5 Expert Tips for Effective Marketing Goals in 2016

by Sat Duggal

Here we go again. The start of a shiny new year.

I’m sure you have much to accomplish in your marketing plans for 2016. There are probably products to be launched, campaigns to be designed, competitors to challenge, and customers to win. Before you dive in, consider this question: Do you know what success looks like and will you know it when you get there?Marketing goals can be tricky and if they’re not right you could get caught up in a frenzy of activity and fire drills without a clear sense of direction.

Before you set out, here is a quick checklist to ensure your 2016 marketing goals are good to go:

  1. 1. Leverage Learning from 2015 – Obvious as this may sound, we find often that the many marketing plans do not leverage learning from previous years adequately enough. You spent a lot of time achieving your goals in 2015. Take advantage of time well spent and leverage learning from the previous year into next year’s plan. Look at performance against 2015 goals and use those numbers to inform goals for 2016.
  2. 2. Measure outputs – Do your goals measure inputs (e.g. CPM, impressions, organic search results) or the outputs those marketing activities are supposed to drive (e.g. leads, customer adoption, brand equity)? If your goals are focused only on inputs, they may miss the bigger picture. More importantly, it may be harder to get and/or keep budgets if your goals don’t focus on the more tangible and valuable outputs.
  1. 3. Establish linkage – Some marketing plans have no financial goals. Some have only financial goals. Many have financial goals along with marketing goals, but with no rationale on the linkage between the two. It’s important to show how marketing goals will drive customer behavior, ultimately driving financial results. Do your 2016 goals establish that linkage?
  1. 4. Develop measuresCan your goals be measured? Do you have a measurement plan in place to actually monitor performance against those goals?
  1. 5. Connect marketing with sales – Are your marketing goals clearly linked to sales goals? Are you generating adequate leads to drive the required activity in the sales funnel? Are marketing campaigns timed to the sales plan? Integration (or lack thereof) between marketing and sales starts at the goal level.


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In short, the key to effective marketing goals is making sure the two are fully integrated into the entire business strategy. The point of marketing goals is to drive business growth. This concept probably sounds elementary, but after years in the trenches working with hundreds of clients it never ceases to amaze me how rare it is for marketing departments to attain that level of integration with the rest of the company.

If you’d like to make 2016 the very best year it can be, our proprietary Integrated Commercial Strategy offering could be the answer. Download a detailed description of the Integrated Commercial Strategy eBook below, then let’s set up an opportunity to talk and see what we can do to help you.

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