Executive Perspective: Are You Marketing Without Goals?

There’s one question from my early years as a marketer that I always look back on with disbelief: how can anyone (not just marketers) run campaigns and programs without goals? Many marketers view goals as mysterious, abstract ideas — but they don’t have to be super scientific or godly. They just need to help you clearly define and measure the efforts you put in, and compare them to the results you achieve.

So I started thinking about how I can make it easier for myself to create goals and whether or not there’s an overarching framework for setting marketing goals, and I came up with the following goal-setting structure. Let me share four ways to identify goals for both beginners and “marketing rockstars.”

If you are starting out with no baseline, begin with the basics. You need a basic understanding of what marketing is contributing to the bottom line, so your goals can be as simple as:

  • Hit a lead generation number: How many leads did I generate this quarter?
  • Hit a revenue number: How much revenue was generated by marketing leads?
  • Aim for a percentage increase/decrease: How can I increase conversion rates on landing pages by X%?
  • Focus on an engagement metric: How engaged are your customers and prospects with your social media channels?

If you’ve already familiarized yourself with these fairly basic metrics, then congratulations, you’re a marketing rockstar. It’s time to delve deeper with your goal setting, for greater insight into your sales cycle and a better understanding of the areas that need improvement. Your goals can be as complex as:

  • Hit a lead generation number: Can I convert X% of leads into opportunities with a marketing touch?
  • Hit a revenue number: What percentage of pipeline came from leads sourced directly by marketing campaigns, versus influenced by marketing touches at some point in the sales cycle?
  • Aim for a percentage increase/decrease: How is brand perception impacted by your current messaging and advertising programs?
  • Focus on an engagement metric: How can I create positive engagement in my online community, and increase numbers of subscribers, fans and followers?

If you want more information on advanced marketing metrics, take a look at my previous Executive Perspective post, “The One Metric You NEED to Track.”

I am big believer of “Think big. Start small. Go fast,” and with that in mind, my recommendation is that no matter how you go about it, just have a goal and measure it. It will unlock your creativity and drive some amazing results.