You had a vision of what you wanted to achieve, and you began to make moves. But now you’re looking up and realizing that it’s no longer January, and not only are you not on track, but you can’t even see where the track is. However, all is not lost, and it is still more than possible to take control and bring your marketing goals back into sight.
Sometimes we have to begin by regrouping. The “re” in regroup literally means back or backward. In terms of setting goals for your pest control business, it is important that you look back on what you have previously accomplished with your marketing efforts to serve as a reasonable predictor of what you are capable of now. Review your revenue, expenses, and cancellations and develop a clear picture of the current health of your business. Figure out how many customers you need to maintain last year’s target. For example, if your traffic previously increased by 4-6%, it likely isn’t reasonable to make a goal for an increase of 20% now. With this data, you’re fueled to create goals that are challenging yet actionable. Knowing how your efforts have performed in the past will help you to make informed, strategic goals as you move into the future.
Take some time to evaluate where your business is right at the moment. Think of your marketing plan somewhat like a GPS. The system has to know your starting position in order to build direction plans for you. Likewise, for your pest control business, if you don’t know where you are, it’s pretty hard to make a plan on where you want to be. You’re not going to be able to stay on track if you don’t even know where the track is. Ask questions like the following:
What is our revenue goal?
How many new customers do we need to achieve this?
How many new, qualified leads do we need to reach the number of customers forecasted for calculated growth?
A road map to your goal allows you to track your progress on the way to where you’re headed. Establish an ordered list of benchmarks or marketing objectives, also known as objective and key results (OKRs). These metrics act much like landmarks on the way toward your goal. The difference between a goal and an objective is that, in general, a goal is a broader over-arching vision, whereas your marketing objective is the more concrete plan of how that vision is achieved.
A common mistake that many marketing teams make is creating goals that are too general and open-ended. Your goals need to be specific and measurable. This includes them being on a timetable. When there is no defined end date, this can lead to putting goals on the back burner because people assume there is always more time. On the contrary, having certain benchmarks or milestones helps keep the team’s attention and move the process.
Every so often, you need to look at the GPS to make sure that you’re still on track. As you move along toward your goals, you need to monitor and tweak your progress regularly. This type of consistent evaluation keeps people focused and in the present. Marketing and business goal metrics give you knowledge about whether you need to keep going as planned or need some re-direction to get back on track toward your goal.
For example, look at your customer list and figure out how often regular customers schedule service. Then take a look at what the average transaction amount is for those services. If an average customer spends $120 for service every two months, then multiplying $120 by six will determine a new customer's value is $720 annually. If your goal is to make an additional $50,000 in sales per year, your business will need 70 more regular customers. Dividing the number of needed first-time customers by 12 then gives you the number of new customers needed monthly to reach your goal. You also need to figure out your company’s lead conversion rate. If your team closes the sale on about half of all qualified leads you receive, then you need 560 leads annually (47 monthly) to reach your goal.
Important metrics that will give you direction in your marketing goals include:
Cost per Lead: The amount of money you spend to obtain a lead. Tracking this metric will allow you to know whether you’re getting a good return on your investment for your marketing efforts.
Lead Source and Type: Where your leads come from such as your website, local Search Engine Optimization, or customer referrals.
Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads that convert to actual customers. Knowing this helps you to set goals, spot weaknesses, and inform future marketing practices.
Expenses and Revenue: Knowing what your pest control business is spending and bringing in will help you see how your lead generation efforts affect your business.
As on any road trip, it isn’t usual for unexpected things to come up. Sometimes there are literal roadblocks that keep you from moving forward, such as technology issues, team members having conflicts and becoming unavailable, a change in finances, or even unexpected things happening in the world. Creating a list of possible obstacles and how to address each one will help keep things moving, or at least reduce the time that you’re on the side of the road.
A survey of over 3,000 marketers, showed that those who set goals were 376% more likely to see successful outcomes. Objectives such as those mentioned above will guide your marketing team by keeping them on track and helping them make everyday decisions. Your pest control company will be far more likely to reach its goals when they are defined, outlined, and compiled into a clear list of measurable marketing objectives.
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