Goal setting is the backbone of marketing. Goals help us prove how effective we are, keep us focused and push us to succeed. And while we know how important goals are to measure our success, more than 80% of small business owners do not keep track of their business goals. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that goal setting is one of the most difficult things we have to do as marketers. While we hope that we all understand what we want to accomplish with our marketing and business, that’s not enough. We also have to make sure that our goals are grounded in reality. This is where SMART marketing goals come into play.
First, let’s tackle what a SMART marketing goal is. Ultimately, the best possible way to be able to evaluate and track your goal is to make sure it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound).
Now that you know what SMART stands for, let’s address why each of the elements of the acronym are important to consider in your goal setting:
You want to set real numbers with real deadlines. Something like “I want more visitors to my website” isn’t specific enough to be tracked. How will you determine when you’ve hit your goal without a specific number to track?
Make sure your goal is measurable. Stay away from ambiguous terms like “brand engagement” and “social influence.” These are great things to think about in general but not great things on which to base your goals. Because, again, how are you going to determine when you’ve hit your goal if you can’t measure something like “brand engagement?”
Make sure you’re setting a goal that is challenging but possible. You can’t build a multi-million dollar company overnight so don’t set a goal that’s equally unattainable.
Be honest with yourself. You know what your company and team is capable of; set a goal that fits within that boundary.
Give yourself a deadline for your goal. You’re not going to work as hard for a goal you might hit “some day” as something you’re trying to do “in 6 months,” for example.
Setting SMART goals will not only ensure that you’re striving for something doable for your particular business, it will also allow you to better be able to measure your success and determine whether you are reaching them or not.
EXPERT TIP: People who write down their goals are 50% more likely to reach them. So, if you really want to focus on tracking your goals and determining success, write it down somewhere you will see it every day.
Now that you've learned about how to set SMART marketing goals, it's time to take a look at your marketing budget. Download our Marketing Budget templates for FREE and keep track of your marketing spend!