When it comes to marketing, we all have the same primary goal: be seen by the right people at the right time, so they will buy our products. This goal can be overwhelming. There are millions of business fish in the marketing sea, all screaming to be heard and wearing their trendiest scales. So how do you make your business stand out like a Glamazon in a room full of tuxedos?
By following these 3 steps: set SMART goals, create a strategy, and get tactical.
Setting SMART Goals Before you can create anything, you have to get clear on what you’re trying to do. Creating goals is essential to having a business, but often we make goals too vague to drive us forward. So how we ensure our goals are actually helpful to our company? By making sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound—S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific It’s not enough to make generalized statements. We all want to earn more money, sell more products, and attract more customers. Getting granular and giving your goals a number makes them specific and makes us want to work harder to attain that number. Whether you use hard numbers (I want to sell 500 bracelets this quarter) or percentages (I want to increase client sessions by 20% this year), get explicit so there are no uncertain terms.
- Measurable You need to be able to definitively measure your progress towards your goal. Figuring out how you will measure your growth gives you a strategic advantage and helps keep you focused. Think about the last time you wanted to lose weight. Did you wait until you felt lighter to call it a success, or did you measure your weight loss using a scale? If you can’t think of a way to concisely measure your progress, your goal may need to be more specific.
- Attainable Goals are supposed to be challenging; however, they should still be achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting an unrealistic goal. The trick here is to find what feels comfortable and go just beyond that. Taking that tippy-toe step out of your comfort zone will help you push forward, without feeling overwhelmed.
- Realistic Be honest with yourself (and your team if you have one) and give yourself a little grace. If you have kids or another job, setting a goal that will require 40+ hours a week is probably too aggressive. Also, make sure you’re leaving yourself some margin. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it should be that we have to leave a little wiggle room for life and the unexpected to happen. You know how much you (and your team) are capable of and what will move your business forward.
- Time-bound Give your goal a deadline. Someday isn’t going to cut it this time. Pull out your calendar and set a specific date for your goals to start and end. You decide the length and intervals of your goals, so make sure the timing works well for your business’s needs. Whether you choose biweekly, quarterly, yearly, or even 5 years from now, your goal needs a timeline to make it concrete.
Remember, like a great outfit, goals don’t have to be complex to be good. The most important thing is that you’re setting goals that will benefit your business and propel it forward. Here a few questions you may want to ask yourself when establishing your SMART goals:
- At the end of the time frame, will the work you put in enhance your business, even if you don’t reach your goal?
- Is the goal something you want for your business, or is it something you feel pressured to achieve?
- Does the goal feel a little scary, or does it seem too large to accomplish within the time frame?
- Is the goal scale-able or repeatable?
Creating a marketing strategy Once you know what you’re trying to do, you need a plan for getting there. Your strategy is basically your map for getting from where you are now to the goal that you set for your business. Creating a strategy is where we break down our goal into smaller steps to get us to the finish line. Plans need to be actionable and semi-specific to help you achieve your goals.
For example: If your goal is to sell 500 t-shirts by the end of the year, you need to come up with steps you can take to achieve this goal. You may want to sell your products on social media, drive traffic to your website, and encourage existing customers to repeat purchase. These are all steps in the right direction, and doing so will definitely move you to (and maybe even past) your goal. Unfortunately, creating a strategy is often where we stop when we create our marketing campaigns.
Getting tactical No matter how great your marketing strategy is, its as useful as a veggie dog at a meat convention if you don’t implement it tactically. Breaking down your plan into deliberate, actionable steps will give you clarity and a decided path to action. Tactics are the ” highly practical things you will do every day” (Southwell, 2019). They can include everything from attending appointments and logging in mileage to sending tweets and writing blog posts. In RuPaul terms, these are the steps he takes to transform his everyday self to his Glamazon alter-ego.
Going with our example goal of selling 500 t-shirts by the end of the year, here’s how to breakdown strategies into tactics:
- Strategy #1: Sell your products on social media
- Turn on Instagram Shopping
- Create shoppable posts and Instagram stories
- Run Facebook ads featuring select products
- Strategy #2: Drive traffic to your website
- Ensure website URL is featured on social media accounts
- Engage with 10+ target audience members on Instagram each day
- Use swipe up feature in Instagram stories to link website 2+ times per week
- Strategy #3: Encourage existing customers to repeat purchase
- Send discount code with order delivery
- Email existing customers a special discount for the next purchase
- Develop customer reward program offering exclusive access to new designs before they launch
How do you know when you meet your goals? Just as Ru looks in the mirror to see his transformation, we have tools to measure our progress and gage our tactics: key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are the metrics you use to track specific areas of your strategies and will vary depending on your goals. As a general rule, KPIs should be focused & goal specific, easy to measure and report, and easy to assign to teams or individuals (Ong, 2020).
An example of using KPIs would be tracking the number of subscribers you have to your email list and the open rate and click-through rate. If you’re sending email offers to existing customers to persuade them to purchase again, knowing these metrics could help you understand what resonates with customers and what needs to be improved. KPIs are basically the measuring sticks we use to track our growth and decide what’s working and what needs to be improved upon.
Now, go out there and create your fiercest goals.
Ong, C. (2020, June 18). How the Experts Set SMART Goals and KPIs. Retrieved July 19, 2020, from https://envisio.com/blog/how-the-experts-set-smart-goals-and-kpis/
Southwell, C. (2019, July 15). The Difference Between Marketing Strategy vs Tactics – Explaining the Difference. Retrieved July 19, 2020, from http://charliesaidthat.com/digital/digital/difference-between-marketing-strategy-vs-tactics-an-example/