At PHOS, we’re on a mission to empower our clients to market through their mission to reach their vision. A huge part of vision is setting goals.
Many companies know their ultimate goal, but fail to set up waypoints – goals that they can measure their progress against. Having S.M.A.R.T. goals and logical KPI’s can make tracking your progress easier and make you more adaptable to changing conditions in the marketplace.
Start With Your Goal in Mind
Without a goal, any marketing efforts are just shots in the dark. All of your efforts need an associated target. Even if you miss, you’ve at least aimed and know where you are failing and succeeding.
What’s important to your business? Is it sales? Is it leads? Is it visits to your website?
Sit down and write out what is most important to the success of your business. Having a list of what is most important to you allows you to prioritize your efforts.
S.M.A.R.T. is an anagram that informs the types of goals you should set:
- S – Specific – Make sure your goals are specific and not too broad. “I want to grow traffic” isn’t enough, be clear where you want to see growth and through which channels.
- M – Measurable – Have data points to measure yourself against. If you aren’t able to measure your goals there is no way to know whether you are succeeding.
- A – Achievable – Unachievable goals can be frustrating. While it is tempting to set the bar high, if you set it too high you may never see success. Give yourself little goals that ultimately allow you to reach your higher goal.
- R – Relevant – Relevant goals should relate to part of your strategic plan as a business. If you set goals that don’t relate to your business or help you achieve your mission, then those goals have very little value to your business.
- T – Timely, or Time Bound – Give yourself a timeframe in which your goal must be reached. Know how long it should take to reach your goal and hold yourself to that time.
If your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely it will make it that much easier to set your key performance indicators. KPIs and S.M.A.R.T. goals have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they rely on each other to survive. In order to measure a S.M.A.R.T goal, you must have a KPI in mind.
Know Your History
Part of setting S.M.A.R.T goals is understanding past performance. Take the time to study your past. Understand the things you’ve done well and what needs improvement. Ask yourselves these questions when looking at your past performance:
- Did my revenue grow last year (compared to the year before)? By how much?
- Did traffic to my website grow last year? By how much?
- How did each marketing channel affect my revenue?
- Were there some marketing channels that didn’t perform well? Where can I improve?
- Are there tactics I should abandon due to lack of success?
Be honest and open with yourself about where you are and where you’ve been. The only way to create achievable goals is to understand what’s possible and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
What’s a KPI?
KPI stands for key performance indicator. The right metrics, or KPIs, can help you measure the success of your marketing campaign and allow you to understand where you can improve. The following are some good examples of KPIs:
- Social shares
- Engaged time on your website
- Total number of website visits per month
- Percentage of returning visitors
- Landing page conversion rate
- Ad click-through rate
- Email open and click rates
- Retention rate
- Cost per acquisition
- Revenue contribution
These data points are only some of the statistics you can track to measure performance. What you track depends on the type of business you run and what goals have been set for your business.
Data is Your Friend!
Data can be intimidating. You may know that it is available to you, but focusing on the right metrics and wading through the less important numbers can be daunting. Thankfully there are plenty of tools out there that make collecting the data much easier:
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics is fantastic when measuring traffic to your website. Use Google Analytics to track monthly traffic, organic visits, visits from social media, unique visitors, time on page, bounce rate, exit rate and so much more.
- Google AdWords – AdWords allows you to track the performance of any Google Ads you may be running. You can track conversions, click-through-rates, clicks, impressions, cost, the average position of your ads, to name a few.
- Social Media Insights – Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter all provide analytics so that you can measure reach, likes, and growth in followers. If you are using any social media platform make sure that you use their analytics tool to track your performance.
- Email Insights – Email platforms such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and SharpSpring allow you to track open and click rates for your email campaigns. Use this information to continually optimize your email marketing.
Familiarize yourself with any platform you are using. Ask yourself what each number they provide means and think about how that affects your business. Pick the data points that mean the most to you and your business, set those as your KPI’s and track them over time.
Goals should never be “set it and forget it”, they are always evolving and changing as your business grows and changes. It is important to know how data changes over time, and why it is changing. Always ask yourself “why”.
Are your KPIs increasing? Why? Are your KPIs decreasing? Why? Is it seasonality or a larger trend? Did I do something different that might have positively or negatively affected my marketing efforts?
Knowledge is power, know the answers to these questions and you will be able to sharpen and improve your goals.
If you need help clarifying your mission or vision, PHOS is here to help! We offer strategic planning and the full scope of digital marketing services, SEO, web development, social media management, PPC, and email marketing. We can help you set your goals and get you on the path towards success.