How SMART are your Marketing Goals? (Part 1)
A SMART goal or S.M.A.R.T goal is a goal that is written in a way that makes it clear what exactly you’re trying to accomplish, when, why, and how. First introduced in the ‘80s, this methodology is designed to help you establish goals in a way that your brain can transfer into actions - enabling you to better achieve the results that you are looking for.
You should set and follow SMART goals for nearly all aspects of your business - this includes your marketing.
It can be so easy to fall in the trap of ‘marketing just to market.’ A lot of small businesses will begin ongoing initiatives and campaigns without knowing what they are looking to achieve from them. Similarly, other businesses will set the vague goal of ‘increasing revenue’ for every one of their marketing campaigns that they run.
Like every business, you obviously want to increase your revenue, and may be marketing your company in hopes of achieving this goal. But with a vague goal such as that, how are you supposed to know that your company has increased your revenue because of the marketing that you did?
When your goals are like this, your marketing - and by extension, your company as a whole - is going to struggle over time because you won’t know what areas you need to improve in.
To help remedy this, let’s go over the 5 parts of a SMART goal, and turn “increasing revenue” into a goal that meets the SMART goal criteria.
The 5 Parts of a SMART Marketing Goal
For your marketing goals to be SMART, they should meet the following criteria:
- Specific: To be specific, your goal needs to be laser focused. It should define exactly what you want to achieve with your marketing, and how, by avoiding ambiguity altogether in favor of definite statements. The more specific, the better! Without any specifics tied to your goals, they run the risk of being too vague.
- Measureable: The marketing goals that you set need to have a way to evaluate how successful or unsuccessful they were by setting a benchmark of success. Typically, it’s best to provide clear and recognizable milestones that you can look at as the timeline progresses, instead of waiting until the end to evaluate. In marketing, this typically means identifying the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you will be looking at to evaluate your campaign.
- Achievable: Your marketing goals need to be within reason. Do you have the resources to complete the goal that you’re trying to set? Does it seem like a realistic point to aim for that is within the scope of your campaign? To determine whether or not your goal is achievable, it helps to outline the steps that your plan will take during the duration of your campaign. When ensuring that your goal is achievable, make sure that it is still somewhat challenging. If it’s a goal that your company could achieve just for existing, then it’s probably not one worth setting in the first place.
- Relevant: A relevant marketing goal needs to pertain to the overall purpose of what you are doing. It must be consistent with other goals established, and fit within your immediate and long-term plans for your marketing and your company as a whole.
- Time-Bound: A time bound goal has a definitive end point in which your goal will be completed. Every marketing goal that you set should have one to ensure that you don’t either get too discouraged or too lackluster in reaching that goal. Goals like this help hold you accountable, and give you a way to accurately measure whether or not you reached your campaign goals.
Sometimes different words will be used to represent the different letters in SMART. For example, some versions will have the ‘A’ in SMART stand for ‘Attainable’ instead of ‘Achievable’ or the ‘R’ stand for ‘Realistic’ instead of ‘Relevant’. It doesn’t necessarily matter what words you choose, as long as your goals are well-rounded enough to meet the five generalized topics represented above.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog, where we will discuss how to turn your company’s marketing campaign goals into SMART goals to achieve maximum success during your next campaign run. In the meantime, contact us if you would like help setting your own SMART goals.