By creating SMART goals for your marketing strategy, you can have a clear finish line to cross and celebrate with your team. By now, you have probably seen what happens when someone (or yourself!) sets a goal that’s too vague. Even with a good goal and accompanying motivation, without a clear plan, things can easily fall to the wayside while it can be hard to get back on track. Using SMART goals are a great way to plan to succeed and continue the motivation after achieving your goals.
What is a SMART Goal?
The word SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. The success of SMART goals is due to using this combination of techniques. By understanding each part, the whole becomes very easy to see and then achieve with the steps already laid out.
What is the objective? Who is involved? What is in between, where you are now and where you want to be? This is a good place to consider the who, what, when, where, and why of your goal.
What are you quantifying to know when you’ve succeeded? Listing which numbers you need to reach gives you something to compare your current status to.
Is your goal realistically within reach for you and your business? You want a goal that you feel is achievable with optimism, something that you genuinely want to do for you and your business. If it’s too easy it won’t be exciting, but if it’s too distant it could be draining.
Why does achieving this matter to your business? What long-term goal does it support? The closer you can relate your goal to your business dreams and desires, the more you will want to work for it.
What is the deadline for each part of your goal? How much time are you going to give yourself to accomplish each step in the goal? Making a time limit allows you to stop and see whether you’ve accomplished your task or not.
Creating Goals Related to Your Marketing Strategy
For startups, some of the most important places to set goals are in acquiring a customer base and raising brand awareness. So where can you set goals that are relevant to your startup? Take a look in these areas of your business for ideas:
- Email marketing
- Market research
- Social media ads
- Content marketing
- Conversion rates
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking
- Website traffic
A goal can be a map for getting you to where you want to be. By setting SMART goals for your marketing strategy, you can achieve each goal and set new ones as you go. Learning to set strong and achievable goals will help you maintain momentum later down the road, and you can always look back on the things you’ve achieved to get there!
Don’t forget to include emotion in your process. SMART goals gives you the outline to make a goal that looks good on paper, but often doesn’t carry emotion. If you can take it a step further to understand the relevance of the goal to you and your employee’s lives, and motivate the plan with strong positive emotions, you are much more likely to succeed, and everyone sees something good coming out of it.
An Example SMART Goal for Marketing Strategies
Aida has a business in skincare and is developing a marketing strategy for her newest collection. She wants to expand her customer base by entering new market populations with her product.
Aida’s initial goal: I want to generate more leads this year by targeting new market populations.
Now with applying SMART:
- Specific: I can generate more leads this year by targeting two new populations. The populations are female students and single males. Ad campaigns will be used to bring in these new leads.
- Measurable: Lead generation will be measured by the metric of click-throughs on ads. I want to have a click-through rate of at least 15% for the ads in these two markets.
- Attainable: This goal can be accomplished because I know these new markets have not been targeted by a business with my values. I know how to create and implement a successful ad campaign that can drive these leads.
- Relevant: This goal will help my business expand in the long term by starting to develop relationships with new markets. I can picture my products helping these populations by increasing self-esteem and feelings of worth for them. This relates back to my business vision of helping people love the skin they’re in.
- Time-bound: I plan on launching the ad campaign within the next three months and attaining a click-through rate of 15% for my ads by the end of the year, or 12 months from now.
Now her final goal: Aida’s skincare business will expand their market and lead generation by creating an ad campaign to target two new market populations: female students, and male bachelors. The ad campaign will be launched within the next three months, which has a goal of reaching a click-through rate of 15% in 12 months from now. Reaching these markets helps her progress towards her vision of helping people love the skin they’re in.
One Last Tip
Don’t forget regular check-ins to your goal so you can see if you’re on track and if not, course-correct to get back to the plan. Keep in mind the emotional “why” of the goal to remember what it means to you and your employees. And don’t forget to celebrate when you accomplish something! It’s a huge motivator for teams.
In Aida’s example, she may check in with employees or the ad campaign a few weeks after it’s launched, or connect with her designers to share her business vision and motivate them to reach this goal.
If you can plan your roadmap with SMART goals, you will be well on your way to accomplishing each step towards your dreams.