How did it happen that it’s already Thanksgiving week? It’s true that, the older we get, the faster time seems to move. Don’t let it get away from you; right now is the perfect time to start planning your 2019 marketing goals. Here are some hints to get you ahead of the game and prepare for an amazing new year.
Why Goal Setting Is Important
Goals are just one way that we, as individuals and business owners, stay focused. Plus, those goals can prevent your business from becoming stagnant. There’s always something new to achieve, a direction in which you’re headed.
In reality, goal setting is one of the most important activities you can practice in your business. While implementation may change, developing solid 2019 marketing goals is your foundation for success in the coming year. Only with a solid plan can you expect to increase brand awareness and generate qualified leads that convert.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
You’ve no doubt written down goals before. When it comes to successfully reaching those goals, however, you must be specific. Be realistic with your expectations for yourself and your business. But stretch yourself too.
A smart way to define your 2019 marketing goals is by setting two goals: one you feel is achievable, plus a stretch goal that you’re not sure is possible. Focusing specifically on revenue for a moment, perhaps 5% is doable given your current trajectory. Given that, maybe your first goal is 7% growth. Your stretch goal, then, could be 12% growth.
Step 2: Create a Concise Marketing Plan
When was the last time you thought to create a marketing plan? Most business owners seem to fly by the seat of their pants from year to year. And, sure, that can work—for a while. Eventually, you’re going to need something a little more planned out.
That’s not to say you need a comprehensive manuscript. The best way to build a simple marketing plan is to work backwards. What are your 2019 marketing goals? More revenue? More clients or leads? Once you determine what your goals are, you can then create a plan to meet them.
As you write your plan, keep a calendar close by. Look at major events throughout the year—both in your business and the world. If a certain season is busy for you, plan early to implement marketing tactics to make it even more amazing. Tie your plan to something tangible. That makes it more real, and that also means you’re much more likely to keep it top of mind.
Step 3: Track Your Efforts
You’ve heard the saying: What gets measured gets done. Creating a marketing plan is fantastic, but without tracking mechanisms, it’s just a wish on paper. You need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs).
You can set your KPIs for any of your marketing plan numbers, including revenue, leads, conversions, and customers. And you should be setting them not only for the year but month to month as well. Remember not to pin all of your hopes on one number (most people think specifically of revenue). There are many milestones along the line from prospect to customer, and marketing can be effective—or ineffective—anywhere.
Step 4: Analyze Your Results
As you’re tracking your KPIs in your marketing plan, be sure to make time to analyze those results. Did you get as many leads last month as you expected? What about your conversion rate? You need to look at your marketing holistically as well as granularly to get a complete picture. Data should be at the core of your 2019 marketing goals because it’s that data that helps you to reach those goals.
Step 5: Review, Adjust, and Improve
After you’ve implemented your marketing plan for a bit, you’ll have data and results. Then it will be time to adjust. You always want to be getting out a portion of what you’re putting in to your marketing efforts. By tracking your efforts and analyzing your results, you’ll have a firm handle on your ROI: return on investment. If you find that something isn’t delivering, determine how long you’ll keep doing it before you throw in the towel. Alternately, if something is working, when will you add more resources in that direction?
Start Creating Your 2019 Marketing Goals Now
The first step to ensure you are on the path to success in the new year is to set your 2019 marketing goals. Be SMART about them. And remember to create stretch goals as well. Goals are the foundation of everything else in your marketing plan.
Believe it or not, there is just a little more than a month until we hit 2019, so sit down now and start working on your plan. With a plan, you are armed to make this the best year ever.
Curious how to even get started with marketing? Ink & Quill Communications provides the strategy and implementation behind successful marketing, all for a fixed monthly fee. We call it our Smartest for You Package, and it’s how you can edge out your competition. Schedule your free 10-minute consultation to learn how we’ll help you meet your 2019 goals.