As you plan for the year, quarter, or month, it's time to determine your SMART marketing goals.
SMART is a methodology that helps you establish concrete and achievable goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Let's roll through each characteristic for a better understanding of how to develop SMART marketing goals.
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 she runs out the door, and all she wants is to quickly hear what next year's goal is. What are you going to tell 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, all this does is discourage employees, as they 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.
SMART Goal Template
To help you align your marketing efforts with SMART goals, HubSpot built this marketing planning template that you can download for free. It will specifically help you:
● Easily summarize your ultimate marketing goals
● Automatically calculate your greatest marketing need
● Set a deadline for meeting your annual, quarterly, or monthly goals
Need Some Help With Your Strategic Goals?
Sometimes an in-house marketing team just doesn’t have the time and capacity to keep up with all the day-to-day tasks and develop a strategy.
We’ve seen this happen a lot.
Don't let a lack of strategy or in-house capacity handcuff your SMART goals for the year.
Should you need a bit of extra help in developing your strategy, partnering with an agency is a wise choice.
Is this the year you outsource part of your marketing for more impact on the bottom line? Check out this free resource to determine if outsourcing your marketing is the right fit.