Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.

— David J. Schwartz, author of The Magic of Thinking Big

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.

—Tony Robbins, professional quote-maker

Heavy thoughts.

Big #MotivationMonday-worthy stuff. Invigorating. Exciting. The kind of quotes that make you want to get up in the morning and crush the day.

So why is setting specific goals such a big flippin’ challenge?

If you’re a human being, you’ll have experienced failure at some point. Some goal gone awry. Maybe you announced to everyone you know on Facebook that you’ll lose thirty pounds by Thanksgiving… only to delete that post a few weeks later and hope no one noticed.

Missing a goal — any goal — hurts. And it hurts in a specific, public sort of way. But that doesn’t mean goals aren’t worth setting.

I can’t tell you what specific marketing goal you need to set. But I can tell you what makes a successful goal:

  1. Realistic within the time-frame.

  2. Measurable.

  3. Ambitious enough to excite you.

The reason so many people set their goals either so high that they burn out or so low that they never achieve lift-off? They don’t find the balance that achieves both #1 and #3. Either the goal is so ambitious that it requires an unrealistic amount of work, or it’s so darn boring and realistic that it’s not even fun when you achieve it.

But there’s one missing element in marketing goals we need to address before you achieve lift-off: what those goals are. Here a few suggestions for marketing goals that will reinvigorate your love for new business:

1. Customer Loyalty

Not what you expected? Then you’ve forgotten one of the most important statistics in marketing: retaining old customers is much less expensive than attracting new ones.

Some estimates say a new customer requires 4 to 10 times the marketing investment of simply boosting customer loyalty.

You’d think this would be common sense. But according to this survey, only 18% of businesses focus on customer retention as opposed to acquisition.

Like Warren Buffet’s chief rule of investing — don’t lose money — you’ll never have any issues as a marketer if you never lose customers. You can’t put specific monetary value on a loyal customer, but suffice it to say, repeat business is the name of the game.

But that still leaves us with a few questions: how do you measure customer loyalty so you can make a goal out of it?

Here’s a shortcut: look at your Customer Lifetime Value. This will take some time to calculate at first, but you’ll end up with a clear number with which to judge your ability to retain customers. (If you’re lucky, you’re already working on a platform that can make these calculations for you).

Boost this number over time and you’ll notice your business growing even before you buy another ad.

2. Viral Success

I’m the first to admit that this one is tricky. There’s no predicting what will be a hit and what won’t. For every Chuck Testa, there are a thousand duds you’ll never hear about.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make viral success a legitimate goal. Just treat it like any other goal: determine what’s realistic and exciting first, then find a way to measure it. Even an arbitrary goal, like YouTube subscribers, makes viral success as measurable as anything else above your bottom line.

To succeed in this arena, study the success of viral marketing campaigns. You might not sell anything remotely like Potato Chips or skin care products, but there are a few underlying principles to pay attention to:

3. Conversion Rate

Email sales, newsletter clicks, PPC, landing page conversions — it doesn’t matter where you turn, because conversion rate will always matter.

Conversion rate is a great candidate for a measurable marketing goal because it’s automatically tracked once you’ve properly set up your Google Analytics.

4. Bounce Rate

Think of this one like golf — the lower your score, the better.

You might have a wonderful web presence ready to roll. You might have set bold conversion rate goals for yourself. But if your page takes a minute to load and your bounce rate is sky-high, none of that is going to matter.

In your marketing efforts, you’re inevitably going to point to your website — whether you’re marketing on billboards or with PPC. That means your web presence needs to be crisp and your sales funnel needs to be well-defined.

Measuring your bounce rate and setting a goal for its improvement will help you recoup more of those marketing dollars. For reference, a bounce rate of about 26-40% is considered “excellent.”

5. New Customers

I know — in the first section, I told you that retaining old customers was cheaper and more effective than adding new customers. But if you never add new customers with your marketing, your business won’t see the growth you’re aiming for.

Measuring new customers is easy, but it depends on your business type. Retail stores will have new customers coming in on a regular basis, while service-based software companies get most of their revenue from subscriptions and service contracts with old customers.

Whatever your pleasure, think about investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. This won’t only make it easier to track your progress, but will enhance your experience with each new customer rolling in.

Set Marketing Goals

No matter what business you’re in, or where in your business’ lifecycle you are, it’s always important to set goals. Marketing goal-setting creates a benchmark to strive for – so you don’t end up running in place, and wondering why you haven’t gotten anywhere in the last year.

Do you have any marketing goals to finish the second half of 2017 on a strong note? Share them below!