SMART goals are meant to be a guide when you’re setting up goals you want to accomplish. Whether you have short-term or long-term goals, this planning method can help you manage the process. SMART goal setting will help you clearly describe your goals, set a deadline for meeting them, and understand the desired end result. Before jumping to the template, let’s review what SMART stands for.
When creating a goal, you want it to be as short, crisp, and specific as possible. Having “a good marketing year” isn’t a reflection of what your company actually accomplished. Imagine that your boss is about to leave for vacation, and you have less than 90 seconds until he/she runs out the door, and all they want is to quickly hear what next year’s goal is — what are you going to tell him or her that concisely explains your plans?
Oftentimes, companies say they want to “increase their social media following.” While that is a goal, it’s not a trackable goal. If you start the new year with 100 followers, and end with 101, technically you met your set goal. But if you switch that goal to read, “We want to increase social media following by 25%,” suddenly you can measure your progress every month to see if you’re on track to ultimately jumping from 100 to 125 followers. Now you really know you hit your goal — hopefully it’s more ambitious than this example!
While having history-breaking goals are beneficial it’s still important to keep these goals realistic. If in your company history you’ve generated an average of 10 leads every month, jumping to 2,000 leads per month would be a drastic change. Many businesses do this to push employees and to “go as far as they possible can.” But in reality, this can be discouraging, as you can never actually be successful. SMART goals are goals you can actually achieve.
Why have a goal if the goal doesn’t matter? Say you’re a teddy bear business that, at maximum, can only sell 1,000 teddy bears per month. In this situation, your goal likely shouldn’t be to “increase production of teddy bears from 1,000 per month to 5,000 per month.” While it’s great you have more product, if your existing distributors won’t buy more, why bother? Your goal should be something along the lines of, “increase distribution channels by X%.”
While having all the aforementioned helps develop a solid goal, you need to ensure you have a timeline for meeting that goal. Going back to the teddy bear example, if you do decide your goal is to increase distribution channels, you need to know when you will accomplish this in order to know when to start working on a secondary goal of increasing teddy bear production. You don’t want a situation where you end up with more toy stores taking your teddy bears, but no teddy bears to give. Oh the horror!
Now that you have an understanding of SMART goals, start planning your very on SMART marketing goals! Ask yourself the following questions, download the template to get started!
SMART Marketing Goals Template
- What is your overall marketing goal?
- How would you best summarize your marketing needs?
- When would you like to meet this goal by?
- What is your current (following, website traffic, fans, etc)? How many leads are you generating p/month?
- How many hours per week can you dedicate to your Social Media?
- What is the biggest marketing challenge preventing you from reaching this goal?
Base your marketing strategy on your business objectives, then follow that by thinking about your target market, social media platforms, tools, and metrics.
Different objectives and target markets require different channels and tools. Once you’ve gained clarity on your objectives and selected the right platforms, you have to create content that your audience will value.
GOLDEN RULE: Solve a problem, deliver a timely message, or just put a smile on their face.