Do you ever wrap up a project, send an email, or run a meeting and walk away with a supreme sense of accomplishment and importance, convinced of just how indispensable you must be to your company?
Congratulations; that’s you and every single one of your coworkers.
It’s inevitable to get caught up deep in the weeds of your own job function, and that makes it easy to lose sight of just how many moving pieces are at play in any given company, at any given time. In other words, don’t worry, you’re not a narcissist. This is no more or less true in any department, but the unfortunate reality for marketers is that our jobs are a little more outward-facing than most. So, check yourself, especially when it comes time to think about goals for a specific campaign or fiscal period.
Successful marketing happens when marketing goals are aligned to broader company goals. Not only will you see the kinds of reaction, returns, and outcomes that move the needle, but you’ll get much sought after buy in from the people holding the purse strings. Here’s a few tips to make that alignment happen:
Cross cubicle lines
If you’re going to align marketing goals with company goals, the first step is to get out from inside your own cubicle and find out what’s priority in other departments within your organization. Get leaders together, ask questions, make conversations happen and determine what your company as a whole is actually trying to do. Are there new products that need to be introduced? Is customer engagement and retention a consistent sticking point? Does your sales team simply need more (or better) leads to be contacting? You’ll never know unless you take the time to find out, and you’ll never see the type of organization-wide return on your campaigns you’re hoping for unless you do.
Know your buyer
Whatever your organizations’ specific objectives are, understanding who your user, buyer, or target audience is will be key to achieving them. Take the time to define just who it is you’re trying to speak to—creating one or more buyer personas can be a great exercise to start with. Thinking through this helps you understand what needs you’re trying to meet and which messages will actually resonate. Then, make sure that all of your content and activities are designed with those in mind.
Put a number on it
“Goal” is one of those, beautifully, terrifyingly, vague terms. A goal can be as broad or narrow, as measurable or ambiguous as you wish. Yes, it’s my goal to save $3k towards a down payment on a car before the end of the year, but it’s also my goal to leave a lasting impact on this world. You tell me which one sounds more realistic. Long story short, whatever your marketing goal is, it will be far more useful to you if it’s measurable. Putting a quantitative value on your objective, whether that’s in the form of a dollar value, timeline, or number of leads, is a huge step towards making it both measurable and achievable.
Learn from the past
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve set a goal, whether it’s within your current marketing organization, for a previous job, or simply a personal matter. So, before you get too far in to this round of goal setting, take some time to consider what has and hasn’t worked for you before. Do you need a tight timeline? Other people involved? Some type of reward waiting at the end? Whatever is effective or not for you, take that in to consideration, and build your new marketing goals in a manner that you know from experience is likely to breed success.
Adjust as needed
Change is the only constant right? It may be frustrating, but it’s an important truth to keep in mind. Overall business goals are often fluid, and for your marketing efforts to be effective, you need to be able to adapt. It’s key to make conversations with other departments ongoing, and be willing to change your campaign goals and tactics according to broader trends and initiatives in your organization. Consider setting aside time on a monthly (or quarterly, or bi-weekly, or whatever makes sense for you) basis to revisit the marketing goals you have in place and redefine them as needed.
Provide visibility for accountability
It’s easy to say you’ll do something, but actually coming through on it is a much bigger commitment. However, goal-setting is only an effective exercise when you’re really dedicated to seeing them through. So, be sure you’re doing what you can to hold yourself and your team accountable to the objectives you’ve put in place. A good place to start? Put your quantifiable goals prominently on display for everyone in your department (and your organization as a whole) to see. Write them down on a white board, project them on a screen, or send out a weekly email—and always include your progress to date. It’ll keep your goals top-of-mind for everyone involved, and offer that motivating kick that only a hard dose of reality can.
Looking for a simple tool to help you track all of your online efforts in support of marketing goals? Check out CampaignTracker, and start getting the insights you’ve been looking for.