As a marketer or leader at your agency, you understand the importance of setting goals for your clients. Tracking progress, measuring successes, and recognizing what can be improved for future campaigns can help you and your clients identify any shortcomings or potential issues. Setting goals is a great way to set your agency and your clients up for success, both in outlining and implementing your strategy as well as positioning your agency as a strategic partner.
Are you unsure how to help your clients set specific, data-driven goals and achieve them? Let’s dive into some exercises you can do with clients to help them set the right goals and reach impressive results.
Use client data to set goals
According to a recent study, 46% of small- to medium-sized businesses reported that they didn’t like working with certain marketing agencies because they didn’t feel like the agency was a true strategic business partner.
Helping your client set up SMART goals will give them (and you) a clearer structure.
What is SMART goal setting?
Each client goal should be:
- Specific: The goal should be well-defined and specific, leaving no place for misinterpretation.
- Measurable: The goal should be trackable and have the ability to be measured within reporting.
- Achievable: The goal should be attainable according to the client’s current performance. Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and frustration.
- Relevant: The goal should work within their current strategy and have relevancy with marketing efforts that are currently being carried out.
- Time-bound: The goal should have a clear start and end date, making it easier to track progress and performance.
Did your client come to you with previously set goals?
That’s great news! Make sure to validate these targets. If any of their goals are somewhat vague or unclear, help them be more specific. Increasing sales leads by 35% is much more straightforward than simply aiming to bring in more sales.
Next, start by working backward from the goals they provided to show what needs to be done in order to achieve those goals. For example, if they want to pull in $2 million in new business next year, take a look at their current sales data to see how much they’re likely to pull in at the end of the current year. Is this increase in revenue reasonable and attainable? From there, continue to work backward down the marketing funnel. Asking the following questions can help:
- How many customers does the client need to bring in, and what’s the average size of their current sales?
- How many opportunities did they have last year, and what was the close rate?
- How many sales-qualified leads do they need to generate to pull in that many opportunities?
- How many new contacts do they need to bring in to reach that amount of qualified leads?
- What channels did they come from?
- What are the most popular sales channels?
- How do customers typically find your client’s goods or services?
After you’ve worked through these questions with your client, it’s time to assess whether or not their goals are achievable and to reset if necessary.
When it comes to meeting specific goals, you can assess if the growth needed in other key performance indicators is reasonable given their engagement with your agency, the resources needed, and the timelines you have set.
Now you’re able to create a well-defined and clear plan to outline an effective and unique marketing strategy that tracks each of the smaller aspects needed to reach the end goal.
Pro tip: Set times to check in on your client’s goals so you can make assessments each week, month, and quarter. This will help you recognize if your strategy is working or not, and it may open opportunities for changes if necessary.
If your client doesn’t have a clear idea of what their marketing goals are, don’t panic! Have a strategic conversation with them to help identify what they would like to achieve. Do they want to increase their online presence? Are they interested in boosting their social media standing? Do they want to improve customer retention or double their sales leads next year? The most successful marketing agencies will set goals based on their client’s top data-driven priorities and align them with their strategic plans.
Here are a few helpful questions that can guide your strategic discussion and alignment with your clients:
Does your client have a system in place to track, monitor, and manage their goals? Goals are great, but if your client doesn’t have a way to measure their success, setting goals will be futile. Lead-monitoring technology like CallRail Call Tracking software helps businesses identify which ad, campaign, or keyword inspired any lead to call, email, or text.
What areas of their business operation need the most improvement? It’s helpful to review current data to identify any bottlenecks or obstacles in your client’s day-to-day operations.
What are your client’s priorities? At the end of the year, what does success look like to your client? What analytics or metrics would make them say, “Wow! We had a great year!”
Once you have answers to these questions, follow the next steps:
Have your client record their responses. Have the client record their responses and current data using a report or presentation. This will help to outline your discussion and will give them a chance to provide useful feedback, plus you can always return to the document if questions are raised in the future.
Check in with your client regularly. Are they constantly working with their goals in mind? Are you helping with their marketing strategy as much as you can? Does their plan need to be updated or revised?
Analyze the data, then make adjustments. When you can prove that a certain campaign resulted in a particular customer, your clients are more likely to connect the dots between your agency’s efforts and their growth as a business. Agencies can use CallRail to sort calls by certain key terms or Call Highlights to showcase the impact of a specific campaign.
Once you’ve examined the metrics, make any necessary adjustments that could improve campaign performance in the future. Are you using the right keywords? Are you targeting the right demographics? What could you improve next time?
Related reading — Get the infographic: How to set your agency apart in 2021 and beyond
Examples of SMART goals
Here are several examples of SMART goals that you can present to your clients, update for their needs, or simply use as a guide for setting your own.
Example 1: Increase customer reviews by 15% within the next 6 months.
If your client is looking to increase their brand awareness and boost their positive online presence, the goal of increasing their customer reviews is a great place to start. Here’s how you can break it down:
- Specific: Increase reviews by 15%.
- Measurable: Measure progress through monthly reporting, with a check-in after 3 months to ensure you’re on track.
- Achievable: The client increased their customer reviews by 10% in the last 6 months by simply asking their current customers for a review and implementing a review gathering system.
- Relevant: The client’s focus is to increase their brand awareness based on current competitor research.
- Time-bound: Measure over a 6-month period and compare to the previous 6 months.
Example 2: Boost website traffic by 25% YoY.
If your client’s website isn’t receiving the traffic it needs, you’ll want to set a goal to increase those click-through rates and push leads to the right content on the site.
Ultimately, increasing website traffic can increase sales. Here’s how you can break it down:
- Specific: Increase the number of visitors to the site by 25%.
- Measurable: If the client usually gets X amount of visitors, set a goal for Y (increased by 25%).
- Achievable: The client has a solid content plan in place, with a strategy aligned to increase their site visibility.
- Relevant: The client is looking to continue their current conversion rate, and more visitors to the site will achieve more sales.
- Time-bound: Year over year comparison.
Example 3: Plan 3 new webinars next quarter.
This is a great opportunity to plan content for the future with your clients. You may want to add additional sub-goals of a number of attendees, positive ratings, etc. Here’s how you can break it down:
- Specific: Create 3 webinars.
- Measurable: The client can track how many attended the event as well as give a positive review of the event.
- Achievable: The client already has a webinar system of resources, as well as available personnel to host.
- Relevant: The webinars will help to generate positive reviews and conversions based on the content presented.
- Time-bound: Looking to complete the webinars within the next quarter.
Data-driven goals achieve better results
Setting attainable marketing goals is important, especially if you want to make a positive impact on your clients’ revenues and your relationships — and prove how your agency’s marketing efforts are driving ROI.
Looking for more data and better reporting? We’ve got you covered. Identify your campaign’s most successful keyword strategies, paid ads, and more — start a free trial of CallRail now.
P.S. Need help setting goals for your own agency? Check out our worksheet!