What’s Your Goal?

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

New Rules of Marketing and PR  |  Buyer Persona  |  Marketing  |  Best Practices

shutterstock_573409429I am often asked to critique marketing plans and programs as well as tactics like websites, and social networking feeds. My typical responses—“What's the goal?” and “What problems do you solve for your buyers?”—often throw people off.

It is amazing that so few marketers have established goals for their marketing programs. Often, they can’t articulate who their buyers are and what problems they solve for them.

An effective web marketing and PR strategy delivers compelling content to buyers and gets them to act.

And no, metrics like the number of “likes” or the number of inbound links aren’t good goals because these don’t directly contribute to business success.

Organizations that understand the new rules of marketing and PR have a clearly defined business goal—to sell products, to generate contributions, or to get people to apply or vote or join. These successful organizations aren't focused on the wrong goals, things like press clips and advertising awards and social media likes.

At successful organizations, content draws visitors into the sales-consideration cycle and then funnel them toward the place where action occurs. The goal is not hidden, and it is easy for buyers to find the way to take the next step. When content effectively drives action, the next step of the sales process—an e-commerce company's “Products” button, the B2B corporation's “White Paper Download” form, or a nonprofit's “Donate” link—is easy to find.

Working from the perspective of the company's desire for revenue growth and customer retention (the goals), rather than focusing on made-up metrics for things like website traffic, yields surprising changes in the typical marketing plan and in the organization of web content.

Website traffic doesn't matter if your goal is revenue (however, the traffic may lead to the goal). Similarly, being ranked number one on Google for a phrase isn't important (although, if your buyers care about that phrase, it can lead to the goal).

Marketing Strategy DiagramHere’s a link to my simple marketing strategy planning template to help you implement strategies and tactics for reaching buyers directly. It’s free with no registration required.

Ultimately, when marketers focus on the same goals as the rest of the organization, we develop marketing programs that really deliver action and begin to contribute to the bottom line and command respect. Rather than meeting rolled eyes and snide comments about marketing as simply the T-shirt department, we're seen as part of a strategic unit that contributes to reaching the organization's goals.

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