When only 61% of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective, and 58% of marketers are struggling to target or segment their audience, it behooves you to ask: How can marketers get smarter about marketing strategy? The answer is goal setting, and more specifically - SMART goals setting. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
One of the most difficult marketing tasks, it is nevertheless the one effort that can help marketers focus, get motivated to succeed, and prove just how successful they are.
SMART goals ground your marketing hopes and dreams in reality, control your team’s work direction, and provide the benchmarks for future marketing plans.
SMART is more than just an acronym, It’s a proven goal-setting framework that helps companies and individuals set and achieve realistic objectives.
10 reasons why SMART marketing goals are so effective:
- Create team cohesion by working toward a unified purpose
- Provide clear direction and sharpen focus
- Determine which data collection protocols to use to reach your marketing goals
- Prioritize tasks and increase team productivity
- Help your team become more organized and make their progress more trackable
- Achieve clear communication and a more aligned and motivated team who knows how their individual efforts contribute to a larger goal
- Know the exact roadmap toward your goal - and when/where the finish line will be
- Save time because all activities will be goal-oriented
- Evaluate the success of your efforts and lessons learned in terms of strengths and areas for improvement
- Avoid failure by setting too-general or too-unrealistic goals
Here’s a simple SMART goals template to make goal setting easier (and effective):
Why It’s Important
Gives you a far greater chance of achieving your goal than if your goal were vague, unclear, or imprecise
Lets you know how you’re progressing and if you’re on track to teaching your goal
Gives your team the encouragement and drive to realize your goal
Eliminates unnecessary or immaterial work that could detract from what’s really important
Motivates you and gives you a sense of urgency toward achieving your goal
It’s not enough to set SMART goals; you also have to increase the likelihood of achieving them. Here’s how:
- Set goals you can control - or at least ones your department can control
- Make sure your goals can adapt to fit changing market situations or business environments
- Track your goals and connect them to your team’s daily output
- Share your SMART goals with other project and company stakeholders
- Establish regular problem-solving meetings
- Create marketing goals that complement, not detract from, each other
- Align your SMART goals with your marketing budget
- Make sure your team members have the resources to achieve your SMART goals
SMART goal examples to live by
If you’re still unsure how to adapt the SMART goals framework to your business - these examples can help:
SMART goals for your blog
Specific: Achieve a 10% increase in traffic by increasing publishing frequency from three posts per week to five posts per week
Measurable: Metric - total visits to a blog post
Attainable: Our blog writer can write three instead of two posts per week, while our editor can add two posts to her editing duties
Relevant: Our overall marketing objective is to generate more sales leads for our new app. The more blogs dealing with our app benefits and uses, the greater the traffic and sales opportunities
Time-bound: End of the month
SMART goals for your customer support team
Specific: Achieve an 80% to 90% customer satisfaction rate in three months
Measurable: Metrics - customer satisfaction score, post-service customer surveys
Attainable: With a new approved budget, we can add two more members to our customer support team and increase training
Relevant: Increased customer satisfaction promotes the company’s stated goal of customer retention and, subsequently, better sales.
Time-bound: three-month timeframe
SMART goals for your webinar signups
Specific: Achieve a 25% increase in signups via promotion in social media, email, website, and blogs
Measurable: Metrics - percentage of your social media/blog/website's visitors and email recipients that sign up in response to your marketing campaign
Attainable: Previous webinar saw a 10% increase in signups with a Facebook-only promotion
Relevant: More webinar signups mean more sales leads and potentially more closed sales
Time-bound: By the day of the webinar (two months)
Your SMART first step: Sign up with a proven-successful marketing agency
The marketing strategy is the heart and soul of your campaign - directly impacting the way you run your business and sets the overall direction of your marketing efforts. It needs to be focused, well-planned, well-informed, comprehensive, measurable, and medium- to long-term. The critical first step is identifying your goals.
Make your job easier by partnering with a marketing expert who can help you align these goals with your overall business objectives, super-target them to make it easier to measure success, and ensure they meet the SMART criteria for goal-setting – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-limited.