so make sure that you have the reporting tools in place to check on how you're doing.

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3. Action-Oriented

If you've done step #1 and have outlined some of the specifics of your goal, the action plan or "how" becomes relatively easy. This step is where you simply state what you are going to do! Assign each team member tasks and deliverables that feed into that overall goal. Let's use the previous goal as an example: if you're going to increase leads via social media channels, part of that is assigning someone the task of publishing a daily schedule for your social media channels. Additionally, you'll want to have someone review the reports to see where your leads are coming from and adjust the plan to invest more time and resources in those profitable channels.

4. Realistic

Your goals should be the right combination of optimistic and challenging. You want your team to reach some success early on so that they're encouraged to keep going and working towards the overall goal. If you're goal is too high and not realistic, you are going to set everyone up for failure. Not a good idea since this causes people to disengage and lose motivation. If you've set a goal that is a bit unrealistic, look at why that might be. Do you need to outsource some tasks that might enable your current team members to do their jobs more efficiently, therefore allowing them to stay on task with the goals you've given them? Or are your sales and marketing teams not communicating and you're out of touch with what a reasonable and realistic goal should be? Whatever the case may be, do a thorough check of your goals and make sure that you and your team can attain them, which only leads to more success. And that's something that we all want to shoot for!

5. Time

Finally, decide when you want to achieve this result. Don't throw out a goal with no timeline; it's bad management. Your team will feel lost and may even make up their own deadlines if you're not clear about when this goal should be achieved. If your goal is to increase your Facebook leads by 25%, how about stating "by the end of Q1"? Putting a stake in the ground gives everyone a sense of what they're working toward, and allows you as a manager to do some monthly reviews before you hit that first deadline at the end of the quarter. Having a clearly defined timeline helps everyone, including you, manage their workflows and see if they're on target.

So definitley take some time to develop a goal system that will put you and your team on the path to success from month to month and the whole year through!

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