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Setting Marketing Goals That Are Achievable

These advices from the experts will help you set realistic and achievable marketing goals

Setting goals for your marketing department can be a very difficult task. It seems quite easy to set expectations but the truth is that, it is indeed a tough ask. Goal setting for marketing is sort of an art which requires the following things:

Patience: You need to be patient and practice enough in order to be able to actually ‘set’ some goals

Refinement: Your ideas will be raw at first. They may be very good but you will accomplish refinement with determination, practice and experience

Focus: You need to be focused on the results that you want to achieve. It will help you realize the goals you need.

Playfulness: It is very important to incorporate a little playfulness otherwise you may drive yourself crazy.

When you are trying to set goals, there are numerous questions that come to your mind. You constantly think about how to create such goals that are challenging and achievable at the same time. The number of goals to be set is also quite a headache. The frequency of goal setting can also prove to be quite a troublesome task. Should you set goals every month, week or semester? What type of goals are the best for a small size company that aims to achieve rapid success? These are some of the many queries that will raid your mind once you decide to set some marketing goals and will give you a serious headache.

The best answers to the questions mentioned above can be obtained by talking to some expert or someone who has plenty of experience. This article is based on advice from different experts and will definitely help you create your own amazing goals.

Do you need help setting achievable yet challenging marketing goals? You need to learn what the experts have to say about it. Read the full article to learn more!

Shanelle Mullin, Director of Marketing at Onboardly

Shanelle Mullin has been working as a marketer since she was just 15 years-old (because who doesn’t decide to become an affiliate marketing expert at 15?), when she helped a three-person startup grow to a million dollar company.

Currently, she is the Director of Marketing at Onboardly, where she helps the company’s startup clients create revenue-generating marketing strategies.

The key to setting achievable marketing goals is to spend time evaluating your current position. Many startups set lofty, unattainable goals and end up discouraged, which can be detrimental in the early days. On the other hand, some startups set easy, insignificant goals and end up missing out on growth potential.

Take the time to really understand your growth levels to date. If you run a popular blog and traffic has increased by 8-10% for the last four months, you know that a 12-15% month-over-month increase in blog traffic is a challenging yet attainable goal. Don’t be the startup that shoots for 20% or the startup that considers anything above 8% a win.

In terms of what types of goals you should be setting, it depends heavily on what stage your startup is in. Early on, focus on engagement goals and collecting feedback to validate your product or service. Later on, focus on growth metrics. There are no universals when it comes to metrics, unfortunately. What’s important is that your core goals are tied to major business objectives.

The single most important thing to remember about marketing goals is to stay focused. Choose 1-2 core goals that impact the bottom line and 3-5 supporting goals. Anything more than that will distract you from what’s most important (as will changing goals too often).”


Courtney Seiter, Head of Content Marketing at Buffer

Courtney Seiter heads up content marketing at Buffer, where she’s taken their already-popular social media marketing blog to the next level––their posts consistently get thousands of shares. Previously, she wrote a social media column for Marketing Land and worked as a Community Manager at Raven.

“Our goal-setting process at Buffer is always in flux as we experiment, learn and change. But a few main principles help keep us on track throughout the process and make sure our goals are the right mix of workable and challenging (at least, most of the time):

– Have a hypothesis. We love testing and experimenting at Buffer, and we try to go into each new marketing goal with as much information as possible. We talk through what we want to change and why, study past patterns, perform audits, and consider all the possibilities. When you’ve done all the groundwork, it’s easier to have a good idea of what you think will happen as an ideal outcome.

– Communicate more than you think you should.  We review our marketing metrics every week as part of a Friday morning session we call “content visioning.” The frequency of these sessions lets us revisit results right away and move quickly on new ideas to reach our goals faster and avoid surprises. Frequent check-ins and smaller goals on the way to the big goals seem to help us all stay on the same page.

Be OK with failing (sometimes). Sometimes we make our marketing goals too challenging and we aren’t able to reach them. That’s OK; we don’t know everything! We often can learn as much from those moments as we can from the big triumphs. When this happens, we’ll set up some new experiments to try and start measuring again.”

Ryan Holiday, Director of Marketing at American Apparel, Author & Blogger

Ryan Holiday is proof that the well-traveled path isn’t the only one that leads to success––he dropped out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene, and since then he has had an amazing career in marketing and publicity.


He is a media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney as well as the Director of Marketing at American Apparel. He is also the author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, and my favorite book on marketing that I’ve read this year: Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.

“Look, at the end of the day the goal is: asses in seats. What’s critical is that the ways you’re doing it now don’t make it harder for you later. Look at Groupon and other such brands which grew terribly quickly but at the cost of the brand itself. As a marketer, rather than just some growth junkie, your goal is to drive trackable real results without ever letting those aims kill your long term prospects.”

Boiling it Down

There’s a lot of great information there, so let’s do a recap. Here are my biggest takeaways from the responses above:

  • Take time to truly understand your current position in order to set achievable marketing goals.
  • Choose 1-2 core goals that impact the bottom line and 3-5 supporting goals. Anything more than that will distract you from what’s most important.
  • Alternatively, try focusing completely on just one goal.
  • Pick goals that you genuinely care about achieving (be authentic).

Author: Ryan Koonce

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