SMART Goals and Marketing Campaigns
What are the goals and objectives of your Marketing Campaigns?
More sales I bet? Of course.
How much of an increase? Ok, got it.
Now lets talk about what goals really are. They need to be SMART, and by SMART I mean:
Actionable (or Aspirational depending on which marketing wiz you talk to)
Time related, or Time sensitive
So while there is nothing wrong with defining a goal as, let’s say, increase revenues by 20% by the end of this fiscal year, my guess is you will always end up with similar strategies, tactics and KPIs to measure the success. Additionally, if you are a B2B company and have a sales force of any significance, how are you attributing that Marketing campaign to the achievement of the goal? Can you ensure that the increase in revenue came as a result of marketing’s incredible prowess, or was it that your sales team grew, got better trained, or is always cyclical to where you come to expect spikes in fiscal year activity? The trick is in setting those goals, identifying strategies to support them, implement tactics that deliver on the strategies, and attribute those tactics using proper Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Set Better SMART Marketing goals (and write them down!)
First off, let’s not take for granted that everyone understands the specific goals of the marketing campaigns that we develop. According to CoSchedule’s State-of-Market 2019 Report, “Top marketers set goals. Goal-setting marketers are 376% more likely to report success (R =0.27, n = 2,055, p-value 0.0001). 70% of the most organized marketers achieve their goals most of
the time, while an elite 10% of organized marketers always achieve them.” (CoSchedule.com, 2020)
Marketing Campaign goals need to be in keeping with the scale of what you are trying to accomplish – new product launches, boosting Brand Awareness or Share of Voice (SOV), gaining social media followers, etc…..These goals should be SMART and most importantly, must be further broken down to what strategies, tactics and KPIs or measurements you will use to validate success.
For example, if I am the CMO of a Pet Supply company, and we are launching a new line of active pet toys, a fido-proof drone that will keep cats and dogs busy and running around, I will first conduct a SWOT analysis and define my target persona, a combination of demographic and psychographic information that describes my target buyer and their buying habits. That persona leads to a certain insight into how I can best reach that target buyer. At this point I may begin planning my campaign.
What is my Pet Toy campaign goal? I want to develop a campaign that results in the sale of 5,000 units in the next 9 months. The SWOT analysis will establish our external Opportunities and Threats that will help define our goals. With a strong e-commerce presence, a marketplace looking for healthy pet solutions and a firm physical store footprint in the Northeast (but none in the west), the goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related. With our SMART goal identified, the next question is, what strategies do we implement in order to support our goal?
Strategies vs Tactics
Risking turning off any readers who don’t like football, let me provide an analogy. When a team goes out onto the field, their goal is to win. Again, that’s the easy part. The strategies employed are the secret sauce. Is a strategy to prevent one player from ever having enough space around him to catch a ball? Another strategy may be to tire out the competitors offensive line. Perhaps yet another strategy is to run the ball more, knowing our competitor is weak on protecting against the run. Often confused, strategies are driven by goals. Tactics are the blocking and tackling on the field that support the strategy. The tactics are the plays called that support the strategies. And if those strategies are well executed, we should win!
Our Pet Toy campaign needs specific strategies. The Strengths and Weaknesses that we identified above (in our SWOT analysis) will govern what our strategies look like. One strategy may target sales growth in the west through a multichannel email/direct mail campaign, POP displays or paid traditional media. However, this is likely to be ineffective, as no physical stores are in place in that geography. The majority of consumers targeted for this product are more likely to act on digital calls to action, as the age demographic encompasses primarily millennials. A strategy that targets the west via digital marketing, therefore, makes more sense. To drive this strategy, tactics will then be defined to drive our e-commerce sales in our western region through earned social media and influencer marketing on social media. Additional tactics will include pay per click and OTT/CTA advertising, allow us to target demographic, geographic and psychographic data at a high level of accuracy.
KPIs measure progress over time!
How do we know we won the game? Standard Marketing Metrics give us a general overview of how our marketing campaigns are performing. Similarly, the scoreboard tells us who won. But don’t forget the other statistics which are so useful in not only understanding what happened in the game, but what trends do we see from the past and how do we use those to help plan for the future. For this, I give you, the KPIs. KPIs in football may be completed passes, sacks, turnovers, rushed throws, 3rd down conversions, stops in the red zone, etc.
In our Pet Toy example, our marketing, KPIs will include conversions rates, social media likes, social media reshares, click through rates to the e-commerce landing page for the product, cost per conversion to a sold transaction, conversion by source, etc. If we were a B2B business we may also include the number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), number of Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), the ratio of MQL to SQL, and many others. These specific, measurable statistics allow us to build a timeline of performance, giving us far deeper understanding of how our overall marketing campaign is performing. It allows up to tie the specific measurements to the tactic used, to the strategy that tactic served, and finally back to achieving the overall SMART goal of the Marketing Campaign. Marketing KPIs guide us for future planning. It’s this measurement over time that is the T in SMART.
KPIs measure the Tactics, which support the Strategies, delivering on the Goals of your Marketing Campaign.
Now that we understand that, let’s look forward to understanding how all of this supports a much broader brand strategy that can deliver actual shareholder value.
Next up on Marketing Snippets…
Integrated Marketing Communications is NOT another Marketing Plan!
IMC is an approach used to unify different modes of communication into one cohesive Brand experience. That means that at every touchpoint including customer service, billing, sales, trade shows, demonstrations, traditional and digital media, the experience is cohesive, consistent and promotes the value of the Brand. IMC requires far deeper communication throughout your organization and while the Marketing Dept. may be the coordinator for IMC, every department within an organization needs to be involved. In a future blog, we will discuss how the IMC is built, and why understanding SMART goals and objectives are so critical throughout the marketing value chain.
CoSchedule. (2020, November 16). How to Set SMART Marketing Goals You Can Achieve. CoSchedule Blog. https://coschedule.com/marketing-strategy/marketing-goals/