How to Set Smart Marketing Goals

SmartMarketing goals seem to be difficult to set. How do you pick your marketing goals? How do you know which ones are the right ones? If you’re struggling with these questions, it might help thinking of marketing goals as more like management goals: managing the future of your business.

Management, Marketing Goals and the Concept of S.M.A.R.T

In 1954, Peter Druker (management consultant) published The Practice of Management, in which he talks about management by objectives (MBO). As a part of MBO, he shares the principles of giving employees a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

In 1981, George T. Duran publishes an article in the Management Review. For the first time, the world is introduced to a concept based on Mr. Druker’s The Practice of Management. That concept is S.M.A.R.T management. The S.M.A.R.T concept is what brings us here today.

So how do you set marketing goals? By being S.M.A.R.T about it:

1. Be Specific With Your Marketing Goals

Specificity matters. Some business owners are tempted to make goals like, “more traffic,” or “more sales.” These aren’t goals; they’re ballpark guesses.

It’s like saying, “I’m going to hit the ball.” So you hit the ball, but if someone catches it, did you still reach your goal? When it comes to marketing goals, the more specific, the better.

For example:

  • Instead of “more traffic,” say, “x more traffic.”
  • Instead of “more sales,” say, “x more sales in x months/days.”

Marketing Plan

2. Set Marketing Goals You Can Track

It doesn’t do you any good to set a goal if you can’t tell whether you attained it. This may seem like common sense, but it’s surprising how many forget to set up the most simple goal tracking.

When setting marketing goals, you have to:

  1. Make sure it’s possible to track them.
  2. Make sure you have tracking set up before you begin your campaigns.

3. Set Marketing Goals You Can Reach

When setting marketing goals, you need to make sure their time frame is reasonable. The farther out the goal is, the more likely you are to lose focus. As well, you should ask yourself if your goal is realistic. For many companies, realizing an extra million in sales probably isn’t a reasonable goal.

The more goals you set and fail to reach, the more likely you are to fail again. The more you set and reach, the better your chances are of reaching the next ones.

Set yourself up to win!

4. Keep Things Realistic

What might not be a realistic goal if you’re doing the work yourself may be very realistic with help. When looking over your goals, ask yourself how realistic it is that you’d achieve those goals with the staff you have on hand.

5. Give Yourself Deadlines

Deadlines like, “I’m going to reach this goal within 2 months,” help you keep your goal in mind and on your current To Do list. don’t set them so far out that they get lost in the day-to-day business workings. On the other hand, don’t set them so close that they’re unattainable. There’s a middle ground, and part of setting marketing goals you can reach is finding that middle ground.

Final Thoughts

Smart marketing is setting specific, attainable, timely goals. However, setting marketing goals should never be done without benchmarking. Before putting your marketing goals in place, take the time to read our eBook Measuring Metrics for Success. With a comprehensive walkthrough on choosing the right metrics, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), analytics and benchmarks, it’s a useful resource to have.

Measuring Metrics of Success

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Today's Author

International SEO consultant is my title…but who cares about those? What I love is creating strategies that include marketing, social, SEO, relevance, ruffling feathers and starting revolutions. What you read on this blog will hopefully inspire you to continue the conversation. When I’m not multitasking around Level343 I sneak away and go sailing. I’m crazy about pistachios, and of course Nutella.


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