It’s never too early to start thinking about the future, especially when it comes to your marketing plan. Next year is fast approaching, and marketers have to start figuring out what their goals will be based on emerging trends. But, coming up with goals that translate directly to a clear-cut plan isn’t always as easy as it sounds. To truly prepare for 2016, you have to think ahead and keep your marketing SMART.
You might be wondering: What is SMART marketing? SMART is a methodology that helps you figure out the best, most actionable goals to set. SMART marketing goals are:
Specific: Don’t be vague – give figures and statistics that you want to see. Measurable: Make sure you know how to collect and evaluate your results. Attainable: You want to be challenged, but don’t choose impossible goals. Relevant: Set goals that matter and fit your company's needs. Time-bound: Make a deadline to keep yourself on task.
If you follow the SMART format, your goals will be more organized and more achievable than ever. Plus, it gives you the perfect way to quickly and efficiently summarize your main concerns in a clear and communicable way. Your whole team will know exactly what needs to be done, and when it needs to happen.
But, to truly market SMART in 2016, you need to know what goals you should make for the year to come. If they’re not the right goals, being SMART might not make a difference. So, check out these predictions for next year to build the right SMART marketing plan:
1. Digital and content marketing will grow even more. These two types of marketing are already huge, and they’re not going anywhere. 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, which demonstrates just how crucial it is. And, as for digital marketing, it’s expected to overtake TV ads by 2018. The best marketing goals will invest in growing expertise in these areas.
2. Customer service will be more important than ever. With the Internet, customers have dozens of options at their fingertips, and online reviews increase transparency about different transactions. This means you’re going to have to set yourself apart, and stellar customer service is one of the best ways to achieve that.
3. Using customer data the right way will set you apart. Customer data is going to get a lot more important. Marketers will begin to spend more time synthesizing data in ways that can lead to more useful conclusions – ones that will produce actionable results.
4. Social media will be even more central. Social media is already essential to inbound marketing, but it’s about to get even more so. Consumers are increasingly going to sites like YouTube or Pinterest to search for brands, and now Facebook is developing its own search engine. Companies will need to begin optimizing their efforts around social media to ensure they get found.
These tips and tricks will help you figure out the best goals to set for the year to come, and how to make sure you can act on them with your marketing plan. So, when you set marketing goals for 2016, make sure you’re thinking ahead and being SMART!
To get started making SMART goals for 2016, download this SMART marketing template!