Life is full of big decisions. And, nine times out of ten, they're not ones you want to jump into without a little thought or pre-planning.

The same can be said about your business and its marketing activities. You're not executing campaigns just for the sake of it, and you'll struggle to justify your spend without real thought behind what you want to get back from it. You're working towards something. You're working towards a goal. You perhaps just haven't defined what that looks like — yet.

According to an industry survey of more than 3,200 marketers, those who set goals were 376% more likely to report success than those who didn't.

Goals are there to provide clarity, purpose, direction and vision. Whether personal or commercial, they are what lead to success for you, your department, and the business as a whole. Hitting your goal proves you're making an impact. We all want to feel like we're contributing, right?

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These are the key areas for which marketing usually finds itself responsible, and they will ultimately influence your company's ability to acquire — and retain — its customers.

You might find yourself recognizing some more than others, and that's totally normal — your marketing goals should be closely aligned with the needs of your business, and every business is different.

Here, we're going to explore the five major goals you should consider when creating and implementing a marketing strategy. These goals should help you achieve maximum results in 2020 and beyond.

1. To increase brand awareness.

Your company has a market to conquer, a product to launch, or perhaps just a flag to wave. Either way, your primary goal is likely to increase awareness of your brand, so your company is always on the list when people are looking to solve a particular problem.

Every brand has a personality — a human voice shaped by the tone you strike and the platforms you're using and the subjects or topics you're talking about. If your goal is to raise brand awareness, figuring out what that personality is and how that voice sounds are two great places to start.

When it comes to creating a strategy around this goal, consider the kinds of places where your target buyers spend the most time. The chances are high that you'll want to look into a social media strategy, which gives you a platform to engage with your target audience. This could come in the form of sharing interesting articles related to your industry, posting about your company culture, or conducting polls to connect with your audience.

You can even take it a step further and create free content for your targeted audience, such as ebooks, guides, checklists, templates, and educational videos.

Engaging with an audience on social media makes your brand seem more approachable and friendly. You're more than a business that sells a product or service. And, as you have a positive impact on your audience, they'll likely turn into advocates of your brand, sharing your content and passing along their positive experiences to friends, family, and colleagues.

Top brand awareness tip: It's not all ‘me me me'. A conversation goes two ways, so don't forget to stop and listen to what the people you're trying so hard to reach are saying back to you. You never know — they might just have some valuable insights or great ideas!

How do you measure brand awareness?

Although brand awareness can be a hard metric to track and measure, you can review the effectiveness of your activities by looking at your quantitative metrics such as social engagement, organic traffic, blog traffic, and overall website traffic. While they will each tell you different things about how visitors are discovering and interacting with your brand, you should generally be seeing traffic increase as you make progress on your brand awareness strategy.

In particular, direct traffic shows the number of people intentionally interacting with your brand and your content because they believe it's interesting and that it solves a problem they are facing. If you're a HubSpot customer, you can also monitor any social engagement in HubSpot (likes, comments, shares etc.) to see the status of popular posts and your follower metrics.

To learn more about increasing brand awareness, read this Ultimate Guide to Brand Awareness.

2. To generate high-quality leads.

Your sales department depends on a consistent stream of leads to nurture and turn into new customers. You're not their only source of leads, but it's safe to say your colleagues over in sales are depending on you to convert your website's highest-quality leads into new contacts to which they can reach out.

From tried-and-tested methods like on-page forms to innovative features like chatbots, there are many ways through which you can collect a website visitor's contact information. But one of the biggest challenges a marketer faces is actually generating high-quality leads that are a good fit for the business.

Part of this process involves monitoring your MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads), but above all, it's important to keep track of — and record — the leads your sales team disqualifies. Create a report of all the leads coming in and section out those who've been disqualified, and why. This can help refine your marketing processes and continuously improve the quality of leads coming in.

How do you measure high-quality leads?

Analyze trends across the leads who eventually turn into customers. Create goals and custom reports such as multi-touch revenue attribution reports, customize your dashboards, report on revenue, and more.

If you're looking for tools to create and track effective marketing goals for an entire marketing team, check out HubSpot's Marketing Hub

3. To grow and maintain thought leadership.

It doesn't matter what industry you find yourself in — being recognized as experts in your field is fundamental for proving a high level of knowledge and credibility. In fact, according to research conducted by LinkedIn and Edelman, 60% of decision-makers said thought leadership convinced them to buy a product or service they weren't previously considering.

Not to be confused with brand awareness, thought leadership is about consumers recognizing your brand — and the people within your business — as among the best and most trustworthy in the industry. On the other hand, brand awareness is more about making sure your brand is heard, seen, and recognized at all.

There are different ways to develop and maintain thought leadership. One of those methods is by publishing and sharing content that inspires your audience and speaks to their pain points.

Leveraging partner networks to ensure you're able to reach a larger audience and appear up-to-par with other industry leaders is another approach to thought leadership. For instance, building an external community through outreach and guest blogging is great for working with other trusted and reputable brands in the industry to create valuable content.

As you build your thought leadership strategy, consistency becomes essential to maintaining it. Publishing and sharing your content consistently is important to continue to appear relevant and forward-thinking in your industry. Alternatively, you might consider hosting a webinar or panel discussion with other major industry leaders.

How do you measure thought leadership?

Similar to brand awareness, thought leadership can be tricky to measure.

However, it can be easy to measure the success of your individual campaigns related to thought leadership — for instance, if you've published thought leadership content on guest blogs, you can measure the traffic your website achieves from that post; alternatively, if you're hosting an event, you can include a CTA at the end (i.e. "click this link and fill out a brief survey") to measure the effectiveness of the event.

To learn more about thought leadership, take a look at The Content Marketer's Guide to Thought Leadership.

4. To increase customer value.

The marketing conversation has moved well beyond simply generating new business. Today, it's more important than ever that you're delighting your existing customer base, keeping the people your business depends on happy and, whenever possible, helping them to promote you. Delighted people won't just buy from you again — they'll also refer you to their friends and colleagues, too.

If your goal is to help retain and grow your existing customers, there's plenty you can be doing to achieve it. Start by ensuring you have visibility over each customer, including what they've bought, and ensuring all contacts in your database are up-to-date.

Additionally, it's important to educate clients on the valuable opportunities you can provide them. You can also enable your team to understand the ways in which clients can be valuable marketing assets. Come up with campaigns that encourage referrals, or try sending your clients material to make some of your work processes clearer.

Finally, consider whether your weekly newsletter could tell customer stories to strengthen your customer relationships, or send out a discount to existing customers when you release a new product, service, or offer.

How can you tell if you're increasing customer value?

You'll want to measure your upsell targets or retention targets to evaluate whether you're increasing customer value and loyalty over time. Additionally, closely monitor what content you share with customers that influenced the most deals, or the last piece of content they interacted with before a deal closed. This will help you visualize which content is most valuable to your existing and new customers.

5. To empower your colleagues.

Increasingly, marketing teams are also taking on responsibilities around internal communications and educating employees across the business on the tools and resources they need to succeed when selling or providing service to customers.

Do your colleagues understand your brand's target personas and what they need at their respective stage in the buyer's journey? It's important to ensure all employees are given what they need in order to talk about the business with confidence to prospects and customers and become ambassadors for your brand.

How can you tell if you're empowering colleagues?

If you've delivered an internal newsletter, review its performance data to determine whether or not your colleagues across the company are actually opening it and clicking through the relevant resources contained within.

Alternatively, was your goal to educate the team about a new product or updated messaging? A company-wide survey can take very little time to create and can provide you — and the rest of the board — with valuable feedback in terms of how well your communication has been received and understood.

By now, you should be well on your way to setting and achieving your own SMART marketing goals.

Remember, whichever goals you set for yourself and your team, they have to serve a purpose and benefit the business as a whole.

Whether that means generating high-quality leads for sales or stepping up your brand awareness game, you'll be ready to increase revenue and enable your business to grow better in no time.

Marketing Plan Template

 marketing plan

Originally published Apr 9, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated April 09 2020

Topics:

Goal Setting