The most important aspect of a marketing plan is well-defined goals. Most business owners have them, but not all have defined them specific to measuring marketing efforts.
Goals such as adding new staff or streamlining systems aren't marketing goals and have no place in a marketing plan. Goals to build marketing plans around are more along the lines of sales and revenue goals. Making these goals measureable is the only way to know if your marketing plan is working or needs to be reworked.
The most obvious types of goals are centered on sales and revenue. Increasing overall sales and increasing sales of particular lines of products or services are common in marketing plans. Measurement is easily tracked and tactics can easily be implemented to achieve these goals.
Market share goals are also common, though more difficult to measure. Any growing business wants a bigger share of the pie; market share measures how much of the market you have compared to your competition. The numbers are out there, you will just have to do some digging or perhaps even hire outside help to find these numbers. Your chamber of commerce or small business bureau should be able to assist or at least direct you where to look.
Customer retention goals are sometimes overlooked by small businesses, but this is a crucial area that belongs in every marketing plan. The most expensive aspect of the customer life cycle is converting them into customers. Once you've got them, don't let them forget you! Set goals to keep them coming back, and even better, to get them spending more.
A difficult goal to measure but important is awareness. Top of mind awareness equates to traffic and referrals. Surveys can shed light on how aware your target market is of your business, but can be expensive. Consider using social media to measure awareness if your target market can be found there. There is value to a "like" after all!
Factors to consider when setting goal measurements include history, market conditions, and opportunity. Some companies set a realistic goal and a stretch goal.
Need some ideas to reach your goals? Or help in determining how to measure them? Contact Rethink Marketing today!