Setting Your 2023 Marketing Goals: A Guide

Setting the right goal is the backbone of an effective inbound marketing strategy. It can provide a foundation for how you develop your marketing approach. It can also help you identify milestones to track as you make progress toward important business objectives. 

While business leaders and marketing managers recognize the importance of setting marketing goals, defining them is often easier said than done. Where do you start? Which goals will truly help you move the needle? How much should you stretch while still identifying SMART marketing goals that are attainable? These aren’t easy questions to answer.  

7 Steps to Identify The Right Marketing Goals for 2023

After hundreds of conversations over the years, we’ve discovered a few best practices that can help you set marketing goals that align with your overall business objectives. Whether you’re just starting the process of defining your goals or finalizing your marketing plan, here are a few helpful steps to ensure you set the right marketing goals for the year: 

Step #1: Evaluate and Analyze This Year’s Goals 

Taking time to reflect on your experience over the past year is the best place to start. What were your goals at the beginning of the year? Were they helpful in moving you toward your ultimate business goals? Were you too ambitious in some areas? Were there certain obstacles that kept you from achieving your goals? Which goals would you keep and which would you jettison?

These are all incredibly helpful questions to help you develop smarter marketing goals for the following year. At Green Apple, we often encourage our clients to include other stakeholders in the process of evaluating goals. Whether it’s capturing anecdotal feedback or conducting a thorough SWOT analysis, it’s important to approach the conversation with honesty and candor.  

You won’t be able to improve if you don’t take the time to identify your current reality. This leads to the next step. 

Step #2: Define Your Current Position and Barriers to Growth

Defining the proper marketing goals requires an accurate understanding of your current reality. It’s important to consider your current growth level. You shouldn’t expect to grow by double digits (without a significant shift in budget or strategy) if you’ve averaged 2-3% growth. This also means making an honest assessment of your limitations. Every marketing tactic requires time, energy, and resources. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to set audacious marketing goals without the ability to make the necessary investment to achieve them. 

Step #3: Incorporate Your Business Goals and Initiatives into Your Marketing Goals 

One of the best ways for your marketing efforts to impact your business is to ensure your goal supports the overall direction of your company. This is an often overlooked but essential step in setting your marketing goals. As we partner with clients to develop their marketing strategy, we take time to identify any business objectives marketing should support. Often, this requires collaboration between the C-suite, marketing team, business development team, and even customer service and operations. 

The point is to understand what your company is trying to achieve so that you know where to invest your marketing budget.

Step #4: Identify Your Priorities

If you could only focus on three or four marketing goals for the year, what would they be? If you could only focus on one, what would it be? Asking these two questions can help you define your priorities. Biting off more than you can chew is a common mistake when it comes to setting the right marketing goals. 

Ranking your priorities can ensure you focus on what’s most important. It can also provide clarity if you’re forced to make budget cuts or other business decisions that might impact your overall marketing campaign. 

Step #5: Set Clear, Written Objectives and Key Results 

Based on the insights you gain from the first four steps, you’re ready to define your marketing goals. Writing your goals down is also important. According to research from CoSchedule, marketers who write down their goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t. 

It’s important to have a timeline for each goal or objective. For example, 

  • Goal: Grow our social media following
  • Objective: Increase social media audience by 30% by April 1, 2023
Step #6: Detail Your Milestones and Metrics for Success

The best way to drive your results and keep your team motivated is to break down your annual goals into quarterly and monthly milestones. This can also be helpful if you work in an industry where certain times of year are busier than others. 

For example, if you have a Q2 sales goal that’s higher than normal, you might want to set a Q1 lead generation goal that can support it. 

Step #7: Determine How to Translate Metrics into Actionable Insights 

If you want to achieve your end goal, it’s important to be able to translate your marketing results into actionable insights. This shift in the way you approach marketing metrics can make a huge difference.  

If you’re struggling to identify the right marketing goals for your business, you’re not alone. We’ve worked with businesses in a variety of industries, and each has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to setting the right goals. 

Let Us Help You Achieve Your Goals

If you need help setting the right goals or designing a marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals, our team is here to help. 

Your Marketing Plan for 2022: 7 Attainable Goals

pen and coffee


With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparing your 2022 strategic marketing plan. The new year is a perfect chance to start fresh, with innovative ideas, new traditions, and creative campaigns. Before you determine what needs to change, what objectives should be established, or what goals you want to meet, take a look at these seven attainable goals to add to your marketing plan for 2022. These key components just might make this one your most successful year yet.

Include Your Team in the Process

It’s essential to involve your team in company decisions, especially the choices that will directly impact them. Whether it’s a financial, communications, or company-wide plan, you don’t need to take on this task alone. 

Inviting your team to collaborate with you creates a more collaborative environment. Plus, incorporating your employees in big decision plans builds company trust, morale, camaraderie, and reliability. Everyone brings a new perspective, and it’s critical to engage them.

Construct a SWOT Analysis from 2021

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are essential when planning your next move. Without the deep dive into your previous campaigns and strategies, you’re unable to determine why something was or wasn’t successful. By conducting your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis, you’re unveiling endless growth possibilities and positive outcomes.

Here are some examples of each to ask your team:

  • Strengths:
    • Where do we excel?
    • What are our assets?
    • What do customers like about us?
  • Weaknesses:
    • Where are areas of improvement?
    • What complaints do we receive from customers, employees, or stakeholders?
    • How much debt do we have?
  • Opportunities:
    • What trends may positively impact our industry?
    • Is there a niche that we should be targeting?
    • How is the market changing?
  • Threats:
    • Could specific regulations discount our company?
    • What methods have our competitors tried that we have not?
    • Where can our weaknesses be exposed?

Review Your Mission and Vision Statements

Everything you do should reflect who you are as a company. Ask your team and yourself questions like, “What do we value? What differentiates us from the competition? Why do we exist?” It can be easy to get lost in trends or follow others but don’t forget about your originality and what makes you stand out from the competition. 

Your annual plan should heavily incorporate goals and concepts that demonstrate what makes you, you. When conducting a team meeting, request feedback on what they admire most about the company, why the values are substantial, or where the gaps are to be more purposely filled. 

Develop Your 3-5 Year Strategic Plan

While it may seem like overkill, you should always be thinking about what your next step is. (Spoiler alert, your competition is already doing it). Think of your prospective finances, budget, timeline, business size, and more to keep you on track for success. 

Brainstorm methods for increasing your revenue, committing to your values, executing SWOT findings, and expanding your goods or services. No goal is too big, and you can always readjust next year!

Make Your Goals and Objectives Clear

Write or type your goals and objectives for each category you’re preparing and have a timeline for each action item. Including Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in your initial planning will help keep you accountable as often as you need, whether that’s month-to-month or quarterly.

Examples in Action:

  • Goal: Grow our social media following
  • Objective: Increase social media audience by 30% by April 1, 2022
  • Goal: Strengthen employee morale
  • Objective: Increase employee feedback survey to a 90% average by 2023
  • Goal: Expand our client list
  • Objective: Increase subscription rate by 60% by June 15, 2022

Establish Metrics for Success

If you do not already have Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google My Business, be sure to implement them! These resources do not cost you anything to configure, and they give you valuable information that can help gain traffic, leads, and revenue. 

Don’t forget that surveys are also a fantastic method to gather feedback. Whether your plan is for external or internal communicators, questionnaires are immediate results where you can discover if something new or existing is working or not. 

Break Down Your Priorities 

In order to drive your results and keep your team more motivated, break down your priorities into annual and quarterly tasks. Your annual tasks are your higher-level, bigger-picture goals that you want to accomplish. Once you develop your yearly milestones, hone in on quarterly projects that will help you attain them. Three quarterly projects are a good rule of thumb to start and work your way from there. 

Creating Your Marketing Plan for 2022?

Green Apple Strategy is a full-service marketing agency that connects clients to communications experts, conducts valuable strategies, and delivers quality work. Are you ready to begin your 2022 strategic planning with our team of specialists? Connect with us today to schedule a consultation and start implementing your best year yet.

5 Books to Read When Looking for Your “Why” in Marketing

Discovering your why when marketing your business should always be step one. It’s the foundation upon which you can build your entire brand—because people don’t create a business without a reason. They create a business because they are passionate about providing something to their audience or solving a problem.  This is especially important for your marketing strategy because when you fully understand what drives you and your company, you can explain it to others. Marketing is primarily storytelling, and you need a story to share with your audience. So, when you’re discovering your why, especially as you inform your marketing direction, where do you start? If you’re a bibliophile, we recommend these five books to find the true drive behind your company’s efforts.

1. Robots Make Bad Fundraisers: How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age

For the nonprofit organizations that live on fundraising, your why is essential. People give their time and their money because they feel good about where those resources are going, and they want to make a difference. By discovering the heart of your organization and telling that story in the strongest way possible, you can insight passion in others and boost your fundraising goals.  In Steven Shattuck’s book, Robots Make Bad Fundraisers: How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, he ventures to answer an important question: Has technology actually gotten in the way of building a personal connection with our supporters? He would argue that, yes, the more digital our world becomes, the less our hearts are in it, and the further we stray from our purpose. We rely on these technologies to fuel our growth, but, in reality, they are allowing us to lose focus, and we aren’t telling the passionate story of purpose these organizations were founded on. This nonprofit-focused marketing book actually has an interesting lesson to teach us all, even in the for-profit sector—how to keep the donors you have, inspire new donors to give, and maintain your team members’ sanity.

2. Brand Storytelling: Put Customers at the Heart of Your Brand Story

A business’s purpose always circles back around to the most important person: the customer. We build these businesses because we want to help our audience overcome a challenge or feel a certain way. It’s only right, then, that we keep our customer at the heart of the brand story. Miri Rodriguez’s book, Brand Storytelling: Put Customers at the Heart of Your Brand Story, helps us do just that.  Rodriguez guides the reader to use storytelling to trigger the emotions that humans are driven by. She explains how to analyze, pull apart, and rebuild your brand’s story in a way that focuses the business as the “sidekick,” putting the control in the customer’s hands, allowing them to be the key influencer.

3. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See

“Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems,” says Seth Goldin, Author of This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See. This book description could stop here, as that’s the perfect way to describe what it means to discover the reason behind why you do what you do.  Goldin draws upon his many years in marketing to explain how marketers can make the world a better place through powerful marketing elements: empathy, generosity, and emotional labor. He walks the reader through identifying their viable audience, drawing on the signals to position their offering, building trust, telling a meaningful story, and giving people what they need to achieve their goals. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Right?

4. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

Does your message matter if your audience isn’t listening? In his book Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, author Donald Miller shares his method for connecting with customers—helping them understand the benefits of using a brand’s products, ideas, or services. By simplifying your brand message, your audience will grasp it more quickly and be motivated to move forward. Miller helps readers do this through seven universal story points that all humans respond to.  When building our messages, we must keep our messages clear and engaging. And where does that message begin? You guessed it: your why. Your understanding of your purpose allows you to build a clear message. Miller can help you get there.

5. Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers

We search for our why because we want to matter to our customers. That moment when you think, “I have this great service. Why is no one taking advantage of it?” It’s because you know how great it is, and your audience doesn’t. In her book, Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers, Bernadette Jiwa explains that we “have no shortage of ideas, but we struggle to tell the story of how they are going to be useful in the world.” We couldn’t agree more. By posing a series of thought-provoking questions, Jiwa helps the reader dive into what about their brand will resonate and how to craft a message that will matter Are you looking to take your marketing to the next level? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.