If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen.
It may seem silly to spend time writing a marketing plan. The marketing landscape shifts so much, you just adjust your strategy as you go along. So there’s really no need to write down marketing objectives, right?
Studies show writing down your goals is a powerful way to ensure those goals are achieved. While many of these studies are looking at the individual, this same concept can be applied to a larger entity. In fact, getting your marketing department (and sales team) on the same page is essential to effectiveness. One way to make sure you are all aligned is by having set, defined goals.
Crafting a strong marketing plan around solid objectives will make a huge difference in your strategy and success.
Choosing Marketing Objectives
Every company and organization has different expectations of their marketing departments. For some, the focus is on a large volume of leads. For others, they are looking to improve the quality of those leads. There might also be a plan to trim down a long sales process.
Getting everyone on the same page by selecting a few, focused marketing objectives will do wonders for your marketing strategy. But there are a few things you should keep in mind before you set your objectives in stone.
A tried and true format for choosing marketing objectives is to set SMART objectives.
- Specific: The objective must be clear and straightforward.
- Measurable: Choose an objective that is measurable. Otherwise, identifying its effectiveness is like trying to grab a handful of sand: a lot of it just slips out of your hands.
- Attainable: The objective needs to be realistic. Don’t set impossible goals that will only burn your employees out.
- Relevant: Select an objective that actually has an impact on your business’s overall vision.
- Time-Bound: Choose a specific start and end point. This may mean the duration of the year, or you may break it down into quarterly goals.
Using this method can at least begin the process of deciding on a marketing objective that is actually relevant to the work you do, as well as a manageable goal.
Crafting a Strategy
Once you have defined objectives for your marketing team, it is time to identify a strategy that will help you obtain those goals. Basically, you know where you are, and you know where you want to be, but you have to decide on the route you are going to take.
This is a great time to review what worked and what didn’t in the previous year or quarter. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year. Instead, focus on what you know did or did not work from the previous period, and apply that towards creating your strategy for the future.
Let’s say that you want to increase your leads. Review what sources brought in the most leads throughout the past year. If blogging was a main factor, but you’ve only been blogging twice a week, try bumping that number up to three or four times a week. Make sure you are optimizing your blog posts for search. Also, evaluate results. If posting frequently to Google My Business has brought in few to zero leads in the previous year, it might be time to reconsider that platform.
Every year, it is essential to have a written plan for obtaining your marketing objectives. It’s not just writing it down! Keeping yourself and your marketing department focused on the objective will make your far more likely to achieve those results.