When starting a new project it is always important to visualize what you want the end goal to be. We’ve all had those dreams that seem unattainable but that was only because we didn’t have a plan of attack! The same concept applies to marketing as well – if you don’t have an idea of your end goal and how to achieve it, then how will you know when you’re making progress?
One way to track progress, set goals, and help yourself stick to them is by using SMART goals.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Using SMART goals to help you visualize your steps to your goal will help you avoid creating plans that are too vague, aggressive, or poorly thought out. Plans that are not well fleshed out can seem daunting and lead to discouragement..
In marketing, SMART goals are used to achieve both an improvement in a company’s revenue and also an increase in their brand awareness with consumers. These goals for companies are usually based on what are known as Key Performance Indicators, KPIs.
Companies who provide services may set goals around a specific increase in lead form entries. A product based company may set goals around an increase in a specific product sold following a campaign for it. For example, an X amount of increase in chicken wing sales after a new wing campaign is launched.
For brand awareness, a company may set a goal for engagement around their new campaign. They could also set goals around creating a higher quality email list, or a higher rank on Google following a new SEO approach. One tip for using KPIs for your company is to try and align your Revenue KPIs and Brand KPIs so that the effect your efforts are having on the company are more clear and easier to communicate.
What does SMART mean?
Be as specific as possible when setting a goal. The more narrow your focus the easier it will be to identify steps necessary for achieving it.
What evidence will let you know that you are making progress towards your goal? If your focus is narrow enough then it should not be difficult to determine what you will measure success by.
This is where those KPIs come into play. Determining KPIs for revenue goals are usually straightforward but choosing ones for brand goals can be more subjective. For example, if your goal is to create a higher quality email list then you could measure it by how many people are opening the email and clicking on the attached links. Set an increasing goal for each new email sent out and keep a record of your progress!
Is the goal you have set for your company attainable at this moment? Are there other steps to take first before you can reach this goal? Use past data to determine the possibility of reaching the goals you have set and if they seem like too big of a stretch, reevaluate. The objective is to have challenging goals but not to the point of discouragement.
Does this goal contribute to your long term goals for your company? Will achieving this goal be valuable for your broader objectives?
How much time will it take to achieve this goal even with a determined approach? Will this goal require a long research period before the actual implementation? If your goals seem to be more long-term, like 6 months to a year, then it may be beneficial to add in some shorter term goals to keep yourself and your team motivated. Setting up a realistic time frame for your goals will help you minimize time wasted and build confidence as you begin to see success.
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