Marketing objectives are goals you set and they range from increasing sales to building your email list. Each marketing campaign that you create should ideally have a goal or objective attached to it. Without a goal, you’re essentially shooting in the dark. You have no idea what your marketing is supposed to achieve and no means of actually measuring success. Not good.
Imagine sending emails to your list for over a year without any goal or objective. You send email after email, which entails a significant amount of time, energy, and money, and each message that you send is written based on whatever you happened to be thinking about on the day you were scheduled to write an email message. At the end of the year you have no idea if your emails helped your business in any way.
Now imagine sending emails with the explicit objective to drive traffic to the sales page for your entry level product or service. You’re now able to craft content toward that objective. You’re also able to look over your email analytics for the year and evaluate how many people read your messages, clicked, and bought your entry level item. That’s a much smarter approach, right? Yet so many people market their hearts out without any real direction or goal.
It’s vital that you set your objectives before you begin planning the campaign. The goals you set actually help guide your actions. Instead of shooting in the dark, you have an exact target. You can test, track, and fine tune your efforts so that you hit your target.
To put it succinctly, before you create a marketing campaign, you have to decide exactly what you’re trying to achieve so you can measure whether or not you were successful.
I will show you how to create marketing objectives for your campaigns, so you can reach your goals and I’ve included tips and examples.
Where Do Your Objectives Come From?
Now you might be scratching your head at this point and wondering how you’re going to create the right objectives for your marketing campaigns. There’s good news… you already have the foundation for your goals. First, do you have a marketing strategy? If you do, great! That strategy should include a few goals. What did you want to accomplish this year with your marketing efforts? You can use that information to help you create objectives for each campaign.
If you don’t have a marketing strategy, then it’s time to work backwards a little bit more. Let’s take a look at your business plan. What were your goals for your business plan?
For example, maybe you wanted to increase your customer base or boost sales. Hopefully you were a bit more specific about those goals but we’ll get to that shortly. Essentially, you base your campaign objectives on your marketing strategy, which is ultimately based on the goals you set for your business.
For example, the goal of increasing your email list with a new opt-in might support your overall marketing strategy goal, which was to increase your customer base, which also supports the same business goal.
Bottom line; if you’re not sure where to start, go back to your business plan and review your goals. Then devise marketing goals that support your business goals. Now goals like “increase my email list” and “grow my customer base” are nice goals, but they’re not good enough for your purposes.
Let’s take a look at how to set highly targeted, and therefore potentially more effective, marketing campaign goals.
How Do You Set Objectives or Goals?
Are you familiar with the concept of SMART goals?
This means that each goal is:
S – Specific – Is the goal precise and easy to understand?
Theresa’s Tip: The goal “to grow my business” isn’t specific. How are you going to grow it? Where will it grow? On the other hand, “to increase my annual sales” is more specific. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
M – Measurable – Is the goal quantified? Can you measure it?
For example, how can you measure a growth in annual sales? The statement alone isn’t measurable.
However, if you say “to increase my sales by 10%” or “to grow my sales by $100,000” is a measurable number. You can look at the data at the end of the campaign and tell if you reached it.
A – Achievable – Is the goal realistic? Do you have the resources to make your goal a reality?
R – Relevant – Does the goal support your overall business goals? Is it relevant to the direction you want to take your business?
T – Time Bound – How much time do you have to achieve your goal?
For example, “I want to increase my annual sales by 10% in the next six months.”
Here are a few examples of SMART goals:
- Achieve an annual sales growth rate of at least 15% this coming year.
- Grow my email list to 5,000 in the next six months.
- Increase my website traffic to 5,000 visitors a day by January (or whatever month you choose).
Of course, not all goals are relevant to the marketing tactic. You have to establish the right goal for the marketing medium you’re using and the audience that’s receiving the message.
Theresa’s Tip: You probably wouldn’t decide to use email marketing to grow your email list. (You could create a “forward to a friend” campaign to get current subscribers to help you increase your list, but that’s a little contrived.)
Once you’ve identified marketing tactics and aligned your marketing objectives, you’re halfway there. The next steps are to take action and follow through on your marketing efforts.
Finally, there’s one more powerful source of information to help you set the best goals for your marketing campaigns… the past.
Look to Your Past for Answers – The Importance of Reviewing, Assessing, and Adapting
Your past marketing efforts can help you identify the right goals for your future campaigns. Your past analytics can be extremely useful.
Additionally, as you work through current marketing campaigns, schedule time to consistently review your progress. Don’t wait until the campaign is over to measure success. Use analytics and other testing and tracking measures to stay on top of your efforts. You can make small changes and adapt your campaign as you go to achieve the best results possible.
Your success is my business!