If your goal is to save time and money in order to ensure the success of your business, your marketing plan isn’t something you should set and forget. In order for it to be most effective, you need to constantly review, evaluate, and adjust your plan to meet the needs of your company and those of the consumer. But how do you know when you need to adjust? How do you determine whether or not your marketing plan is delivering the best possible results? It all depends on your ultimate outcome.

Are you striving to build your influence and brand awareness? Increase conversions? Get engagement? Generate leads? Retain customers? Upsell?

In order to know if you’ve been successful, you need to develop SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals.

To illustrate this point, let’s set a SMART goal for three of the outcomes listed above. Then, we’ll determine the potential metrics that would show you if your marketing plan is being successful toward reaching that goal.

Build Brand Awareness and Social Proof

SMART Goal:

By November 30th, I will have 1,000 followers/likes on each of my social media accounts respectively.

Plan for Success:

I will post engaging content daily and give a clear call to action and benefit for people to like, subscribe, follow, etc. I will promote these posts to expand my reach beyond those currently following me.

Metrics You Could Measure:

When it comes to building your influence, whether as an individual or an organization, the metrics you can rely on include: increased website traffic, page views, video views, page likes, followers, downloads, referral traffic, and mentions across social media. However, in this case, our SMART goal laid a more specific metric: the number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, etc.

Evaluate and Determine Success:

So if you’ve had two major sales this month, but your stated goal was to reach 1,000 followers on each social media network, then your marketing plan actually hasn’t been successful unless you reach that goal. You’ve reached a level of success, but not for the goal that you set out. Certainly celebrate your success, but also reevaluate whether the goal you’ve set is actually the most effective goal for your business.

Increase Social Media Engagement

SMART Goal:

Next week (ex. October 30th through November 5th), I will have a 20% increase in engagement across my social media platforms.

Plan for Success:

Because it has proven to garner more engagement, I will post videos and images daily and give a clear call to action for people to like, share, comment, etc. I will promote these posts to expand my reach beyond those currently following me.

Metrics You Could Measure:

Comments on blog and social media platforms, likes, shares, pins, and inbound links.

Evaluate and Determine Success:

If you’ve built your following up to 10,000, but no one is liking or sharing your posts, again your marketing plan actually hasn’t been successful. Like before, you’ve reached a level of success, but not for the goal in question. If you’ve only reached a 10% increase in engagement, re-evaluate whether you’ve set an unrealistic goal or whether there’s something you’re not doing that could increase your engagement even further.

Generate More Leads

SMART Goal:

I will generate 100 inbound marketing leads by the end of the next quarter.

Plan for Success:

Just to review, leads are website visitors who provide their name and email (and sometimes phone number) in exchange for an offer. Many times, leads opt-in to your email marketing, which provides you an opportunity to convert them into customers. It also gives you a chance to qualify your website visitors against your ideal customer profile.

Metrics You Could Measure:

You could track this goal through email subscribers, phone calls (ask leads how they heard about you), form entries, and overall conversion rate of website visitors to leads.

Measure and Determine Success:

This one is pretty straightforward. You set a goal of a number of leads or a percentage of growth in leads. If you meet that number or percentage, you’ve been successful! If not, you re-evaluate, tweak, and try again.

Regardless of the goal you choose, it’s important to measure your results. This allows you to adjust and re-evaluate until you’ve met or even exceeded your original outcome. Isn’t that what we all want? To go above and beyond what we ever thought we’d be ever to accomplish?

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