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How does your company define success? What’s the difference between having an okay quarter and having a great quarter? Just like writing a story, it’s important to begin with the end because you need to know your destination. Your end destination is your target or goal that you would like to accomplish. Why are goals important? Not only do they give you a target to strive for, but also can measure your company’s performance.

Setting goals goes hand in hand with collecting good data. Your company may actively be using analytics but just because you’re collecting a lot of data doesn’t mean that you’re ready to make smart marketing decisions.

Setting Goals

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve probably heard of SMART goals before. Simply setting some goals isn’t enough. SMART goals are specific and can be broken down into a roadmap of smaller tasks that will help lead you to victory. These goals should be customized to your organization and not to keep up with the Joneses. Base your goals on your company’s historical performance to make sure that it is achievable. If your company does not have that much past data to go on, begin by using industry benchmarks for a company of your size. Remember: it’s okay that you did not achieve your goal at the end of a time period. Modifying your goals throughout the quarter in order to hit your goals is only cheating your company of its true potential.

Selecting Metrics

There are dozens of metrics that you can track, but how do you know which ones your company should follow? Although there is no right or wrong answer, some metrics hold more insight than others. For example, the number of ebook downloads holds more insight than the number of page views your site is getting. Selecting metrics should be selected based on your company’s SMART goals.

Setting Up Reports

Okay, so you’ve been collecting all of this data and tracking specific metrics that are important you your business. Now what? It’s time to consolidate this information into a report. From Google Analytics to Facebook Ads, you can generate reports about your performance. Depending on the amount of data you collect, you might want to have a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly status report.

Company Involvement

One mistake companies make is that they set their goals, but then don’t tell their employees. Even though all hands don’t have to be on deck to make your goals a reality, they should not be something to put up on a shelf and dust off every quarter to see whether or not you achieved them. All projects should help chip away at rocks that stand in the way of achieving the company’s goals.