marketing goals

Setting Your Marketing Goals for 2018

shutterstock_578273836With 2018 now in full force, it’s likely you have your strategic business goals prepared and ready for execution. Hopefully, the marketing aspect of your business received just as much love during strategic planning sessions for this year, but in the off chance it didn’t, or if you’re looking to optimize your marketing plan for the new year, read on!

When setting your marketing goals for 2018, I highly encourage you to consider these points. In doing so, you’ll have a robust plan that is easily understood, integrative, and ready for execution:

  1. Identify what did and didn’t work in 2017

Like anything in life, it’s best to learn from your shortcomings; the same mentality should apply to your business and how you market it. Begin by reviewing any marketing or campaign-specific data you may have from the year prior. This data may stem from Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool your company may use, social media analytics, email marketing results and lead tracking (web or otherwise). Upon reviewing the data, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where did these leads come from? Did they result from a campaign or organic search?
  2. Was the messaging tailored to a unique audience?
  3. Was my website, landing page, or collateral optimized for conversions?
  4. Did customers interact with my brand the way I intended them to? Did I follow-up with them as often as I should have?

You may notice that while you had great campaign ideas, the execution was off. Slight tweaks of the same campaign based on answers to the above questions could result in an entirely different outcome!

  1. Consider your resources

As small businesses, we often don’t have the luxury of having a marketing department or team. Your marketing team may only consist of a coordinator or manager, or perhaps even just yourself! Bearing that in mind, make 2018 the year you introduce automation to your business. With automation, you’ll provide your marketing personnel with more time to focus on tasks that really matter, such as strategic planning and business development.

Or, if finances permit, expand your marketing team. Get specific with what you need. Do you require a generalist who can complete as many different tasks as possible, or is a specialist of some sort what you require? You may consider hiring a marketing agency that has all of the above and more, and can be more cost-effective than hiring an additional full-time staff member.

  1. Be realistic

First things first, yes, all companies want to grow and make more money; however, it’s important to remain realistic with the amount of growth you achieve and how quickly you attain this growth. Remember, good marketing takes time. While you’ll want to see a direct impact on your ROI, the fact of the matter is, revenue growth from new leads and customers will not be noticed until the next quarter or even later on in the year; or, years to come. Of course, this all depends on the type of business you have and the industry you’re in, but the importance remains that you should be focused on building your funnel at this time.

What are you waiting for?

I too often hear from business owners how they require assistance with marketing their business, yet it somehow is always placed on the back burner. By setting your marketing goals now, you’ll have a clear and concise plan that you can refer to throughout the year. If you require assistance with developing a marketing plan or executing marketing tasks, give CreativeWorks Marketing a call today!

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Your Marketing Checklist: Checking it Once, Checking it Twice

3d small people - installation of check marksEarly December is often one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses as we feverishly try to shore up fourth quarter sales orders, wrap up year-end projects and campaigns and start planning for 2016. By mid to late December, businesses wind down as we take off time for the holidays; it can act like the calm before the storm, knowing that as soon as January comes, we will hit the ground running!

Statistically, 60% of SMBs create marketing strategies, but lack the resources to implement them or fail to measure their success. This December, invest some time into taking stock of your marketing, to reflect on your achievements and objectives over the past 12 months. Think about what your strategy was coming into 2015 and whether what you planned measured up to your expectations and met your objectives.

I’ve outlined below my top 10 critical marketing questions, which are derived from what is considered the necessary components to produce successful marketing results:

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psMarketing Strategy

  • Did you have a marketing strategy for 2015?
    • If not, why not?
  • Do you think it is something you’d consider for 2016?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psMet Objectives

  • How did you plan to achieve your objectives outlined in your strategy?
    • Print collateral e.g. brochure/flyer/postcard
    • Social Media campaigns e.g. FB contest
    • Broadcast Advertising e.g. radio or TV
    • Digital or online advertising e.g. banner ads, Google Ads
    • Marketing automation
    • Video productions
    • Trade shows
    • E-blasts
    • Website and SEO
    • Other

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psCustomer Intelligence

  • Did you make an effort to learn more about the needs of your customers i.e. conduct any market/customer research?
  • How did you measure customer satisfaction/engagement/user experience?
  • Did you make an effort to learn more about the competing products or services of your competitors i.e. conduct any market/customer research?
    • If you conducted some research, did you implement new strategies based on the findings?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Planning

  • Did you plan the timing for implementing your tactics i.e. create critical paths?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Measurement

  • How was each tactic measured for ROI?
  • Did you assess your success of each tactic? What did well and what didn’t? How could you have improved on your approaches?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Improvement

  • When you compare your goals with your achievements, what could you have done better?
  • How will you revise your strategy for 2016?

 

In planning for 2016, what will you do differently to produce better results than last year?