Maybe you have a brilliant inbound marketing strategy in mind, but have you set your marketing goals and targets? Did you decide how you will assess the effectiveness of every effort you or your team will make?
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It can be challenging at times to create them considering the questions above. But, it sure is essential to align marketing with business goals from the very beginning to arrive at what initiatives need to be executed to achieve success and determine which measures are necessary to track them.
How Does Marketing Plan Support Business Goals?
It is absolutely crucial that you need a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before you begin creating your marketing plan. A marketing strategy would only support your business when you align marketing with business goals.
For example, suppose one of your business goals is to expand your physical retail shop into a more reachable e-commerce website. In that case, your marketing strategy could introduce your products to a new market segment.
You would then break down your plan even further into short-term goals and long-term goals while defining your specific marketing communication path.
If you are yet to begin already, create specific business goals to get started. Also, make sure you are attaching a particular timeframe to the fulfillment of your goals, for example, a quarterly plan.
Setting a time frame would help you create a more targeted and practical marketing plan.
Why do you need to align marketing with business goals?
When businesses choose to carry out marketing targets and strategies without sound alignment with the established business goals, marketing is inefficient, and business outcomes are not up to the mark. How do you know if you succeed without goals that can be monitored and measured?
Without your determination to align marketing with business goals, you are simply drifting – and working on vanity metrics that will steer you off course in your effort of accomplishing your overall business goals.
It is obvious to ensure that your marketing practices see alignment with business objectives end-to-end. And still, if marketers are unable to match their plans and priorities with what their organization wants to achieve, then marketing approaches may become competitive misses resulting in strategic failures.
Building an effective marketing plan and strategies requires that you understand what you are trying to achieve in terms of business objectives as a whole within a limited timeframe and carefully putting in place the activities that will help you get there.
Why Alignment Matters?
When you align your marketing strategies with your business goals, you set a perfect course for your business in the right direction. Therefore, you can consistently make decisions based on the best interests of your business.
Alignment of your marketing processes with business goals is beneficial because it builds a greater level of accountability for your marketing team. It adds up highly measurable strata and naturally helps you naturally generate key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate whether or not you are performing effectively.
Smartly aligned marketing targets can immensely help you build optimum organizational efficiency and productivity. With your employees all aligned behind the same, specific goals, your team will function like a complete unit organized toward a clear direction.
Moreover, your employees tend to work all aligned as a comprehensive organization structured toward a clear path with the same intrinsic objectives- success.
How to Align Marketing Strategies to Business Goals?
1 . Marketing should be considered early in the business planning process
Marketers must be engaged in the business planning process right from the start. How would the right things get affected if they don’t?
The truth is that if they are putting their efforts operating in a vacuum, they will yield out ineffective results and thus hurting the desired business growth.
It would be best to define your business objectives, develop your sales and strategic plans early on, and align marketing with business goals to form the basis for building your marketing strategy. Because when you know what path you have to follow as a long-term goal to achieve, it’s easier to plan your marketing efforts to get there.
2 . Keep things tied together
Be sure that every aspect of your marketing plan links as a part of the company’s overall strategic objective.
In other words, align marketing with business goals. Encapsulating everything in a well-aligned manner will ensure that you invest time and money in the right way.
3. Work backward to progress
Working backward entails beginning with the desired result in mind and then finding out how to achieve it.
The trick to thinking backward is to have a clear understanding of where you are going to finish.
This draws upon insights into what should be the ideal end outcome (better profits, more happy consumers, smoother working flows, etc.) and what the product should be like to accomplish those objectives, and what success will look like for you.
4 . Determine your capabilities
Your business needs a well-oiled machine that functions efficiently. Determine the capabilities to get things aligned with your company goals because it is vital to growing your business.
If you don’t believe you can pull it off, find someone who can!
5 . Develop meaningful marketing metrics
If you do not measure the meaningful marketing metrics, it’s highly unlikely for you to get the required C-suite support you would need.
Marketing metrics are no longer seen as unrelated to business goals and priorities; instead, they are now directly tied to them.
To be successful, marketers must align their defined metrics so that they can reliably demonstrate an exact impact those have in meeting the overall business goals.
6 . Assess the revenue you want to generate from inbound marketing efforts
Inbound marketing demands patient efforts and takes time to develop, but the content you produce has compounding benefits for your overall inbound marketing objectives. When you’ve created a successful piece of inbound content, you’ll continue to enjoy the benefits from it for a very long time.
Suppose your inbound marketing strategy’s long-term profit is significant compared to the efforts you put in. In that case, a considerable amount of time is required when any company first implements the inbound methodology.
Determining return on investment (ROI) will not just depend on what you reap from a strategy instead of on what you’re investing in it to implement.
But it will also depend on what your gains are now as opposed to what they were when you began applying the strategy.
7 . Evaluate how many sales you need to achieve revenue goals
When you set personal or team objectives, make sure they align with the annual revenue objectives complemented by sales targets. Working backward can assist you here to quantify how many sales, demos, SQLs, calls, and all other sales effort the team will need to complete in order for the business to thrive.
Although it is crucial to understand your business goals before setting sales objectives for your team, it is simply a bad idea to stop there.
To be competitive and keep tracing a growth trajectory, set feasible goals, or your sales reps will consistently fall short of achieving them with efficacy.
8 . Determine the closing rate and how many opportunities you need
A close rate is calculated by dividing the number of deals won by the total number of deals closed, won, or depleted.
You need to know how many more leads and opportunities you need to attract to achieve a certain amount of sales for your business. Working backward here will help to identify how many opportunities you need.
9 . Assess the amount of SQLs you need
Sales qualified leads are usually the hot leads—these are the leads who are willing to make a move and decide to buy your product or purchase your service.
The marketing team here plays an active role that must identify how many leads it has to generate per month, the objectives to achieve as far as each stage of the funnel is concerned, and the number of SQLs that the sales team can validate.
Sales representatives directly engage the lead from there in a bid to determine whether the lead has a genuine interest in the product or service. If it does, the lead is considered eligible for sales (SQL).
10. Assess the amount of MQLs you need
MQL is one metric that you always want to boost since these visitors tend to be active, engaged, and convert at higher rates.
But how can you tell your visitors are MQLs?
Data monitoring can efficiently help you find those marketing qualified leads because it provides you with all information on leads.
You can analyze better each visitor’s interest level, which is a crucial factor required for a visitor deemed suitable to move into the MQL category and transferred to the sales team.
Monitoring MQL metrics also gives you a clearer idea of how many qualified leads the marketing team needs to produce on their front. Thus, setting a path for building clear and measured objectives for generating marketing qualified leads targets.
11. Evaluate how much traffic you need to achieve your goals
Well, most marketers realize the importance of traffic generated and would say, “I want to increase my website traffic.” They may seem reasonable enough, but it’s not about increasing website traffic; it’s about quantifying that need as to “how much of an increase are you looking for?”
Hypothetically speaking, would you be happy with one extra website visitor each year?
A much more determined objective would be, “I want to boost my website traffic so as to generate at least 1000 unique visitors per month.” Setting more concrete targets means that everyone is on the same page or, should I say, voyage on the same ship for one destination- success.
12 . Set quarterly benchmarks
Focusing on other strategic priorities is essential to ensure that your overall business strategies are consistent with your marketing and sales goals. Increasing customer loyalty, improving customer service, and creating higher lead-to-customer conversion collaterals or resources are critical tools for achieving your SMART goals.
Implementing your marketing efforts along with the quarterly benchmarks is a great way to assess how and whether you need to maneuver adjustments to your marketing objectives.
Without a commitment to align marketing with business goals, marketers struggle to justify potential investments coming forth before them and eventually cannot have a say in situations like budget cuts.
So, create your marketing strategy around your business goals, and take a work backward with your new data every quarter. Adjusting objectives should be viewed as constructive – it’s something completely necessary in order to see a growth trajectory.