As your business grows, you need to establish clear, focused, and measurable marketing objectives.
While that may sound daunting, you can manage that goal by understanding the context of your industry and following key best practices.
Assess Past Performance
You should first evaluate the previous year’s objectives. Rigorously assess what worked, what fell short, and why.
Celebrate your victories while determining the steps you took to achieve them—and see if you can replicate that success. Be sure to also workshop the weaknesses you find, and define steps that can help turn them into strengths.
You’ll have a simpler time creating new goals that are grounded in reality—while still stretching your team and climbing to new heights.
Understand Market Trends
In addition to past performances, gaining a comprehensive understanding of current market trends is vital. You should be well-versed in market conditions, competitor strategies, and customer preferences.
Consider this an “always on” practice. You should always be keenly attuned to your marketplace’s pulse to shape relevant, realistic objectives.
Identify Your Target Audience
Your audience is the North Star of your marketing objectives. You should know the demographics, behaviors, and needs of your ideal customers like the back of your hand.
Keep and maintain a system that identifies who falls into your target group, and study these individuals well.
Your marketing efforts should speak to them and their needs directly, helping your efforts land while enhancing effectiveness and your return on investment.
Adopt a Customer-Centric Approach
Understanding your audience is the first step to adopting a customer-centric approach.
Use your customers to guide your marketing decisions, such as clearly defining their pain points and determining how your services or solution can ease those pains.
Make sure your objectives are centered on enhancing customer satisfaction. The more you care, the more your customers will, which goes a long way in increasing brand loyalty and profitability.
Establish Clear, Measurable Goals
Follow the five “SMART” goals in marketing by ensuring your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Vague objectives can lack the nuance and accountability you need to achieve real results. You and your team can then develop a plan of action based on clear criteria, breaking down a single goal into smaller, doable steps.
Allocate Resources Wisely
Resources are finite, and you should ensure you have what you need to achieve your marketing objectives. Assess your budget, manpower, and technology, and keep note of tightly constrained areas.
You want to be cognizant of staying within the limits of your resources—such as ensuring your team still maintains flexibility and work/life balance—while achieving your goals.
You may need to shift priorities within the team, see where you can save on costs, and invest in tools and technologies that align with your marketing strategies.
Feedback is a goldmine for improvement, and you should regularly solicit feedback from customers, employees, and industry peers. Keep your group varied, but know which feedback to prioritize—and what’s most realistic for your goals.
Collaborate internally to decide the best ways to incorporate feedback, what is most relevant for your organization, and what may not align with your current goals.
Analyze and Adjust
Your objectives are not etched in stone. They should reflect your ever-changing marketplace, vision, and audience—and be prepared to make adjustments to be as successful as you can be.
Maintain a regular cadence with your team to determine where and how to be agile. Don’t assume that establishing and then reviewing your goals is enough.
Take steps in between to see what’s working and what should change.
Utilize The Right Tools
As a footnote, make good use of tools and platforms for data analysis, customer relationship management, and market research.
This technology can help you not just in the formation of your marketing objectives, but also in your end-of-year review, helping you quantify your successes.
Be in the market for tools that fall in line with your budget and manpower. Some tools may require a specialist to ingest and interpret deep analytics, but the knowledge you’ll glean is often worth the initial investment.
Determining your organization’s marketing objectives each year is a meticulous, though invaluable, process. It’s important to understand that your objectives can—and should—flex as your marketplace and audience do, too.
Be comfortable with the change that comes with it, and keep lines of communication open with your team, peers, and industry experts.
Need a head start to quickly understand where you can maximize your current marketing efforts?