“Make more profits”, “Have a bigger market share”, and “Increase brand awareness”. These were the goals that Mark, the VP of Marketing at Ecks-Why-Zee Retail Stores outlined as the company’s goals for the new year. The company’s leadership was expecting Mark and his team to deliver on these goals.
But as Mark began to think about how he was going to achieve these goals, he realized that they weren’t very specific. They didn’t take into account what the company’s customers wanted or what would be realistic to achieve or when they would be achieved.
It was at this point that he realized that he needed to make his goals more “smart”. The only problem is, he doesn’t know how.
Your mission, Agent X, should you choose to accept it, is to help Mark and his team understand and set some smart marketing goals for Ecks-Why-Zee Retail Stores.
The rest of this guide is to help you understand what SMART goals are, the benefits of setting them, and how to set and measure SMART marketing goals. It’ll also provide some examples of common smart marketing goals that you can use as inspiration for helping Mark’s team.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym that represents the words, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
A SMART goal is a goal that meets those values,in other words, a well-defined goal that you can track and measure progress towards.
A specific goal is clear and concise and provides detailed information about what needs to be done.
For example, rather than setting a goal to “increase sales,” Ecks-Why-Zee might set a goal to “increase sales by 10%” This specific goal is more likely to lead to concrete action and results in sales.
Similarly, rather than setting a goal to “improve customer service,” it might set a goal to “reduce customer wait times by 30%” Once again, this specific goal is more likely to lead to tangible improvement in customer relations.
When setting goals, it is important to make sure that they can be effectively measured.
A goal is measurable if it can be expressed in a quantifiable value. To create a measurable goal, businesses need to have specific criteria that can be used to track progress.
For example, a business might set a goal to increase sales by 10% over one year.
To measure this goal, they would track sales figures regularly and compare them to the previous year or timeframe.
To ensure that a goal is truly measurable, it’s important to ask questions such as how will we know if we’ve achieved this goal? What metrics will we use? How often will we track progress?
For a goal to be achievable, it must be realistic. This means that businesses need to set attainable goals that they can work towards given their resources and timeframes.
It’s important to note that an achievable goal should still challenge businesses to push themselves to see results.
When setting SMART goals, businesses need to make sure that they are relevant to their overall mission and vision.
A goal is relevant if it furthers the business’s objectives and helps it move closer to its long-term goals.
For example, a goal to increase sales by 10% would be relevant for a business whose objective is to increase profits. However, a goal to increase social media followers by 10% would not be relevant for a business whose objective is to reduce costs.
SMART goals need to have a timeframe associated with them to keep businesses on track and accountable.
A time-bound goal has a specific deadline associated with it. This deadline provides a sense of urgency and encourages businesses to take action to achieve their goals.
For example, rather than setting a goal to “increase sales,” Ecks-Why-Zee might set a goal to “increase sales by 10% within the next year.” This time-bound goal gives the business a clear timeline to work towards and ensures that they take action promptly.
The Benefits of Setting SMART Goals For a Marketing Team
There are numerous benefits associated with setting SMART goals.
Some of the most notable benefits include:
Improved Clarity And Focus
Setting SMART goals for a sales team helps its team members have improved clarity and focus.
When businesses set SMART marketing goals, the team has a clear roadmap to follow. This helps them to focus their efforts on the things that matter most and achieve their desired results.
More Effective Decision-Making
SMART marketing goals lead to more effective decision-making because by having a clear understanding of what task needs to be achieved teams can make better decisions about how to allocate their resources.
This helps them use their time, money, and energy in the most efficient way possible.
Increased Motivation And Productivity
Another benefit of setting SMART goals is that they can increase motivation and productivity.
When team members have a clear goal to work towards, they are more likely to be motivated to take action and see results. This can lead to increased productivity as businesses can get more done in a shorter timeframe. For example, if a team’s goal is to increase lead generation by 15% within two months, they are likely to be more focused and driven to achieve this goal than if they simply had a goal to “increase lead generation.
Enhanced Team Communication
SMART goals also help to enhance team communication. By having a clear goal to work towards, team members can easily communicate their progress and identify any areas where they may need help. This open communication can help to improve the overall efficiency of the team.
Improved Time Management
Another benefit of setting SMART goals is that they can help with time management.
By having a clear understanding of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, businesses can better manage their time. This helps businesses to avoid wasting time on things that don’t matter and ensures that they are using their time in the most effective way possible.
For example, if a business knows that it needs to increase its sales by 10% within the next year, it can better manage its time by allocating more resources toward sales and marketing activities and less towards other areas of the business.
SMART goals lead to greater accountability because they provide a clear metric by which to measure progress. This accountability can help businesses to ensure that team members are taking action and working towards the common goal.
The improved clarity, focus, decision-making, motivation, productivity, communication, and accountability that come with setting SMART goals all lead to one thing: improved results.
When businesses set and achieve SMART goals, they are more likely to see an improvement in their overall results. This could be in the form of increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, or reduced costs.
No matter what the specific goal is, businesses that set SMART goals are more likely to see an improvement in their bottom line
How To Set SMART Marketing Goals
So you now know the benefits of setting SMART marketing goals. But how do you set them?
The process of setting SMART marketing goals can be broken down into X amounts of steps:
Define The Goal Along SMART Lines
The first step in setting a SMART marketing goal is to define what it is that you are setting out to achieve.
This might seem like an obvious step, but it’s important to take the time to think about what it is that you want to accomplish.
While organization A’s goal might be to increase sales by 10%, B’s might be to improve customer satisfaction scores by 5 points.
Yet, another organization might aim to reduce marketing costs by $5,000, drive more traffic to its website or boost sales of a particular product by a particular percentage.
Once you have a clear idea of your goal, you can then start to think about how you will measure it. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you could measure this by looking at the number of social media mentions or website visitors over some time.
You should also set a realistic timeframe for achieving your goal. This will ensure that you don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results straight away and also help to keep you accountable.
Finally, it’s important to make sure that your goal is something that is reasonably within your control. There’s no point in setting a goal to increase sales by 10% if there are external factors that could impact this.
Suppose, for instance, an organization called Oceanic Resurts sells seasonal beach products and services, it won’t be commonsensical for it to set a goal to increase sales by 15% in the dead of winter.
So, it’s very important to set goals that you can realistically achieve and which you can actively influence realization.
Identify the Tasks needed to achieve the goal
Goals don’t just happen – they take work! To bring them into fulfillment, you need to identify the tasks that need to be completed.
For example, suppose Ecks-Why-Zee’s goal is to increase sales by 10%, it might need to create a new marketing campaign, redesign its website, train its sales team on how to better close deals, or penetrate a new market for its products.
On the other hand, if its goal is to reduce customer churn by 5%, it might need to create a loyalty program, increase its customer support staff, or offer more competitive pricing.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible when identifying the tasks needed to realize the goal. The more you are, the easier it will be to create a plan of action and track your progress.
Determine Who is Responsible For Each Task
Having identified the tasks needed to accomplish the given goal, the next step is to determine who is responsible for each one. This step is important for ensuring that each task gets done and that there is accountability within your team.
To, suppose a print-based sports outlet, Bazeball Jucks plans to pivot to a digital platform and increase its online sales by 10%. The tasks required to achieve this might be to design a new website, create digital marketing campaigns, and increase its social media presence.
Who will be responsible for each of these tasks?
It can assign the task of redesigning the website to its web development team, the task of creating digital campaigns to the marketing team, the task of increasing media presence to the social media and marketing team, and the task of training staff to the IT team.
By assigning each task to a specific team or individual, it can be sure that there is someone accountable for its completion.
Set a Deadline
When setting tasks, you need to set a deadline for each one of them This step is important for ensuring that every task gets done promptly and that your goal is achieved by the date you’ve set.
For example, if your goal is to increase web conversions by 5% and one of the tasks needed to achieve this is to redesign your website, when do you want the new website to be live? In two weeks? A month? Six months?
If one of the tasks is to create new content, when do you want this to be published?
Be realistic in your deadline setting and give yourself enough time to complete the task without rushing.
Create a Plan of Action
Now that you’ve identified the tasks to do and set deadlines for each one, it’s time to create a plan of action.
This step is important for ensuring that each task gets done in the order that you’ve set and that your goal is achieved by the date you’ve set.
Your plan of action should include all of the tasks needed to be completed, the person responsible for each task, the deadline for each task, and any other relevant information.
For example, if your goal is to establish thought leadership in an industry, your plan of action might look something like this:
- Task 1: Research industry trends and write a report on findings -Responsible Person: Research team -Deadline: 2 weeks
- Task 2: Create a list of target publications -Responsible Person: Marketing team -Deadline: 1 week
- Task 3: Write and submit articles to target publications -Responsible Person: Marketing team -Deadline: 4 weeks
- Task 4: Give talks at industry events -Responsible Person: CEO -Deadline: 3 months
As you can see, a plan of action helps to ensure that each task is completed in the order that you’ve set and that your goal is achieved by the date you’ve set.
Identify Potential Roadblocks And Plan To Overcome Them
When setting the goal, you need to identify potential roadblocks that could prevent you from achieving it. This step is important for ensuring that you are prepared for anything that could happen and that you have the plan to overcome any obstacles.
For example, if your goal is to increase online interactions with potential customers by 30%, one of the potential roadblocks could be a lack of website traffic.
Another potential roadblock could be a high bounce rate.
Once you’ve identified the potential roadblocks, you need to come up with a plan to overcome them.
For example, if your goal is to increase online interactions from potential customers by 30%, one way to overcome the potential roadblock of a lack of website traffic is to create new content that is shareable and promotes your website.
Another way to overcome this obstacle is to run ads that target potential customers and drive them to your website.
If the potential roadblock is a high bounce rate, one way to overcome it is to create more engaging content that keeps people on your website.
Another way to overcome this obstacle is to redesign your website to make it more user-friendly.
By identifying the potential roadblocks and coming up with a plan to overcome them, you can be sure that you are prepared for anything that could happen.
Set Up A Communication System With Relevant Stakeholders
It’s essential for achieving your goal to be in touch with relevant stakeholders and every other person whose input is necessary for reaching it.
This step is important for ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that there is a clear understanding of the goal.
To demonstrate, suppose Mark from Ecks-Why-Zee’s goal is to increase online sales by 20%, he will need to communicate this goal to not just the marketing team, but also to the sales team, the customer service team, and the product development team.
It is important to set up a communication system so that everyone knows what their role is in achieving the goal, and what the timeline for their task is.
You should note that communication is not a one-way street. It is important to encourage feedback so that you can get input from others on how best to achieve your goal.
Therefore, avoiding defining communication means sending out email blasts or making announcements in meetings.
You should make sure that you are available to answer questions, review suggestions, and address concerns as they come up.
Measure Your Progress
To measure your progress, you need to set up a system to track your progress. This step is important for ensuring that you are on track to achieving your goal and for making necessary adjustments along the way.
There are many different ways to track progress. One way is to set up Google Analytics goals.
Another way is to track progress manually by keeping a log of your activities and recording your results.
No matter what method you use to track your progress, the important thing is that you are tracking your progress and that you are making necessary adjustments along the way.
Achieving your goal is not always a straight line from point A to point B. There will be ups and downs along the way.
But by tracking your progress, you can be sure that you are on track to achieving your goal and that you are making the necessary adjustments to get there.
How to Measure And Monitor SMART Goals
Keep track of your marketing goals by using the following tips:
Decide Which Metrics To Use To Measure The Goal
The first step in measuring and monitoring a SMART goal is to decide which metrics to use.
This will depend on the type of goal.
For example, if the goal is to increase website traffic, the metric could be website visits.
If the goal is to increase brand awareness, the metric could be brand mentions.
And if the goal is to increase sales, the metric could be revenue.
Set a Deadline
The second step is to set a deadline for the goal.
This will ensure that there is a sense of urgency and that the goal is achieved.
Without a deadline, it’s easy to push the tasks necessary for achieving the goal to the back burner.
Set Up A Tracking System
Once the metric has been decided, the next step is to set up a tracking system.
This could be as simple as setting up Google Analytics for a website or using a tool like Hootsuite to track social media mentions.
If the goal is financial, then it’s important to set up a system to track sales and revenue.
Monitor Progress Regularly
Once the tracking system is in place, it’s important to monitor progress regularly.
This could be done daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the type of goal, the metrics, and the timeframe.
For example, if the goal is to increase website traffic, it might make sense to check the metrics daily.
But if the goal is to increase brand awareness or revenue, checking monthly might be sufficient.
Make Adjustments As Needed
Finally, it’s important to make adjustments as needed based on the results of the tracking.
For example, if the goal is to increase website traffic and the tracking shows that the website isn’t getting much traffic from social media, then it might make sense to adjust the social media strategy.
Or if the goal is to increase sales and the tracking shows that the sales are lagging, then it might make sense to adjust the pricing or marketing strategy.
This is where having a SMART marketing goal can help because it provides a clear target to aim for.
Without a SMART goal, it can be difficult to know if the adjustments that are being made are making a difference.
Types of Smart Marketing Goals
There are many different types of smart marketing goals that you can set.
Below are different types of smart marketing goals that you can set for your business as well as helpful ways to achieve them.:
Increase Brand Awareness Among a Particular Demographic
A smart goal for an organization to increase brand awareness among a particular demographic could be something like “To increase our social media following by the targeted population by 10% within the next 6 months.”
To do this, the organization would need to come up with a plan of action that involves creating engaging content, posting regularly, and interacting with its audience.
Additionally, they would need to target their posts toward the chosen demographic.
For example, if they are trying to reach millennials, then they might use more hashtags and promote their content on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram using themes that are popular with millennials.
Increase Website Traffic From Social Media By X%
A SMART goal to increase website traffic could be achieved by boosting social media presence and giving social media audiences a reason to visit the business’s website.
This can be done by posting interesting and shareable content, using relevant hashtags, and tagging other relevant pages in posts.
Additionally, the organization could hold social media giveaways and campaigns to encourage users to visit their website.
By boosting its social media presence and running creative campaigns, the organization can attract new visitors to its website and achieve the goal of increased blog traffic from social media.
Increase Website Interaction
A SMART goal to increase website interaction can be achieved by adding interactive elements to the website.
This could include adding a chatbot, adding a forum or blog section, or adding an FAQ section.
By adding these interactive elements, businesses can encourage their website visitors to stay on the site longer and interact with the content. This will lead to an increase in website interaction and help the business achieve its goal.
Engage With Customers On Social Media
A SMART goal to engage with customers on social media can be achieved by creating a social media engagement plan.
This plan should include goals, strategies, and tactics for how the business will use social media to engage with its customers.
Some tactics that could be used include responding to comments and questions, liking and sharing customer content, and creating polls and surveys.
By engaging with customers on social media, businesses can build relationships and trust with their customers. This will help the business achieve its goal of engagement.
Get X Number Of New Followers On Social Media
A SMART goal to get a certain number of new followers on social media can be achieved by creating a social media marketing plan.
This plan should include goals, strategies, and tactics for how the business will use social media to increase its number of followers.
Some tactics that could be used include creating referral contests, running ads, and collaborating with other businesses and influencers.
By increasing its social media presence and running creative campaigns, the business can attract new followers and achieve its goal.
Increase Conversion Rate By X%
A SMART goal to increase the conversion rate can be achieved by optimizing the website for conversions.
This can be done by adding a call-to-action (CTA) on every page, making the website easy to navigate, and ensuring that the checkout process is quick and easy.
Additionally, the business could run A/B tests to see what changes on the website lead to more conversions.
By optimizing the website for conversions, the business can increase its conversion rate and achieve its goal.
Increase Customer Lifetime Value By X%
A goal to increase customer lifetime value can be achieved by investing in customer retention.
This could involve creating a loyalty program, offering discounts to repeat customers, or providing excellent customer service.
Another way to increase customer lifetime value is to develop a cross-selling and upselling strategy.
For example, if a customer buys a book, you could try to sell them a bookcase or a subscription to your book club.
Or, if a customer buys a pair of shoes, you could try to sell them a shoe care kit or a new pair of socks.
The goal is to get the customer to spend more money with you over time.
Improve Customer Satisfaction Rating by X% and Reduce Churn Rate
A SMART goal to improve the customer satisfaction rating can be achieved by implementing a customer satisfaction survey.
This survey can be used to collect data on what customers like and don’t like about the product or service.
Based on the survey results, the business can make changes to improve customer satisfaction.
Similarly, a goal to reduce customer churn can be achieved by identifying the reasons why customers are leaving and then implementing strategies to address those issues.
One way to do this is to reach out to customers who have recently stopped doing business with you and ask them what the problem was.
You can also look at your customer service records to see if there are any patterns.
For example, if you notice that a lot of customers are leaving because of billing issues, then you know that you need to improve your billing process.
Another way to reduce customer churn is to offer incentives for customers to stay.
This could be a loyalty program, or it could be a discount for customers who renew their contracts.
Finally, you can also try to improve the quality of your products or services.
If customers are leaving because they are not satisfied with what you’re offering, then you need to find ways to make your products or services better.
By identifying areas for improvement and taking steps to improve customer satisfaction, the churn rate of customers can be effectively decreased.
Increase Market Share In The Target Market By X%
If an organization targets an increased market share, it can set about this by identifying its current position in the market. Then it needs to set a realistic goal for how much market share it hopes to gain.
From there, a plan can be created to reach the desired market share.
The plan should include detailed steps on how to assess the current market, identify potential customers, and create marketing efforts and sales strategies that will appeal to the target market and gain more acceptance than its competitors.
Generate X% More Leads
A SMART goal to generate new leads can be achieved by creating targeted content and offers.
This could involve creating ebooks, webinars, or other resources that are relevant to the target audience and offer value.
Additionally, businesses can offer these resources in exchange for contact information from the user.
Another specific goal on leads generation could be something like “To increase our website traffic from a specific source, say,organic search by 10% within the next 6 months.”
To do this, the organization would need to come up with a plan of action that involves optimizing its website for search engines, creating keyword-rich content, and building backlinks.
Increase Revenue By Introducing new products and services
An organization can choose to set a goal of introducing new products and services in a bid to increase sales and revenue.
First, it needs to identify the target market and determine what needs this new product or service will address.
Next, it must ensure that the product or service is truly innovative and offers something unique that customers will value.
Then, it can set a pricing strategy that will allow it to recoup its investment while still being competitive.
It may then develop marketing and advertising campaigns that will reach its target market and commence sales.
Increase Sales By X% In The Next Quarter
A SMART goal to increase sales could involve setting a specific sales target for a defined period.
This target could be based on the organization’s previous sales figures, the current state of the economy, or other relevant factors.
Once the target is set, a plan can be created to help the organization reach this goal.
The plan could involve implementing a series of promotions. For example, the organization could offer discounts to customers who purchase items online, or it could offer coupons for customers who make purchases in-store.
It could also create a loyalty program to encourage customers to keep coming back.
Another strategy it can utilize is to improve the quality of the products or services that it offers. This could involve investing in better materials, hiring more qualified staff, or offering more personalized service.
It can also decide to expand its reach. This could involve setting up new branches in other cities or countries, launching an aggressive marketing campaign, or partnering with other businesses to form strategic alliances.
Get More Online Reviews
A goal to get more online reviews can be achieved by asking customers to leave reviews on popular review sites.
This could be done after they have made a purchase, or it could be done in exchange for a discount or other incentive.
Another way to get more online reviews is to offer something of value in exchange for a review.
This could be a contest where the prize is a gift card or a free product.
Finally, smaller businesses can simply politely ask their satisfied customers to leave a review.
While this may not work as well as offering an incentive, it is still worth trying and you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to oblige.
Increase In-Person Promotions By X%
A goal to increase in-person promotions can be achieved by setting up a booth or table at local events.
This could include trade shows, festivals, fairs, and other community events.
Businesses can also sponsor these events or make donations to charitable organizations that hold them.
Another way to promote in person is to offer free samples of products or services.
This could be done at a physical location, or it could be done by mailing freebies to potential customers.
Discounts and coupons can also be offered to entice people to visit a business in person.
Finally, businesses can host their events. This could be a grand opening, a holiday party, or a special sale.
Establish Thought Leadership In An Industry
A company could set a goal to become a trusted industry leader.
Making a goal to establish thought leadership in an industry can be difficult, but it can be made SMART by having a clear plan and dividing the goal into objectives.
For example, one objective could be to increase web traffic to the company’s blog by 10% over six months. This can be achieved by publishing high-quality, original articles and whitepapers that will show off their expertise in those areas regularly and promoting it through various channels such as email newsletters, social media, and guest blogging.
It can also have its staff give speeches, or be interviewed on podcasts that pertain to their industry. It could also focus on creating helpful infographics or videos that educate others in their field.
Another objective relevant to establishing one’s company as a thought leader could be to double the number of media mentions within a year. This can be accomplished by proactively reaching out to journalists and bloggers in the industry and pitching them story ideas that are relevant to their readership.
Additionally, branded queries can be increased by creating informative and shareable content that contains the company’s name, website, or product.
And finally, social media followers and engagement can be increased by regularly sharing engaging content, answering any questions its audience may have, and participating in relevant online conversations.
By achieving these SMART goals, an organization will have positioned itself as a thought leader in its industry.
Build An Email Audience
A SMART goal to build an email audience can be kickstarted with a simple sign-up form on the company’s website.
This sign-up form should be visible and easy to find, and it should offer something of value in exchange for an email address.
For example, the sign-up form could offer a free ebook, coupon, or whitepaper.
Once the email subscriber list has been built, it’s important to cultivate it by regularly sending engaging and relevant content.
This could include blog posts, product updates, industry news, or special offers.
It’s also important to segment the list so that the most relevant content is being sent to the most interested people.
This will ensure that people don’t unsubscribe from the list because they’re receiving content that isn’t relevant to them.
Finally, it’s important to measure the results of the email campaign by tracking opens, click-throughs, and conversions. By doing this, businesses can fine-tune their email strategy to ensure that they’re achieving their goal.
Increasing Email Open Rates By X%
A SMART goal to increase email open rates by a certain percentage in a given period can be achieved by segmenting the email list, personalizing the subject line, and sending relevant and engaging content.
Additionally, the “from” field should be recognizable, and the email should be sent at a time when the recipient is likely to check their email.
The email should also be short and to the point, and it should have a clear call to action.
Reduce Marketing Expenses By X%
A SMART goal to reduce marketing expenses by a certain percentage can be achieved by evaluating the current marketing budget and identifying areas where cuts can be made.
For example, if a company is spending a lot of money on print advertising, it could consider switching to digital advertising, which is typically less expensive.
Additionally, they could negotiate with vendors to get lower prices, or they could cut back on non-essential marketing activities.
Once the cuts have been made, it’s important to track the results to ensure that the goal is being met.
SMART marketing goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
And for good reason, setting SMART marketing goals can help an organization achieve its overarching business goals.
It’s been a long ride, Agent X, and you’ve learned a lot about SMART marketing goals.
You know what they are, their benefits, how to set them, and how to measure and monitor them.
Now it’s time to put this knowledge into practice and start helping Mark and his team set SMART marketing goals for Ecks-Why-Zee.
Luckily for you, this message won’t self-destruct and you can always come back for a refresher anytime you need it.
Until then, stay sharp, Agent X, you’ve got this!