SMART marketing goals

How to create SMART marketing goals you can achieve

Creating goals doesn’t seem so hard. However, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. For marketers, they need to set goals that will challenge them and help move the business forward. However, goals can’t be too challenging that they’re not possible to achieve. This is where SMART goals come in. We’ve taken a look at how to create SMART marketing goals you can achieve.

Why is goal setting important?

Before we look at SMART goals, we need to understand why goal setting is important. You could work hard everyday, however, how do you know if you’ve achieved anything if you haven’t set any goals? By setting goals, you are giving yourself a target to aim for. Instead of working aimlessly, you can now focus your efforts on achieving these goals. This will also help you avoid distractions. If you are focused on giving 100% to achieve the goals, you will subconsciously stay away from any distractions. Setting goals can also motivate you to do your work. The work you are doing now has a reason behind it and you will become motivated to complete it to achieve the goal.

What are SMART goals?

It’s all well and good setting goals but if they’re not SMART, you will likely struggle with sticking with them and achieving them. SMART stands for:

  • Specific: You need to make it clear what your goal is so you know what you are aiming for.
  • Measurable: Ensure that the goal you set can be measured and tracked.
  • Achievable: As already mentioned, your goal should be challenging but not impossible.
  • Realistic: Make sure your goal is realistic. As much as you would love to become the number one business in your industry a few months after starting up – it’s not very realistic.
  • Timescale: Put a deadline to achieving your goal. This will help you plan how to achieve the goal as well as see if you are on target to achieve it.

A couple of examples of SMART goals are:

“We want to achieve 50 leads from our email marketing campaign between August 1st 2020 – December 30th 2020.”

“We want to increase our Twitter following by 200 followers in August 2020.”

These goals are clear in what you want to achieve. There is a target to aim for (50 leads and 200 followers) which can be measured. Depending on your business, these numbers can be reached. Finally, there is an end date for when the target should be achieved by.

How to create SMART marketing goals

So we now understand why it’s important to set goals and what SMART goals are. Here are some tips to help you to create SMART marketing goals you can achieve.

1. What is the overall goal?

Instead of going straight into creating a goal that follows the SMART criteria, take a step back and think about what you want to achieve. For example, you may want to increase the number of leads.

2. Specify a number to the goal

Now you have your overall goal figured out, you now need to narrow it down and specify a number to aim for. To find a realistic target, take a look at your data and see how many leads you are currently getting and how this has increased over time. Remember that a high number might look good in the short term but is it really achievable? For example, you may want to increase the number of leads by 50.

3. Set an end date

All goals need to have an end date to give you something to aim for. Depending on if you are creating a short-term or long-term goal, you will have different timelines. However, for both, it’s important to set a realistic end date. It would be great to increase the number of leads by 50% in a couple of weeks but the goal will likely not be achieved. Don’t go the other way either though and give yourself too much time or you may become distracted with other tasks and forget about the goal until it’s too late.

4. Break the goal down

It may seem daunting to achieve a goal once you have created one, even if you have set yourself a realistic target. Breaking the goal down into smaller tasks can help. Creating smaller tasks will also help you see what needs to be done for the goal to be achieved and you can plan your time more effectively.

5. What obstacles could you face?

As much as life would be a lot easier if everything went to plan, unfortunately that’s not always the case. When you are creating your SMART marketing goals, think about what challenges you might face when trying to achieve them and create a plan of action to prevent them or how they can be resolved if they do arise.

6. Write your SMART marketing goals down!

What’s the point of creating great SMART marketing goals that you can achieve, only for you to forget about them a couple of weeks later. This is why it’s so important to make sure when you are creating your goals, to write them down. This way you can go back to them to make sure you are on track to achieve them. It will also help if you are working in a team as you can then send the goals round so everyone knows what the goals are.

7. Analyse regularly

As mentioned in the previous point, it’s a waste of time creating SMART marketing goals if you are going to forget about them. By analysing the work you are doing, you are able to see if you are on track to achieve your goal as well as if any extra tasks are needed which weren’t planned in. Depending on the timescale you have set to achieve your goal, the number of times you should analyse will change. However, on average, you should look to analyse your SMART marketing goals at least once a month.

8. Make sure tracking is set up

In order to analyse regularly, you need to be tracking the right metrics. Before you start working towards your new SMART marketing goals, make sure you have set up all your tracking. If you are looking to increase the number of leads, make sure you have set up Google Analytics correctly so you can see the number of conversions coming through your website. 

Creating SMART marketing goals you can achieve isn’t an easy process to start with. Don’t be alarmed if the first few goals you set are too hard or too easy. You will likely find yourself adjusting the goals when you first start but this all part of the learning process. After creating a few, you will start to get a better understanding of what is achievable in different time frames.

Written by: Thomas Coughlan
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