It’s goal-setting time.
And business owners have lots of goals: hiring goals, growth goals, networking goals. They provide momentum and purpose; in fact, research continues to demonstrate that goals are motivating for employees and employers alike.
So, business goals are critical to achievement and innovation. But if your marketing doesn’t support them, you’re going to struggle to hit your milestones. How can you do both: establish strong goals and support them with marketing? Find out in this article.
Guide to Business Goals
Moving beyond the obvious, the effectiveness of goal setting has scientific grounding. You may view goals as simply useful for providing structure to your fiscal year, but there is a deeper, psychological utility to them.
Why business goals matter
In a seminal study from Lantham and Locke, they unearthed the true value of goal setting – motivation. Goals stimulate “purposefully directed action.” And this is key to a business’ success: harnessing your teams’ energy and directing it toward productivity.
What’s more, a well-built goal will include milestones, giving your team opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment, bask in positive feedback, and celebrate the little wins along the way. All servers to further invigorate their will to achieve and form stronger internal bonds.
What makes a good business goal?
Your efforts are only as good as your goal. Goals like “become more profitable” or “grow market share” may reflect your priorities but are too vague to provide direction. Where to begin? Where to end?
It leaves you perpetually climbing up an infinite rope. No milestones. No sense of accomplishment. No point to re-prioritize.
To mitigate this, we recommend following the SMART Model for business goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
This point is simple; goals should be clear and specific.
Example: “I will hire more people” ✖️
“I will hire 2 new salespeople before Q3.” ✔️
Setting milestones and tracking your progress requires goals to be measurable. Adding a number to your goal, or devising it into enumerated tasks, for example, will make your goal measurable.
Example: I will increase my business’ market share by 5% this year.
Be realistic about your goals. Sometimes we aren’t clear on what’s reasonable until we try, but focusing on keeping your goal achievable is crucial – otherwise, what’s the point?
You may have to consult experts with more experience, or research industry benchmarks before setting specific goals. But working toward an unachievable goal will cause more harm than good for you and your team.
Example: “I will be the #1 reseller in the USA.” ✖
“I will become the #1 reseller in my area.” ✔️
Review those vague achievements you have in mind – these are your priorities. Your SMART goals should align with your priorities as a business and fit into your broader objectives. Additionally, you should work to uphold the vision and mission of your company.
Example: My business’ mission statement is to provide clients with efficiency solutions to increase their productivity and profitability, so I will optimize my website for user experience (UX) and simplify transactions for repeat customers.
Goals should have a time limit. Setting timelines keeps everyone accountable and, like measurability, allows you to track your progress and recalibrate if necessary. Plus, everyone wants a finish line; otherwise, you’re just staring up that infinite rope.
Example: I will generate new sales enablement kits for my team by the end of Q1.
Supporting Your Business Goals with Marketing
Marketing goes hand-in-hand with business goals. Don’t just lean on your sales team to help you – use all the tools in your toolbox.
Harnessing the power of marketing can transform businesses. From networking to hiring, marketing makes it easy to quantify goals, track progress, and identify pitfalls.
#1. Establish goals and priorities
Your goals for your business may shift from quarter-to-quarter, or maybe you just have a few overarching goals for the year – either way, you want to establish your goals first.
It helps to start vague then get specific. Review past accomplishments and your loose ends. What do you want to expand on? What needs to be improved? What is your customer and employee feedback? These questions can help you frame what to focus on and develop a SMART goal.
Goals can be categorized as:
General goals from those themes include:
- Increase revenue or market share
- Expand customer base
- Branch out into new verticals
- Improve customer service
- Offer competitive salaries
- Better serve your community
#2. Build marketing strategy
Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to build a marketing strategy to support them.
For example, if one of your goals is hiring, your marketing strategy should include tactics such as:
- Updating your company’s LinkedIn profile
- Posting friendly photos of your staff on your page
- Running digital ads to entice applicants outside of job boards
This is a great example of using marketing to accomplish your business objectives.
Here’s another example. Take the #1 small business goal: profitability.
Becoming and maintaining profitability starts with revenue. And marketing can help.
In the B2B space, email marketing offers a strong ROI, averaging $38 return for every $1 spent, and has the power to single-handedly increase a company’s revenue. Additionally, it serves to nurture your client’s loyalty and warm up new prospects.
Example: “My goal is to become the #1 reseller in my city, so I want to increase the number and quality of my customer reviews by offering incentives to clients who leave my business a positive review on Google.”
This is a great breakdown of how a specific goal becomes achievable with a complementary marketing strategy.
#3. Set KPIs & Track Progress
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, measure the performance of a specific objective. Click-through-rates (CTRs), conversion rates, and open rates are examples of common KPIs in marketing campaigns.
However, which KPIs to concentrate on is goal dependent. Let’s breakdown what that means.
Goal: Increased Sales
Marketing KPIs: Quantity of sales and marketing qualified leads (SQLs and MQLs), conversion rates, cost-per-conversion
Sales KPIs: Monthly sales growth, profit margins, quote-to-close ratio
With a quantified goal, you can easily track your progress by following your KPIs over time; watch how you measure up to your targets on an ongoing basis. Check if you’re hitting milestones. Inform project managers when things are falling behind.
Ultimately, KPIs keep you accountable and immediately expose pitfalls. You can see what is working and what needs to be approved upon in real-time, empowering you and your team to be successful.
Extu makes accomplishing your business objectives easier with our fully-funded campaigns. Our partners receive monthly newsletters and social media content created and curated by IT industry experts. What’s more, we offer our partners monthly custom content, sales enablement support, and campaign insights at the click of the button.
Tap into your connections, generate new leads, and track your progress with our low-effort, no-cost marketing program, so your team can spend more time on the big things.