Why Set SMART Marketing Goals?
Every businessman has to go through the tough challenge of goal setting. If you don't have a goal, what direction are you heading in?
The difference between successful and unsuccessful businesses is goal-setting. Businesses that don't have goals or set targets so farfetched they're staring at each other bemused each quarter; take note of this strategy.
So, how do you ensure that your goal setting workshops are productive? You're in luck, the answer is here! We’ve come up with a simple, efficient tool you can use for setting your daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals.
This free SMART goal-setting template is the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. You need a tool which can help you set realistic and measurable goals. In addition, you need to make sure that you have a clear vision of how you plan to achieve your goals.
Below this article will detail each aspect you need to understand about setting SMART marketing goals and we give you some examples of SMART goals for marketing.
Now, let’s see how this free goal-setting template works:
How to Set SMART Marketing Goals
Setting the right goal means you’re already half-way to success. The catch is that an unrealistic, unattainable or unmeasurable goal can cost you. So, here’s what SMART stands for, and how to use it in goal setting workshops:
- Specific – You need specific goals with precise quantifiers; what do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase the number of visitors to your website? Do you want to increase the number of leads you generate? Being more specific with your description will increase your chances of achieving it.
Example: Setting a detailed SMART goal will clarify the difference between you saying, 'I want my business to make a million pounds this year' and 'I am going to increase my companies turnover by £50,000 per month by increasing lead generation by 20% through our website'. Notice how the detailed explanation already focuses your mind on a strategic solution, noting not just what you want but how you will achieve it.
- Measurable – If you can’t measure a specific goal you’ll never know if you achieved it. By breaking down your goal and creating measurable milestones, you can obtain evidence about your performance.
Example: Being happy at work this week because you made that extra sale is not enough. Monitoring and measuring the number of sales you've created on a monthly basis is measurable.
- Attainable – Every goal presents a challenge. However, are you sure you want to face the "mission impossible" challenge? Make sure your goal is attainable; by setting attainable goals you are setting yourself up for a steady rise in success. There is no point setting unattainable goals as you will just create failure, lose focus of the goal and create unhappiness in the team. There's no problem shooting for the stars but you need to be realistic about the time, money, resources and costs needed to achieve your goal.
Example: You want to triple your marketing leads in 6 months but you aren't prepared to take on another member of staff to help the one you have. Is this attainable, or even realistic? You want to triple your marketing leads in 6 months and you're taking on another member of staff to help. Now, this sounds a lot more achievable!
- Realistic –Realism is a must for every goal-setting strategy. You know what you or your team are capable of achieving. Therefore, your goals should be an accurate reflection of reality.
Example: "To increase the number of visitors to our website I want our team of 2 content writers to create 10 blog posts a week." Get real. "I want to create 4 blog posts per week and I want our two content writers to write two each." Now that's realistic.
- Time – Find a healthy balance between realistic deadlines and reasonable expectations. You need to give yourself a deadline; if you've been realistic about specifying, measuring and attaining your goal, then it will allow you to create a realistic timeline for the work required to achieve your goal.
How Do I Get The Best From The Template?
Now you know what it means for a goal setting strategy to be SMART. Let’s examine all the steps you need to take in order for this template to be truly effective:
Step 1. What’s your goal about?
You need to summarise what your specific goal is all about. Why is this important? Well, any marketer will tell you that the more you think about your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Summarise everything that's relevant to your goal.
This particular document is something you can keep coming back to. You’re encouraged to rethink and update it more than once. So, for example, if your goal is to improve brand awareness, why are you doing it? How are you doing it? What effect is it going to have? Who needs to do it?
Step 2. What other goals/actions do you need to achieve in the process?
It goes without saying that marketers always want to achieve multiple things with a single goal. Very often you’ll find yourself in a situation to put more than one goal in the main goal category. That’s why it’s essential to organise and prioritise your goal’s structure.
For example, if you're improving your brand awareness, that's the main goal. There will be mini-goals and actions that need to be taken to achieve them. This could involve exercises like obtaining customer and employee feedback to determine how they view you.
Step 3. How measurable is your goal?
You need to have clear numeric values, which can help you evaluate your goal’s effectiveness. Our template can help you document all values that relate to your goals. Feel free to use customised calculators that can help you get measurable information relevant to your setting goal strategy.
We all know that eventually, it all comes down to the numbers, whether it's the number of website visits or the amount of customers you're trying to get. If you can measure, you can evaluate and adjust your approach if necessary.
Step 4: Set a realistic completion date for your goal
Without a deadline your goal is nothing more than a simple wish you keep dreaming about. With a deadline, you’re creating business accountability. However, it’s essential to be realistic about the completion date so you don't create unnecessary stress and miss targets. If realism is what you preach and expect, real results are what you get in return.
Step 5. Are you willing to commit yourself to your goal?
This may seem like a trivial question. But you’ve probably learned first-hand that initial enthusiasm can quickly disappear. Especially when it comes to long-term goals, which include more than one phase. You need to be honest with yourself. How much of your time and energy are you willing to devote to your goal? You need to know how many working hours you can devote to your specific goals at any given moment.
Step 6. Don’t underestimate obstacles standing in the way of your goal
It’s simply impossible to predict all the things that can change or go wrong while you’re working hard to make your goals become reality. However, you need to do your best to analyse a couple of the most probable scenarios. This also means that you should take into consideration the worst case scenario. Your goal needs to have a backup plan or a healthy alternative you won’t have a problem adopting.
Why Should I Believe In This Template?
It would be wrong to think that one template can solve all of your marketing problems. However, it’s also wrong to think that you can do all the hard tasks without helpful tools such as this one. Understanding how to set SMART marketing goals is a critical task for any marketer who needs to know what to do or where to go next.
We hope the examples of SMART marketing goals have increased your knowledge of where to go next. By using this free SMART marketing goals template, you’re saving invaluable time and minimising the possibility of making common mistakes in the decision-making process.
Editor's note: This post has been revamped and updated for 2018. At Red-Fern, we love keeping our content fresh, it ensures our articles are up-to-date, relevant and accurate!