We all have goals throughout our life, even in childhood: an A at school, being strong like dad, taking a degree, a driving licence, getting married, and so on.
A company, just like a person, has goals in different areas: for example they can have the goal of expenses reduction, finding staff with good skills, selling more products, or a better communication.
Here we are: how is your communication, as a brand? Have you got any goals? What ROI do you expect?
Why you should have goals
Many companies think they don’t need goals in communication, and they believe they just have to be there to be noticed, but the truth is that, just like a person is noticed for their charisma, a company must have a certain charisma. Especially on the Internet. Avoid communicating without having goals is your first goal. And that is for a simple reason: communication on the internet done just because you have to, is like speaking without saying anything that makes sense. Brand communication, especially on the internet, must be done with awareness and goals.
Having goals means having a direction, a footprint to follow. When you have goals, then you can make a strategy.
Ok, clear: having goals in web marketing is important. But then, what are the right goals?
Defining goals is a goal itself, indeed. Goals must be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely. Basically, to make sure you have goals that fit your company, they must meet certain requirements. Here are the characteristics they should have.
Goals should be specific
A random goal is just not right: getting more traffic on the website, for example, is a very imprecise goal, with a very wide spectrum, and therefore hard to turn it into useful considerations that impact on your communication. Saying you want to be loved is not a goal.
When you decide your goals, make sure they are specific: what page you want to bring visitors to? Do you want to be loved by people? What people? The world? Nope. People who might be interested in what you sell? Yep.
Goals should be measurable
Let’s say you want to increase your newsletter subscribers. Good, it’s a nice goal.
How many subscribers?
A random number is not fine: you should always expect a result that is proportioned to the cost (and invest an amount of money that meets your expectations). So, 30%? 50%? 500 new users? It’s not important how, but your goal must be measurable. Communication is a science, and as such it must be integrated with mathematics. Measurement will allow you to adjust your investment, avoiding a waste of money and time.
Goals should be achievable
Be honest: is your goal achievable? Is it out of your scope? If that is the case, maybe your goals are just not right for you, which could generate frustration and lead you to wrong strategies.
If your brand is unknown, you can’t just try to reach the same traffic volume as your more popular competitors on the short term.
Be careful: achievable does not mean realistic.
Goals should be relevant
What benefits can the achievement of a goal bring to you? Why do you want to achieve them? Maybe better focusing on goals that can actually bring some good to your business.
Goals should be timely
A goal must be defined on a timeline: taking the previous example, having the goal of increasing your number of subscribers of 500 units is fine, but if you achieve this goal in ten years, maybe it is not that good. A goal is not consistent if not put in a precise time frame, even though it is specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant.
If I have a goal, achievable and relevant, of getting 20% more visits on a landing page in a month, but it takes to me two months, it means there are some mistakes.
What is your goal?
So, do you have S.M.A.R.T. goals? What are the parameters a goal should meet, to you? Leave your opinion.