Marketing goals

How to set marketing goals that help your business grow in 2019

To paraphrase Peter Drucker’s famous maxim: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” To be successful in 2019, your agency must have goals with concrete application, especially if you hope to combine them with an action-oriented strategy. You can only achieve this by setting clear, measurable marketing goals.

Here are five strategies we have found to be effective in really making a difference for our agency and our clients:

1. Review your year

This suggestion should be more than just checking out what you actually accomplished versus what you wanted to accomplish. I’m talking about digging into the details of what really happened: why didn’t the media bite this story idea? What additional behaviors from the target audience could you have exploited for this client? How could you attract new customers?

2. Set yourself “SMART” goals

Agencies have been rocked by vanity marketing measures for too long. Our industry has relied on impressions, shares, clicks and other non-contextual data points to communicate the value and impact of our work. And that has to change.

As we prepare for the year ahead, I challenged my agency to set “SMART” goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – for their careers, our business and our clients. Rather than strictly setting goals that measure your efforts, these should be defined marketing goals that are directly related to the growth of your customers or your own business and that effect change in customers.

This approach has paid off for one of our clients, Orangetheory Fitness. At the beginning of 2018, they came to us with the desire to increase the total number of members. We responded by setting specific marketing goals for the type, quality and frequency of media interactions pursued by the company. These weren’t about ego-driven goals, but goals that could actually boost business, especially lead flow.

3. Rethink your processes

You need to understand the work you do for clients from a practical street level perspective. You can’t set and then achieve marketing goals if you don’t have good systems in place.

You should also discuss with your employees and customers what they think is working well, weaknesses or bottlenecks, and areas where procedures could be clarified. This is invaluable information about how work is done in your agency, as effective working conditions lead to a happy team and clientele.

While you should always be looking for opportunities to improve your processes, the New Year is a great time to roll out something new because it gives you a clear marker to test its success (or lack thereof).

4. Revisit your customers and their audiences

What good are marketing goals if these efforts are directed at the wrong people? In order to drive your customers’ growth, you need to help them re-evaluate who their target market is and where these people actually get information about businesses like theirs.

Granted, that may seem like a moving target, especially in our saturated media landscape. One demographic that might have relied on Facebook might now be Instagram-exclusive, while another that loved TV now enjoys podcast content.

The impetus is on you and your customers to first find out where their customers live and then reach out to them. Because once you have a clear understanding of audience identity and behavior, then you can refresh the tactics you are using to pursue your marketing goals.

5. Reset your expectations

Good marketing goals should never be a revamped version of past goals. It should go without saying, but just because something worked in 2018 doesn’t mean it will work in exactly the same way, with the same results, in 2019.

Fortunately, you should approach this exercise as a way to stretch your creativity and increase your education. Our industry is constantly changing, and it’s our job to stay on top of these changes for the benefit of the customer.

Here are a few things we’re revamping in 2019 that you might also want to consider:

Develop a laser focus on every customer’s social media efforts in one or two platforms with great content. This is much better than focusing on multiple platforms which may not deliver value and where you may not be able to deliver quality content consistently.

Organize peer-to-peer events in an industry where you can bring your expertise (and gain visibility).

Revamp your blogging strategy to respond to new trends in SEO best practices. We plan to focus specifically on audio search through voice-activated smart devices.

Integrate public relations efforts into a new digital strategy. For example, we plan to direct potential customers to specific landing pages that will allow us to control the funnel and better measure results.

In conclusion, what matters is that you set clear and measurable marketing goals for yourself. Use this New Year as a fantastic and organic opportunity to prepare your agency and clients for victory in 2019.