I’m passionate about this subject because I’ve seen countless companies get caught up in the jargon, structure, and formalities of building a marketing plan and never actually get to marketing. My KISS (Keep It Stupid Simple) methodology spits in the face of traditional plans. If you jump on board with my approach, you’ll be adding buyers, revenue, and staff to handle growth before your competition finishes binding, printing, and distributing their pretty (and worthless) plan.
This article focuses on setting SMART marketing goals. Grab a pen and some paper and work through this article first. Once finished, I recommend you join my marketing plan challenge to complete your strategy, tactics, and schedule. You’ll need all of these for success, but first things first—set some goals.
Why are you building a marketing plan?
Marketing exists to move you closer to a business goal. So, a business goal should be at the heart of your marketing. Figure out the goal you want to use marketing to achieve and that’s your why.
Think of it like putting a big red X on the spot you’re trying to go on a map (these are paper things we used before they invented iPhones). You can chart the most efficient route to your destination once you know where you’re headed. Your strategy (how you’ll reach the goal), tactics (what methods you’ll employ to execute the strategy), and schedule (when you’re going to do the work) all pyramid from having a clear goal.
Fight the urge to jump straight to tactics. Your odds of success decrease significantly if you just start driving without knowing where you’re headed. According to a study by CoSchedule, marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t. I’m no mathematician, but I can tell you 376% is a big increase in your odds of success.
Where to start with marketing goals.
A goal worth achieving won’t happen overnight. You need to get above the hassles of today and look into the future. One of the questions we ask every client in our Brand Recipe process is to paint a picture of the business they want to exist exactly two years from that day. It’s a step we call future-setting. We use two years because it’s far enough out that you can separate from the fires of today, but it’s close enough to feel relevant.
Give it a go. Imagine it’s August 12, 2022, complete the below prompts to paint a picture of the business you want to exist. Be aggressive but not ridiculous with your vision.
- What is your total revenue?
- How does it break down between products/services?
- Who are your clients?
- What are you known for as a company?
Translate your vision into a SMART marketing goal.
Answering the above questions gives us a snapshot of the business we’re going to make a reality. You’ll have unintentionally built the foundation for a SMART goal in the process. I hate jargon, but this little piece of jargon is actually pretty handy. If you didn’t guess, SMART is an acronym. Everyone has their own take on the acronym, but here’s the one I use for my SMART marketing goals…
Let’s walk through an example to show how this process works. Pretend we’re a PR firm with a vision of breaking $1 million in revenue through monthly retainers by August 12, 2022. Our future-setting exercise defines that our juicy service will be locking down media coverage and running influencer programs for beauty and fashion brands. We can refocus our answers from above into a SMART goal that might look something like this…
Acquire an average of 1 fashion/beauty client per month for media exposure and influencer management at $5,000 per client (per month) to reach $120,000 of MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and $1,440,000 in yearly revenue by August 12, 2022.
This goal gives us a big target (breaking $1.4 million in revenue by 2022) as well as immediate action (land one fashion client this month). We now have a specific, measurable, aggressive (but realistic), and time-bound goal to chase. We have milestones every month to see if we’re staying on track and we can easily adjust course if necessary to maintain momentum toward our bigger goal.
Your marketing goals aren’t written in stone.
Come back to your goals every month. Make sure you’re hitting milestones and making progress. If you’re not, make a change. Cut the things that don’t work and double down on the things that do. Keep turning until you find a road that heads toward success.
Now go sign up for my Marketing Plan Challenge so you can build out the remainder of your marketing plan and get to work. You’ll need the strategy, tactics, and schedule to hit your goals. Without action, your goal is just a dream.