The following is an excerpt from our brand new ebook, "26 Ways to Generate More Inbound Customers in 2013." For more expert tips on how to make 2013 a success, and to read insight from experts from around the industry, be sure to check out the full ebook.
Every successful business shares a common thread; clear and concise goals. Not only will focused goal setting provide you with a blueprint of success along with a timeline for getting there, but it also gives your entire company a more clear, targeted approach.
Goals are just as critical as the results themselves; therefore creating a realistic plan is essential. In late 2012, HubSpot laid out a blueprint for identifying business goals, using the acronym SMART to paint the picture.
Generating More Customers in 2013
1. SMART BUSINESS GOALS
- Specific – Set real numbers and real deadlines. Unclear goals such as, “I’d like to drive more visitors this year” lack focus, and as a result, often yield minimal success.
- Measurable – If there is no way to track and measure your progress, how can you achieve the ultimate goal? If you haven’t already, start using an inbound marketing software like HubSpot to track and measure your entire campaign.
- Attainable – You know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” Well... it wasn’t. Unrealistic goals can actually lead to failure just as quickly as having no goals at all can.
- Realistic – Know you and your teams capabilities. Consider any challeng- es that will be faced along the way.
- Timebound – Set strict deadlines for yourself. “Someday” may never come, and only leaves the door open for procrastination.
With clear, definitive goals and set deadlines in place, you can approach the new year with a much more focused marketing strategy. Your team will also have more direction moving forward, increasing the likelihood of your goals being hit!
“In order to set, and reach, your business goals—leads, sales, conversion and retention rates, revenue, profitability— you have to start by assessing your foundation, and your potential for success,” says Roetzer. “Consider core areas such as marketing team strength and technology utilization, and identify the metrics that matter most to your company. From there, establish performance benchmarks, define realistic expectations, and align your marketing resources and strategies.”
2. DEVELOP BUYER PERSONAS
Do you know who your ideal prospect is and what their challenges, goals, and needs are? Where can you reach them?
Not only should you have a detailed picture of who your target audience is, you should also know the personality traits of your prospects. What affects their purchasing decisions?
Personas are fictional representations of your ideal prospects based on real data and information regarding customer demographics and online behavior. So how exactly do you go about creating one?
Segment by Demographics
Research your existing customer base in order to identify the most com- mon buyers of your product or service.
You probably have several types of buyers, so be sure to create buyer personas for each of them. Create detailed descriptions about each buyer, including:
- Job title or role
- Industry or company information
- Demographic information
Identify their Needs
Based on the profiles you’ve created of each type of buyer, you can now work to outline their goals, needs, and challenges.
- What are their biggest challenges?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What information are they looking for?
- What current trends are influencing their success?
Develop Behavior-Based Profiles
The last step is developing a profile of each personas typical online behavior. Now that you know who they are and what their needs are, think about how they’re researching potential solutions.
Ask yourself what their online experience looks like.
What do they do online? Read blogs? Download ebooks? Interact on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? What search terms are they using to find solutions?
- What types of information do they consume online? Educational? News? Industry trends?
- What product or services are they spending the most time researching?
After completing this process, you should have a detailed description of your personas’ needs, demographics and behavior.
As a result, you can now market more effectively to your ideal prospects by having a more targeted approach.