How can setting goals support the development of your marketing strategy?

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Q&A feature for Insider South West

What’s the first thing I should be thinking about when it comes to marketing strategy?

First and foremost, you need to understand your corporate goals. Everyone within a business needs to understand the big picture. Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”. Not having a direction, not knowing the goals you’re trying to achieve, it’s all the same. You can never get ‘there’, if you don’t know where that destination is, and critically what success looks like for your organisation. You will struggle to prepare and implement a marketing strategy if you do not understand the overall goals of the business. So when you start to think about marketing, ensure you have a clear steer on what it is your business wishes to achieve.

How can I start the goal-setting process?

The key to setting goals is to spend time evaluating your current position, know where you are starting from. Marketers should be familiar with the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, and this can be a useful framework for goal-setting. ‘Strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ are internal to the business, while ‘opportunities’ and ‘threats’ are external factors. When you have identified these factors, goals can be aligned to maximise strengths and opportunities, to overcome weaknesses and minimise threats.

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