It’s January, which means you’re probably busy making resolutions for yourself and setting goals for everything you want to accomplish over the next year. If you’re a brand manager, marketing executive, or insights specialist, you’re likely also busy setting goals for your brand and thinking about where you want to be positioned when 2016 comes to an end.
Kelton conducts tracking studies for many brands who ask for our assistance this time of year in setting their annual goals. In case you’re struggling to set your brand goals for the year, we thought we’d share our approach with you.
As a first step, you’ll need to choose your key performance indicator (or “KPI” if you want to impress everyone with your use of marketing acronyms). Your KPI(s) should be a reflection of your brand’s main mission for the year. Do you want to grow awareness of your brand? Become the most preferred brand in your category? Improve awareness of your product’s unique value proposition? Once you’ve identified your KPI(s), make sure everyone at your company – marketing, sales, operations – is aligned on your brand’s main goal so that you’re all working towards the same objective throughout the year.
It’s important to set goals that measure real change, not a simple fluctuation of the data.
Once you’ve identified your KPI(s), the work isn’t done. You still need to determine what your target number is going to be for the year on each of your key metrics. Ask yourself these three questions when setting your KPI targets:
- Is the goal achievable? You don’t want to set yourself up for failure, so the first thing you need to determine is what a reasonable level of growth is for your brand. How much do brands in your category typically grow on these metrics year-over-year? Set informed goals by consulting historical data from your tracking study, or by asking your research partner to recommend a reasonable target based on other clients they do tracking studies for. Make sure to consider your growth goals in relation to the resources that you are committing to marketing initiatives.
- Will reaching our goal make a real impact on your business? A +1 point gain in consideration is certainly achievable, but it likely will have minimal impact on sales. In order to set meaningful goals, an understanding of how your KPIs relate to your sales/revenue is critical.
- Are you confident that your goal represents a real change? This last question relates to the size of the sample in the survey that you are using to measure your growth on these KPIs. When you have a small sample size, shifts in the data may not signify an actual shift in consumer behaviors/perceptions. It’s important to set goals that measure real change, not a simple fluctuation of the data.
Finally, we recommend setting an “expected” goal as well as a “stretch” goal – think about what type of growth would be indicative of a good year versus your best year. Strive for that larger goal, and you’ll be even more likely to meet your initial target benchmark.
Good luck setting your brand goals for the year! We’re excited to see everything that your brand accomplishes in 2016!