Time to Plan ClockRemember those marketing goals you set last year? It’s time to look at them!

In between holiday parties and munching cookies, set aside some time to look at the year in review. If you’ve done your work marketing-wise, you will have achieved the goals you set at the start of the year. If not, you may need to tweak them as well as your strategy for next year.

First, What Were Your Goals?

If you did set goals at the start of 2014, what were they?  they were measurable and actionable, like “increase sales 40%.”) If they were, it should be easy enough to assess whether you accomplished them or not. If they were more vague (“increase sales”) aim for more specific goals for next year.

How Did You Work Toward Them?

I always insist that when you set goals, you create a list of action items to ensure success. So if increasing sales 40% was a goal for this year, you should have made a list of to-dos, like:

  • Hire 2 new salespeople
  • Increase social media ad spend to $10,000
  • Raise product prices 5%

Having actions to take ensures that you’re working toward your goals throughout the year. Without these steps, you simply put your hands up at year’s end and say, “Oh well. We didn’t accomplish our goal. Who’s to blame?”

You are! Accomplishing objectives takes work. And it’s not just on you. You need to enlist the help of your team to get the job done.

What Will You Change for Next Year?

If you didn’t accomplish some of your marketing goals, will you add them to next year’s list as-is, or tweak them? For example, if that 40% sales increase was a bit too steep, maybe you change it to 25% for 2015. You want your goals to be realistic, otherwise, you won’t feel that they’re possible. And there’s nothing wrong with exceeding your goal!

What Will You Add?

A lot can change in a year, especially in the world of marketing. There are tools available now that there weren’t 12 months ago, so factor that into this year’s list of goals and objectives. You may have taken a pivot with your business that means moving into new territory marketing wise. Or you might want to try a new strategy out, such as guest blogging. Don’t be shy about setting new goals, even if they’re in uncharted waters.

Setting goals — whether it’s in marketing, sales, or any other aspect of your business — is a fantastic way to set your sights on what you want to accomplish, and then accomplish it!