The idea of measurable goals in marketing is hardly a foreign one. After all, marketing is a data-centric industry and with the advances of technology that enable marketers to track every metric imaginable setting goals is more possible than ever. Believe it or not, some businesses don’t set tangible goals periodically, which makes a marketing strategy difficult to monitor.
With so many different metrics available to track, perhaps some businesses become overwhelmed at the prospect and simply throw in the towel. Better than nothing, they may say as they post content at random and wonder what the time and labor expense of marketing is actually worth.
It is these businesses that can often benefit the most from the services of a marketing agency or a professional consultant. Setting goals that are tangible and that can easily be tracked can help create a full picture of how successful (or unsuccessful) a marketing strategy is. But what should these goals look like?
The answer to this question depends entirely on what the end goal for the brand is. Yes, sales and conversions matter, but the roadmap that a customer takes to get to that point is where the sweet spot of marketing lies. Finding ways to attract customers at multiple entry points and break down common barriers are the key to marketing success. However, all of this plays into the goals that the brand has laid out.
Let’s say that a brand wants to grow its Instagram following by 50% year over year. While this is an easily measurable goal, there are still several ways to accomplish it. And each of the methods will require their own measurement. So what methods will a brand employ to make this happen?
Initiatives such as engaging content, stories, live videos, polls, and partner promotions can all work together to help grow an account authentically. While each of these may not be in line with the content strategy of each brand, it’s important to measure each action as it pertains to the overall goal. If that action is failing to convert, what can be done differently?
If an action isn’t converting or helping the brand in some way, then it’s an all-out waste of time. But having the ability to measure the results of each factor as they tie into the main goal will help identify these areas of wasted resources. In contrast, a brand that simply throws up content and hopes for the best will likely not see as many results and will feel frustrated that its efforts are going unseen.
Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing strategy doesn’t just stop with tabulating metrics, either. Numbers do tell a large part of the story, but once again we must remind brands that taking a step back and looking at the big picture is invaluable. Keeping our nose to the grind, looking just in front of us instead of up ahead, can cause us to miss opportunities and waste time and energy on the wrong objectives.
And take the time to look outside of the brand’s channels, too. Are consumers talking about the business on social media? Are they talking about a story that’s relevant to the brand’s business? Measuring these conversations is another way to gauge whether or not a brand’s strategy is working.
Setting tangible and measurable goals isn’t simply a matter of saying “we want to grow this number by this percentage” — there are numerous smaller goals that must then be tracked to measure the progress of the larger goal. Having these goals in the first place will more clearly define the way forward for a brand looking to increase its marketing effectiveness.