In this time between Christmas and New Year, a lot of us are thinking about our businesses and setting our goals for the year ahead. Commercial goals and marketing goals go hand in hand and need to be challenging, yet still achievable, so you can aim high but still be realistic and not set yourself up for a fall; there’s nothing worse than an unachievable goal staring at you every day. This is why taking some time to set them right in the first place is essential to a productive year ahead. I always advise setting two or three top line goals with four to five supporting goals. This way you don’t have an overwhelming list, but instead it forces you to focus and really ask yourself what is working, where you’re going and what you really want in your business.
Here are some tips to get you started.
What area of your business really needs focus
The most common goal for business owners is to grow awareness of their brand and ultimately, revenue. There are so many brands out there with brilliant products or services but sadly, nobody knows about them as their marketing is not targeted and their client base hasn’t been defined. Once you know your customer, you can market to them so understanding this is key. If you haven’t already defined your customer, make sure your main goal is to build your customer profile – give them a name, age, job, hobbies, where the go, what they read and what they do. This will help you understand how to reach and speak to them. Once you have this nailed, you can build a succinct marketing strategy around this customer and your brand will be in a strong place to grow.
Know your numbers
This is key to really understanding your business. And by numbers I don’t just mean revenue. How is your blog/newsletter/video series performing? How many people are opening it and reading/watching it? What are the growth areas? What are people engaging with? What is working? How many customers or clients do you have? How much profit/loss are you accumulating a week/month/year? What are the gaps? Do you have time for more clients / customers and if so, how many?
These are the questions that you need to be asking yourself honestly and truthfully and this will formulate a specific goal in relation to growth strategy and one that is based on previous activity and thorough understanding of your business.
What is missing
Have a good look at your current marketing mix. What do you do to engage existing customers and attract new ones? Look at the successes you’re already achieving (e.g., a regular, engaging newsletter that has a good open rate) and ask is there anything you could do to improve your existing offer. For example, if you’re posting on Instagram three times a week, could you up it to five and test the engagement, or if you’ve done a couple of video posts could you increase those in a more structured and regular way? It’s all about testing and seeing what a good level is for you and your customers.
Is there anything from a marketing perspective that you could be offering and aren’t? What are other businesses and brands in your field doing? What’s working for them? A good check list includes: social media engagement, online advertising, a regular newsletter, video content, direct mail, events, press engagement, networking. Is there anything that you feel you should be doing but aren’t and could add as a goal for 2018?
Speak to your customers. They know you and your business and are already engaged, so there is no harm asking them how they would like to hear from you and in what medium. They may – and often do – give you completely different things to think about.
The main thing to try and remember is stay focussed and also that goals can change. Make sure your goals are written out and put them on the fridge/your office pin board/ your computer – anywhere you can see them and constantly ask yourself if what you’re working on at that specific moment is working towards one of those goals, and if it’s not ask why are you doing it? Has your goal shifted or have you lost focus?
I am always excited to hear about other business owners’ goals for the year ahead and see how I can help. If you’d like to have a chat about your marketing goals for 2018, please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07584062323.
Here’s to a very exciting and prosperous year ahead!