One of the most important things a company can do prior to planning a marketing campaign is solidifying the campaign’s goal. Campaign planning can’t be a shot in the dark, and having measurable goals makes your future campaigns smarter and more effective. I’ve identified a few key components of the goal-setting and measurement process, which are a perfect starting point for your campaign planning:
Know What Type of Goal You Really Need. Sometimes the goal isn’t – or shouldn’t be – buy, buy, buy. The business need of your goal type will largely be influenced by: the product (does it have a long or short purchase cycle? What is the price point?), the target’s relationship with the product (do they have zero awareness of your product? Are they familiar with your product but not using it? Why?), and the company’s share within the market (is your target buying your competitor’s product, but not your product? Is your product totally new to market?). All of these questions and more will influence the type of goal to set. The following are just a few examples of marketing goal types:
- Generate awareness
- Change perceptions
- Encourage trial
- Increase sales
- Encourage repeat purchase/keep current customers from leaving
- Grow your market share
- Grow your product’s category
Be SMART. If you squint really hard and think all the way back to grade school, you may remember setting “SMART” goals. But hey, this framework isn’t as basic as you think – MIT uses the SMART format for employee performance development, and marketing software company HubSpot has recommended using it for marketing goal-setting. Because goal-setting can be like navigating muddy waters, using this framework can help you get a clearer picture. Goals should be:
Specific – The goal should be clearly-written and explicit. Put it through an approval process with people that both work on the project, and those that don’t.
Measurable – Make sure goals are quantifiable and there is a measurement plan in place. Tracking ROI on previous campaigns can help with both budgeting and setting intelligent goals for new campaigns.
Attainable – Ensure you’re setting the campaign up for success by allowing adequate time upfront to strategize and plan. In addition, know what internal tools and research are available to help make smarter decisions (for example, is there a database of current customer data you can draw from and model?
Realistic – No amount of money in the world will get Nike 100 percent market share for athletic shoes, and it may take a lot of money to get them just a 2 percent increase. Examine outside factors that might affect the campaign when setting goals.
Time-Bound – Limit goals to a certain time frame that is limited but realistic.
Know What To Measure, and How To Measure It. This may be a big giant “duh,” but for each goal type, you’ll want to measure different things. Campaigns with increased-awareness goals may want to utilize a brand metric study, or track increases in branded organic search volume. Utilizing an analytics tracking platform can help measure interest and sales, and provide other valuable information related to the campaign (knowing half your sales come from Chicago will likely influence future planning).
Using these three steps to set clear, intelligent goals before planning a marketing campaign can help you get results, save money and grow your business. If you need help with your goals, we know some pretty great marketers who’d be happy to help – give us a call at 608-232-2300.