How to set marketing goals

Marketing goals are specific objectives set out in your marketing plan to be achieved by the actions in your marketing strategy.

But how should you actually go about setting them?

Yes, we all know about SMART goals and KPIs but with so much jargon it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important: the long-term success of your business.

Why are marketing goals important?

Firstly, setting marketing goals makes you nearly five times more likely to achieve them according to research from CoSchedule.

Secondly, and arguably most importantly, marketing goals help you and your team focus on the areas of your marketing that matter most.

Thirdly, setting and measuring specific goals for your marketing can also help you differentiate between the success of your marketing and other parts of your business. E.g. your marketing might be bringing more leads to your business but a poor sales process could mean the overall number of customers hasn’t increased which could be misleading if you don’t measure the success of each stage separately.

How to set marketing goals

Define what long term business growth means to you

“Grow your business” is universally accepted as the objective for business owners – but this means something different to each individual. Business growth could mean higher profits, higher market share, better industry recognition or a larger number of customers.

Determine how marketing can achieve that growth

Once you’ve identified what you ultimately want to achieve with your business, it’s time to look at how your marketing can get you there and what your overarching objective will be.

Most marketing goals, regardless of how they’re measured, fall under one of these broader objectives:

  1. To improve brand awareness
  2. To improve leads
  3. To improve engagement
  4. To improve ROI
  5. To improve performance tracking

Set clear and measurable goals

By first defining how marketing can help you achieve business success, you’ll find it much easier to set long term marketing goals rather than focusing on short term vanity metrics e.g. if your objective is to increase leads, you shouldn’t be focusing on how much engagement your social media posts are getting.

Regardless of whether you use SMART goals, CLEAR goals or OKRs – your marketing goals should always have:

  • Something specific to measure
  • A timeframe

Depending on how established your business (or branch of the business) is, your goals may look different to others.

For new businesses without any previous data, many of your goals will likely be to complete specific tasks that revolve around establishing a baseline and testing new marketing activities. Your goal in this situation may be to “set up a LinkedIn company page and post 3 times a week by the end of the month” and would simply be measured by whether or not you completed the task.

For established businesses who have previous data to inform their decisions, your goals will likely be focused on improvements in specific areas that can be measured by a percentage increase or target number e.g. “Increase leads from Facebook ads by 20% in Q4”.

This additional data will also give you the ability to evaluate each stage of the marketing funnel and set specific goals for each stage that will lead to you achieving your marketing budget. For example, if you get 1000 views on your Facebook ads, 100 clicks and 10 leads you can set specific goals for the views and ad clicks that would contribute to more leads overall.

How to measure marketing goals

If you’re not measuring your goals you’ll never know if you’ve achieved them! As we alluded to above, your marketing goals can be measured in several ways depending on what stage your business is at and exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Some goals will focus on improving KPIs, completing tasks, hitting milestones or filling quotas.

It’s crucial that when setting your goals, you outline how you’re going to measure them – otherwise, it could get confusing and misleading when analysing performance.

Refer back to your objective and select metrics that reflect it:

  • Brand awareness = branded search traffic, social media reach, ad impressions
  • Leads = number of sign-ups, quality of enquiries
  • Engagement = social media followers, post engagement, average time on the website
  • ROI = lower ad CPC, more leads in the timeframe
  • Performance tracking = lead scoring, better website tracking, integrated tools

Marketing goal examples

Example 1
Business Objective: More Customers
Marketing Objective: More Leads
Marketing Goal: Get 500 newsletter sign-ups from the website by the end of the year

Example 2
Business Objective: Higher Profit
Marketing Objective: Improve ROI
Marketing Goal: Reduce average cost per lead to below £2 for Google Ads in the next month

Example 3
Business Objective: Establish New Business
Marketing Objective: Raise Brand Awareness
Marketing Goal: Reach 10K people with organic posts on LinkedIn by end of Q3

Knowing exactly how to achieve your objective or what activity is needed to achieve your goal can be a difficult task if you’re not too familiar with marketing. Make sure to talk to an expert for guidance and advice or enlist a marketing agency to do the work for you.

Here at Logic Digital, we help you with as much or as little of the digital marketing process as you need. Get in touch with our team for a quick chat to see how we could help you build a marketing strategy and set marketing goals that will help your business grow.