Metrics, quarterly benchmarks, data based on user insights — are all very important factors in drafting a marketing strategy for your business. But an aspect that isn’t mentioned as often is that you have to keep in mind the overall picture, and most importantly your business objectives, in order to have efficient marketing results.
At the core of all marketing efforts (should) always stand the business perspective and the desired outcomes you plan to achieve for it. Needless to say, an effective marketing strategy follows the business goals and further transposes them into actionable steps.
Or if it were to put these marketing efforts more simply, we could take the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook’s, straightforward words:
“We’re not focused on the numbers. We’re focused on the things that produce the numbers.”
In this blog post, we’re going back to the roots of marketing and emphasizing the importance of aligning marketing objectives with business goals, in order to identify what suitable efforts must be for each business.
Step 1: Define Your Business Goals
Broadly, business success looks the same for everybody — revenue, increasing customer base, ranking better in customer preferences than other businesses. But for creating a powerful, long-term strategy, the specifics in setting goals make the difference.
Defining business goals are a great way to:
- Create a well-outlined path for your actions, while having the bigger picture in mind.
- Decrease time for the decision-making process.
- Have all the company departments aligned on the same mission.
The first step in successfully setting business goals is analyzing your short-term and long-term priorities. Giving your strategy a temporal dimension is essential in drafting all the necessary steps. Not to mention that short-term goals are most often essential in achieving long-term ones.
Short-Term Goal Example:
Hire two more members in the sales department by the end of the month.
Long-Term Goal Example:
Launch 5 new products by the end of the year.
After identifying 3-5 important business goals that you want to achieve, try to prioritize them not only in order of importance but also in an order that can complement one another. For example, if you want to expand the project load of a department, and hire new people, the natural course would be to hire first.
Step 2: Set Realistic Marketing Objectives
The good news is, marketing efforts can sustain the majority of your business goals, but it is important to remain realistic and direct the company’s activities accordingly. For example, if one of your business goals is to increase sales, you can drive more leads and traffic with your marketing efforts, but it will ultimately be in the Sales Department’s hands to drive up the numbers.
So, how do we set realistic marketing objectives?
An effective marketing strategy thrives on two aspects:
- it revolves around a company’s USP — marketing the “what makes our company different” to the right audience at the right time.
- it follows the SMART goal framework, which covers all the necessary angles of a goal-setting strategy.
Specific: Using metrics is a must-do in marketing, and this is why our goals have to be specific. When aligning your business and marketing goals, identify the particular metric you want to improve and all the essential tools, team members, and action plans for it. Increasing site visitors, event attendees, or leads can be qualified as specific goals.
Measurable: As previously mentioned, success can be broadly defined the same for businesses. But another important aspect in achieving success is making it measurable. As part of setting your realistic marketing objectives, always set measurable goals like increasing site visitors by x% or achieve 100 eBook downloads by the end of the month.
Attainable: Even though we live in the viral era, where you can dream of outstanding numbers of page likes or visitors on social media, marketers set attainable goals for their strategies. This ensures realistic outcomes and helps in creating a strategy to work towards them.
Relevant: Algorithms change, trends go outdated, and even your initially planned marketing activities can become irrelevant after a time. It is important to analyze all these factors when setting your goals, and identify how relevant your plan is according to your business, the platforms you’re using and the approach you’re adopting.
Time-Bound: Attaching deadlines to goals is a common practice in any sector, and your marketing goals are no exception to this rule. In order to measure and see results, you have to set your activities for certain periods of time.
Step 3: Concentrate On the Right Efforts for Your Business
It’s easy to get distracted by all the marketing efforts other companies are choosing and think of them as necessary. But the truth is that not everything works for everyone.
This is why steps 1 & 2 are vital to go through before creating the right strategy for your business. Only after having all the goals aligned, you can visualize the necessary steps towards them.
💡 Let’s take a previous goal example and transform it into marketing efforts — your business goal is to extend your sales department. What does this mean in marketing terms? That you need to work on your company’s employer branding profile and:
- Position your company as a thought leader through dedicated blog posts.
- Increase your site’s visitors, especially on your Careers page.
- Drive more leads on your employing form.
Step 4: Start Measuring Your Impact
Increasing subscriptions, driving more sales on a product, gathering more site visitors. Measuring all this impact is important for business and it is essential for companies to understand their customers.
An aspect worth mentioning in marketing strategies is that, more often than not, the results are surprising. Because no matter how well-defined a strategy is, we ultimately have to work with human behavior which we can not predict, only intuit. And while measuring the impact of our campaigns, we can conclude that we have reached broader audiences, that people prefer to take other actions on our site, or that the market isn’t ready for a certain product yet.
Step 5: Analyze and Adapt
Measuring naturally leads to further analyzing and adapting to the new information. Business and marketing can be volatile and we have to always keep an open mind to what’s working and what’s not if we want to achieve success.
All the data gathered from these strategies can be used to fine-tune the next ones and better respond to our customers’ needs.
Marketing objectives should always follow business goals and not the other way around. At Trustway Marketing, we listen to the business’s needs before imagining any marketing activity and adapt to market trends in order to put it into the best light. Contact us and let’s transform your business goals into effective marketing strategies!