The most critical step in the planning process is to define your business goals… specifically SMART goals. SMART is a mnemonic that stands for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Every goal must meet these 5 criteria, so let’s walk through each one.
Specific – Target a specific area for improvement.
How many more leads? Exactly how much growth would you be happy with next year? How many more phone calls would you like to receive each month?
Measurable – Quantify or suggest an indicator of progress.
Your goals must be measurable, so you know if you’re getting closer to achieving them. With digital marketing, you can use Google Analytics to measure many of your goals.
Assignable – Specify who will do it.
Not only does this ensure ownership from all team members, but it can also lead to an increase in employee empowerment, commitment, and overall job satisfaction.
Realistic – State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
It’s fun to set lofty goals and dream big, but make sure your milestones are achievable within the next year. Goals should excite and motivate you and your team year after year, not demoralize you.
Time-bound – Specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Since we are working on next year’s goals, the absolute deadline is the 31st of next December. Some goals can and should be completed sooner, so set the most appropriate date. It’s amazing how something as simple as setting a deadline can make all the difference in the world when it comes to accomplishing goals.
What realistic metrics can you attach to your SMART goals for 2021? To establish your marketing activities and measure of success, you will need to thoroughly assess the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business.
To generate $–/month or $—/year, then how many sales did you make? If your average customer value is $–, then that’s — sales/month. How many leads do you need to make that many sales?
Ex. If your sales conversion rate is 10%, then that is 1,850 leads. How many website visitors do you need to generate 1,850 leads? We will need to look at your historical website analytics to figure this one out. If your visitor to lead conversion rate is also 10%, then you need 18,500 visitors per month.
We are just working backward to determine the important online marketing KPIs? Now we know our monthly website visitor goal is about 16,700 to hit our sales goal of $1MM.
These figures are your key performance metrics.
Based on your KPIs, what goals can we set for your marketing efforts each month or for 2021 as a whole? Is it realistic for you to generate an x-amount of website visitors using your traffic tactics? Are your conversion rates attainable based on historical data or that from similar businesses?
To answer the questions at this point, you’ll need to do some research and probably talk to your account manager. The most important question to answer is whether there is enough online traffic to hit your goals. For example, if you find using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool there are 100,000 searches for your product or service in Google, then could you get 16,000 visitors from SEO and Google Ads advertising?
16% of all searches may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that a 2% click-through rate shows a fair amount of success regarding Google Ads. Unless you’re an expert in search engine marketing (SEM), we recommend talking to someone who is to see if your goals are realistic. The same goes for other traffic sources like display advertising, email, partnerships, and social media.
If you find out your goals are unrealistic, then go back and revise them. Better to find this out now before you invest an entire year chasing an unattainable dream!
The final step should be quick and easy because you have an awesome marketing agency behind you. *hint hint* Work with your Account Manager at ACS Web Marketing to determine the most effective monthly, quarterly, or annual strategy to reach your marketing goals and in turn, your business goals for 2021! Determine who on your team is going to be responsible for implementing and measuring progress each month.
If you have big growth plans, then keep in mind it’s possible you’ll need to reassess in-house job functions or outsource more to ensure your business goals receive adequate attention.
As we ourselves come to close out the year, our biggest victory for ACS Web Marketing in 2020 is that all our clients’ businesses are accounted for. In a year when many unfortunately cannot share that same statement, we are blessed to end the year with every client, customer, and friend we started it with.
And while we know that we ourselves would not be here with you, we thank you for your continued business and support.