Two of the most important aspects of both your overall business strategy and your marketing strategy are related to where you are going and how you know you have gotten there. Goals and metrics.
Any time you begin something new, you should always take a step back before you launch/implement to determine what you would like to achieve. Your goals can be related to a number of different things, and they will always determine what metrics you track. Your metrics should tell a story related to your goals. They will indicate if your strategy has been successful or if you need to tweak before moving on.
Clearly defined goals will help you to articulate what your ideal outcomes are and they will help to motivate you along the way. Here are a few things to consider when you need to set goals:
- Set both end goals as well as milestones. We discussed celebrating the small wins. These milestones – or mini goals – will help to keep you on track. The end goal gives you the bigger picture.
- Write. Everything. Down. You might think that the meeting you had with your business partner, your team, or yourself (celebrate the solopreneurs!) was absolutely amazing and extremely productive, but unless you write down your goals, there is room for you to stray in your quest for success. Writing things down will help to hold you accountable.
- Set your implementation plan based on your goals. You know where you want to go, now you just have to figure out how to get there. It’s like looking up directions on a map only here you are creating your own path.
- Keep focused. It might be tempting to have a few pages of goals, but the challenge then becomes prioritization. It’s best to focus on 3 – 5 goals, achieve them, and then move on to new goals.
- Be realistic, but challenge yourself. You need to set goals that are achievable, but make sure you push yourself to do better. If you don’t know what your limits are, then set a short term goal and adjust.
While your goals outline your story, metrics fill out the details and make it interesting. Here are a few things to remember about metrics as you work to achieve your goals:
- Continuously track results. If something in your strategy isn’t working, then you need to figure out both why it’s not working and how you can fix it. With properly defined metrics in place, you will be able to tweak your strategy accordingly.
- Don’t be afraid of change. Once you do notice something isn’t working, you need to change your approach immediately. You don’t want to waste your time and resources on a strategy that isn’t going to get you the results you want.
- Select metrics that are based on your goals. If your goal is to have a more engaged and growing audience on social media, then you would likely track followers and other metrics such as likes, shares, retweets, etc.
Goals and metrics go hand in hand and it is important to include both in your strategic planning so you can determine whether you strategy is successful or not.