Inbound Fundamentals: Setting up Goal Planning and Strategies for your Business

Marketing goal-setting and strategy sessions can be intimidating, especially for small businesses. Yet, these two activities are really important to ensure your business’s (and your bottom line’s) success. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to set up a successful goal and then touch on a few strategies that will not only help you meet your marketing goals, but help with your overall business strategy as well.

Establishing SMART Marketing Goals

In order to be on the road to success with goal setting, we need to build a foundation. One foundation for inbound marketing (and any goal setting, really) is using the acronym SMART. To focus your energy, and that of your team, you need benchmarks and setting SMART goals is a great place to start.

  • Specific – what are your inbound marketing goals? Be specific. Oftentimes your specificity will be to acquire or attain more leads, site visits or customers each week, month, quarter, etc.
  • Measurable – once you have your specific goal, you need to set a number for that goal. How will you be able to measure its success? Whether your goal is to close your first customer or bump up your website visits by 25%, each has to have its own measure.
  • Attainable – the way to fail in a goal (and make you discouraged about your progress) is to set an unrealistic measure. If you’ve just published your website, having a goal of 5,000 new visitors to your site by the end of the month isn’t attainable. Shoot for a goal that is realistic and will keep you working towards it rather than wanting to close your doors from discouragement.
  • Relevant – each of your goals, no matter how small, must circle back to your company’s overall goals. If it’s not relevant to your vision and mission, it’s not worth doing.
  • Timely – there’s an adage by Milton Erickson that says, ‘A goal without a date is just a dream.’ Meaning – give your goals some dates! It’s important to have a time frame when setting goals. Whether the time frame is for the end of the day, week, month, or year, set a date.

Use the quick and easy template below to help get you started:

Increase ______ (visits, leads, customers) by _______ (# or %) – starting at ____ (x) and going
to ____ (y) – by ______ (date). 

An example would be:

Increase web site visits by 20% (5000 per month to 6000 per month) by June 15, 2015.

Strategize with Inbound Fundamentals

HubSpot, the top Inbound Marketing company, provides some resources for strategizing with the Inbound Fundamentals. Understanding the Inbound Methodology, Buyer Personas, and the Buyer’s Journey will help you strategize your company’s goals.

I’m not going to touch a whole lot on these today, but here’s a quick overview:

  • Inbound MethodologyThis consists of the four steps that make up a buyer’s overall experience: attraction, conversion, closing, delight. Customers are attracted to your site through various means such as blog posts, SEO, social media, or advertisements. They are drawn into the conversion stage by a tool such as a form or a chatbot. At this point, you’ve turned a total stranger into a lead which can be closed via email, workflow, or progressive profiling. Once closed, these now customers, have reached the delight stage which may call upon the utilization of a survey, or a referral program. 
  • Buyer Personas –These are ‘semi-fictional characters marketers create by doing research. They represent your ideal customer and help you to refine your marketing activities.’ These personas—and the activities you do surrounding these personas—ensures the right traffic is coming to your website.
  • Buyer’s Journey – Each buyer goes through three stages of the buyer’s journey: (Note: these stages happen before the customer knows about your company – they are just realizing they have an unmet need.)
    • Awareness Stage – becoming aware of a problem or opportunity.
    • Consideration Stage – has a clearly defined problem or opportunity.
    • Decision Stage – has decided on their solution strategy.

Setting goals and starting to create strategy surrounding those goals is an important step for inbound marketing. If you need any help in setting your inbound marketing goals, reach out to Seapoint Digital. As a HubSpot partner, we have access to tools and resources that will get you well on your way to your marketing goals.