The beginning of the year is a popular time for goal setting. Unfortunately, a  common problem with goal setting is, often times, they’re unrealistic, or there is no  strategy behind them. That’s why when it comes to goals, SMART goals are the way to go.

If you’re in marketing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term SMART goal. And depending on who you ask, the acronym may have a different meaning. But when it comes to setting goals for your marketing strategy those goals should be:

  • Specific
    • Make sure you are saying exactly what you are going to do. Goals like ‘increase sales’ don’t count.
  • Measurable
    • If you can’t measure the success, or how it will effect your business, then it shouldn’t be a goal in the first place.
  • Attainable
    • Be realistic. If you did $1m in sales last year, then $50m in sales probably isn’t the number you should be shooting for.
  • Relevant
    • Make sure the goal you’re setting is something that will make an impact on your day to day, or the company’s.
  • Time-Bound
    • Give yourself a deadline and something to shoot for.

Goal setting should be fun. It should generate some real excitement throughout your entire  company. If it doesn’t, then your goal is either too vague, too easy, or unattainable. The more realistic your goal is, the harder everyone will work to achieve it.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Rich is the director of sales for a manufacturing company. If you ask him what his goal is, he would say to increase sales and not lose any current clients. (“Yeah, Rich? Who doesn’t?”)

Tina is the CEO of small financial firm. Her goal is to increase revenue by 6% compared to Q1 of the previous year. (We’re getting a little closer to a SMART goal!)

Mike is a VP at a large box manufacturing company. His goal is to increase revenue by 10% by the end of the year. However, he and his team identified some low-hanging fruit with a certain product they now realize could benefit an industry they’ve never sold to before. He has tasked his sales team with developing a pipeline of all of the potential companies in the United States that fit a certain criteria and has asked them to be extremely diligent in their HubSpot CRM for tracking purposes. (Boom!)

The three goals presented above are all fine goals. However, which one of the three is the clearest, most concise goal? Mike’s goal is a perfect example of a SMART goal.

Specific: Increase revenue for product x by 10% over the next 12 months

Measurable: He and his team will be able to track the pipeline, as well as sales in their HubSpot CRM

Attainable: They’ve identified low-hanging fruit in a new industry that they haven’t tapped into yet. A 10% increase is just enough to make an impact, but also takes into account they’re a new player and it will take some time to work their way into the market.

Relevant: Anytime you are talking about increasing sales of a specific product by a specific number, that’s going to be relevant to your business.

Timely: The timeline set is a bit vague, but overall, a 12-month goal is time-bound, and it gives everyone a clear idea of what they need to do over the course of the year to achieve the goal.

On to the next one

The whole point of setting SMART goals is that you put so much thought into them it should be almost impossible not to achieve. However, whether you crush your goal, just miss it, or completely get off track, you’ll have the data to tell you exactly what happened. Either way, as the great philosopher, Jay-Z, once said, “It’s on to the next one.”

Before You Go…

Part of setting good SMART goals is knowing the economics of your customer. Is it worth it to spend x amount of dollars on your digital marketing strategy? If you do, how many new customers will you have to bring in? Learn all this  and more with our fancy new economics of a customer calculator!


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