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Why is goal setting important to inbound marketing?

Setting clearly defined goals is always beneficial in business. Having an objective or set of objectives to work towards is an effective motivator for your team as a whole and individual staff members. And in the age of digital, nowhere is that more important than with your marketing strategy. If you’re still asking why is goal setting important to inbound marketing, let us explain…

Why is goal setting important to inbound marketing?

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There are several reasons why goal setting is important to inbound marketing; it provides marketers with an invaluable guide to what is expected of them and enables them to focus their efforts on achieving specific objectives.

Understanding precisely what the benefits of setting goals are is invaluable in devising useful, achievable, and meaningful standards for your marketers to work towards.

Whether you are setting goals for yourself or for those who work for you, here’s what you need to know about the importance of goal setting to inbound marketing.

Provide guard rails for content creation

The more guidance your marketing team has, the easier it will be for them to produce the content you require. Even experienced marketers can’t work magic; no matter how talented they are, they aren’t mind readers.

If you don’t make it clear what you want from them, they will struggle to deliver work to the specifications you want. Without precise goals to pursue, your marketers will inevitably end up investing time in work that you don’t use or doesn’t produce the results you are expecting.

Creativity is vital for effective marketing; you should always encourage your marketers to develop their own styles and approaches to their work. But unrestrained creativity isn’t always the best approach within the field of marketing.

Setting goals is like putting up guard rails; they give your marketers clear parameters to work within. With these parameters in place, your marketers are free to let their creativity loose while ensuring they are working towards your brand goals.

Increase synergy between your teams

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Wherever you have a disconnect between your marketers and your sales and service teams, you have a problem. All these teams need to work together to produce results; if they’re out of sync, your entire business will suffer for it.

Marketers generate the leads that feed sales. Meanwhile, your customer service team needs to remain on-brand at all times; otherwise, your business will seem inauthentic. But keeping your customer service team on message is difficult if you don’t already have a clear message for them to stick to. This needs to come from your marketing team.

With clear goals for your inbound marketers to follow, you can be a lot more transparent about what you want to achieve with your communications. For instance, which segments of your potential or existing audience you are looking to target and how each of them prefers to be communicated with. The other teams in your business will see what your marketers are striving for and can adjust their own approaches accordingly.

Measure success objectively

One of the most common issues that businesses run into when they don’t set clear goals for their marketers is how they measure their performance.

When you have a series of well-defined goals in place, along with implicit or explicit objectives for your marketers to achieve, you have an obvious benchmark for determining how well your team are performing. While you don’t want to put too much pressure on your marketers, you should be looking for ways to monitor their performance over time.

It’s easy to look back over your key performance indicators when a marketing campaign concludes, and you should always be doing this. But these aren’t the only times you should be measuring the impact of your marketers’ work. With achievable goals and objectives in place, there will be no ambiguity about whether your marketers are hitting the mark and returning the results you expect.

Assessing whether your marketers are achieving the objectives you have set isn’t just about determining their performance. In fact, that’s more or less a byproduct of the process, not the primary purpose.

There are far more compelling reasons to check your marketers’ performance against the goals you have set. For example, if your marketers aren’t achieving your objectives, it could just s easily indicate that you are asking too much of them as it could indicate their performance is lacking.

Refine your strategies in the future

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When you consider all of the benefits of setting goals outlined above, another key benefit emerges. The goals you set your marketers will inform the work they do.

Because your goals influence the work of your marketers, you are invested in the results they achieve. Just because you set your marketers a particular goal, that doesn’t automatically mean they will be able to achieve it. If one or two members of the team struggle to achieve the objective, it’s worth investigating why they fell short where others didn’t. But if no one on the team has hit the watermarks you have set, that suggests there is a problem with the goals themselves.

Remember that goals should be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-based

You can find out more about how to set SMART goals for inbound marketing on the HubSpot blog.

Whether you meet or miss your goals, you have gained valuable data you can use to inform your approach to subsequent campaigns. That might mean setting more ambitious targets in the future, being clearer with your marketers about what you expect for them, or gathering more data beforehand so you can set targets that make sense in the context of your team’s previous performance.  More thoughtful goal-setting benefits your marketers and your business as a whole.

Final word

These are just some of the main reasons why goal setting is important to inbound marketing. It’s always helpful to give your staff clear and achievable objectives to work towards; this is not just unique to inbound marketing. However, the way that you approach goal-setting and the benefits of providing these objectives to your employees will vary from team to team. Marketers occupy a unique position within most businesses; they set the tone for everyone else and convey your messages to your audience. If your marketers have well-defined parameters to work within, it will have a positive ripple effect throughout your business.

Header image: Photo by Munkhtuvshin .T on Unsplash

Embedded images: Luke Chesser on Unsplash, Campaign Creators on Unsplash, Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Mike Whitford

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