Start your marketing and communications plan for the year with goals designed for results.
It's that wonderful time of year when, regardless of when your fiscal year ends, we (you, us,your boss/board/spouse/mother-in-law, etc) take stock of what we've achieved and what we hope to achieve in the next year. It's a time to take stock of your company successes and failures. There are several different ways to measure this, but the most important thing is to accurately and honestly asses whether you met the goals you set for marketing last year, and focus on the upcoming year.
As you look at the upcoming year, dust off that marketing and communications plan and ask yourself—did you achieve the goals you set out for yourself? Do they meet the overall strategic goals of the organization?
(Sidebar: didn't set goals or a marketing strategy? Now's a good time to do it.)
The most important thing you can do for your company's success is to establish where you are trying to get to, apply a time limitation, specific achievements and make sure it's achievable, yet enough of a stretch that it will make a big difference to your trajectory. (SMART)
Most companies set revenue-based goals, but it's really dependent on where you are trying to get. More and more companies tie employee recruitment and retention into their marketing and communications goals, as well as the support of increased revenue. Other organizations (especially mission-based nonprofits) are focused on membership, patronage or awareness.
Establish Goals as the Crux of the Plan
Here are some thought starters for you as you plan for next year's success:
- If revenue growth is your top priority, what is the percentage by which you are seeking to grow? What is achievable but would have an impact on the company or organization? If that's your goal, put a one-year, three-year and five-year goal together and then work to put the supports in place to achieve it, from budget to all the strategies you need to reach the goal. From a communications perspective, how do your efforts measurably contribute to this achievement?
- If awareness/in-person or store visits/patronage is your goal, put together a goal that combines physical data (store or venue visits), website visits that achieve a conversion or goal (contact/purchase/buy a pass/shop online store/download content, etc) and build the set of objectives, strategies and tactics to achieve it.
- If increasing and retaining staff is important to your company, establish those metrics (grow staff by x%, retain xx% of staff) and then think about the elements you currently have that may not be communicated to the outside world, as well as the elements you may be missing that you can put in place to achieve these goals. How do you communicate the value of working for your company to internal and external audiences?
Build the Plan
Whatever your goals are—and at de Novo, we believe that marketing and communications plays a role in almost every aspect of a business' success—work to align your marketing plan with your overall organizational goals, put the elements in place to achieve them, and then work to deliver on everything you determine will help you achieve these goals.
Trust the Plan, But Measure Success
Once you've established your goals, build the supports to achieve them. Be sure to align your available resources, but be aggressive. Then work like hell to deliver the plan. As you go, consistantly measure your efforts to make sure they are delivering results, and be prepared to pivot or adjust tactics to get better results.
Working with de Novo helps you not only start with strategy, but gives you the tools and help you need to reach your goals. Why? Because we adopt your goals as our goals, and we partner with you to achieve them.