One of the things adopting CRM hinges on is you having clearly defined your marketing goals in advance. But how do you define marketing goals? And what is the best strategy for your company? For example, are you shooting for more turnover or more range?
What you will learn in this article
- Why marketing goals are important
- What you need to know
- The definition of qualitative and quantitative goals
- What are SMART goals
- Getting started with CRM
Why marketing goals rock
With the correct marketing strategy in place, you can successfully reach out to your target audience and generate growth. But marketing relies on goals that reflect what the company wishes to achieve. So at its most fundamental level, marketing is about obtaining more sales, more turnover, and bigger profits. And ideally with the greatest possible Return on Investment.
The secret is to clearly define your marketing goals in advance. And ensure a good fit with your overall business strategy. Doing both will save you a heap of cash in the long run.
What you need to know
The starting point is always the current company status. Consider such factors as:
- Sales figures
- Website traffic
- Social media following
- Your Unique Selling Point
Once you have the current state of play gauged, the next step is your corporate strategy and goals. This refers chiefly to your Unique Selling Point and your business edge over the competition. From here, you can then define your marketing goals.
Nailing down your qualitative and quantitative goals
Defining your qualitative marketing goals
The hallmark of qualitative goals is that they ignore key economic figures. Moreover, these goals are subjective and answer open-ended questions. Generally, you can’t answer them with a simple yes or no.
For example, your qualitative goal might ask, “How do we develop a positive company image?” This involves how your company is perceived externally in terms of your company’s product or service and its brand reputation. Their opinions are then contrasted with your corporate identity. This is the identity pictured by everyone in your company. Hopefully, both sets of opinions are the same.
If both insiders and outsiders have a negative opinion, you have your work cut out. This is why it’s so crucial that small businesses have a well-defined self-portrait from the outset. Therefore, you need to put your Unique Selling Point in the spotlight…and be persuasive. But remember, this is a long haul. Developing your corporate identity and then building it up takes time. And can only be accomplished one step at a time.
In general, you define qualitative goals as:
- Communicating/publishing your corporate ethos to the world
- Image building by creating credibility and trust via your corporate identity and customer relationships
- Voicing your Unique Selling Point, e.g., you have the best service, cheapest offer, top quality, etc.
- Develop your brand and corporate image through campaigns
Qualitative goals help you decide whether and how you convey your corporate image to the outside world. This makes eminent sense as greater brand awareness and a positive corporate image inevitably leads to more sales and business success.
Defining your quantitative marketing goals
Unlike qualitative, quantitative goals are based on economic indicators. Quantitative goals are rooted in hard data metrics such as turnover, sales, and profits, etc., not opinions. They also apply a timeframe to these metrics.
For example, quantitative goals often refer to things like conversion rates and ratios of actions and effects. The hallmark of quantitative goals is that they are objective and measurable over time. This could be expressed, for example, as:
- X% sales increase in the next financial year
- X units of sales increase in the next half-year
- Or X% market share increase in the next business year, and so on.
The critical point to note is that quantitative goals are concrete expressions of economic goals or reach. In the latter, quantitative goals are tangible but non-monetary. For example, the increase in your Facebook fan following. Reach goals like these help determine where you need to apply resources to increase brand awareness in general or within a specific target audience. Reach goals could be:
- Increase followers on Facebook/Twitter by X in the next six months
- X more website visitors until date Y
- X number of mentions/media release uses over the next quarter
For the latter example, you should always spell out which magazines are important to you. Quantitative marketing goals provide measurable values which can be tracked and forecast via your CRM system.
What on earth are SMART goals?
Your goals also need to be SMART. Or in long-form, specific, measurable, accepted, realistic, and timed.
Specific – Get to the point. Cut the marketing BS.
Measurable – Design KPIs. You can then track these targets in your CRM system.
Accepted – Everyone in your company must sign up for the goals. If people understand and accept the goals, they will all pull together.
Realistic – The goals you determine should align with those of your company. But set realistic timeframes for your marketing. Very rarely do things happen overnight.
Timed – When setting quantitative targets, you should not omit setting an end time for projects.
Getting started with CRM
You wouldn’t buy a car because you liked the color. Instead, you would take it for a test drive. And the same goes for CRM. Always get a free trial or two to help you make your mind up. Like any other purchase, it’s always better to try before you buy. So don’t be wary about asking for a free CRM trial. It’s highly improbable any CRM provider would flat out refuse.
In addition to company-wide buy-in for CRM, every successful implementation rests on goals. Having clear defined marketing goals to hand makes selecting the right CRM system so much easier. The CRM you select has to match your business goals and objectives. You can, therefore, vastly increase the chances of success doing this ‘due diligence’ before you buy.