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Defining Your Marketing Goals is Key to Success

If you’re not measuring your ROI, you’re wasting your time!

Setting measurable goals is step 1 in a successful 5-step marketing strategy.

Marketing is all about putting the right product or service—or a combination thereof—in the right place, at the right time, and at the right price. Right?

Remember the rule of 7? That it takes seven exposures to your message before consumers will remember it??

Well forget about it!

A Microsoft study tested the optimal number of exposures required for audio message recall. They concluded between 6 and 20 was best. Yikes! Six to 20 times our message has to reach the customer before they respond?

How on earth are we to get a handle on whether or not what we’re doing is working?

Begin with the end in mind.

What are your marketing goals?

Your marketing goals are the things you want to accomplish through customer engagement, whether it’s sales, increased education, action, advocacy or another purpose. But when you set those goals incorrectly, you may have a hard time measuring your ROI (return on investment) and measuring the effectiveness of your marketing actions. And if you’re trying to report marketing outcomes to a supervisor, you’re going to have big problems if you don’t have your goals set correctly.

Look at it this way. If you are a DJ or a photographer, your goal is to book more appointments. If you’re a party store or a nightclub, your goal is to get more people through the door. If you’re selling a popsicles or baked goods, your goal is to get people to buy more. For each of these situations, a clear goal has been set, right?


Each of the examples above contains what are referred to as “non-measurable” goals. Goals that contain words like “more” or “greater” or “increased” are vague and won’t give you exact statistics you need to know if your campaign worked.

Let’s take a look at the difference between measurable and non-measurable goals:

Non-measurable Goals:

  • Increase appointments (no measure of success)
  • Reach more customers (how many more?)
  • Have better online interactions (better than what?)
  • Increase customer messaging (by what amount?)

Each of these is, indeed, a goal, but when it comes time to decide if that $50 per hour social media assistant is doing their job, YOU, the client, will need to be able to measure your return on investment whether through sales increases or another method. So if you’re the cient in this job, and you expect your SMM to “increase engagement” unless you have a way to help measure that outcome, you are setting an unrealistic and un-attainable goal of “increase.”

And on the other hand, some useful, measurable goals.

Measurable Goals:

  • Increase appointments generated from web/social to 10 inquiries per month
  • Send quarterly newsletter to 100 new customer leads
  • Reduce online response time to 30 minutes or less
  • Increase sales by 20% over Q2 18

If you have a customer funnel in place, we can tell if the dollars you’re putting toward marketing are giving you what you need. We can track the number of inquiries on web/social. We can develop and send a newsletter to 100 new prospects. We can see our response time online and adjust as needed.

We can track sales from the top of the funnel to the conversion (buying decision) and measure those sales against previous years.

Measurable goals provide valuable data for future actions.

So think about it. What are your goals for 6 months? 12 months? Take the vague and non-measurable standard marketing goals below, and make them your own measurable goals and you’ll be able to select the best performing marketing channels for your business every time.

  • Increase lead generation for email/text
  • Grow audiences on social
  • Increase referrals and reviews
  • Partner market with other businesses
  • Increase traffic to website
  • Increase visibility and goodwill
  • Increase sales
  • Others??

Once you put numbers on goals and objectives, you’ll find it simpler to determine which channels (and messages) are giving you the best performance and you can then put more resources toward those choices to meet your measurable sales goals.

Sponsored by the City of South Haven, South Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Lake Michigan College.

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

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