5 easy steps to set SMART goals in marketing

Looking to set achievable marketing goals? Be SMART and follow these 5 steps!

Your product solves your customer’s problem efficiently. It looks good, it is easy to use and offers more value for its price than other available products. But your prospects don’t know that. Yet.

Now that your product is finished and ready to delight your customers, you need to do some marketing. Why? Because as sales expert Grant Cardone puts it, Best product does not win the game; best KNOWN product wins the game. If you want to learn more business takeaways from Grant, watch this 2-minute video.

Are you ready to start your marketing journey?

Let’s go!

First of all, we need to talk about marketing goals. There are many marketing goals you can set for your company depending on the stage you’re in.

Companies today don’t usually wait for the product to be finished, they begin to market the product while still in early development. It’s a smart move. What they are doing is building a tribe for their product and raising awareness for the company. The members of the tribe will be the first people to buy the finished product. They are more likely to become ambassadors for the product and the company can attract new customers from word of mouth marketing.

Marketing goals for this stage could be building an emailing list of enthusiasts interested in your product. These individuals would be your product’s die-hard customers and it would also be smart to find ways to get to know them and engage with them. And even ask for their ideas on features that could improve your product.

Once the product is finished, the company already has its first customers, it doesn’t start marketing from zero which could be a competitive advantage.

But if you’re company doesn’t take this build-it-before-it’s-finished approach, don’t worry, there are many other marketing goals you can set for your company.

Here are 6 marketing goals that you should set in 2021 to support your company to achieve its business vision:

  1. Increase brand awareness
  2. Empower your email subscribers
  3. Build brand ambassadors
  4. Boost your sales through referral programs
  5. Identify customer behaviour change
  6. Increase website traffic with guest content

If you want to know more about these six marketing goals, read this article where I discuss each of them in-depth.

Now that we’ve touched on the subject of marketing goals, let’s see what SMART and setting SMART goals in marketing means.

S.M.A.R.T. is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound and refers to business objectives.

Consultant George T Doran is credited with writing down the S.M.A.R.T. acronym and laying out the main principles of SMART goals in his 1981 paper, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”.

Although the SMART concept was created to support good management, setting SMART goals goes beyond that and can be used as a rule of thumb for setting goals in every area, business or personal.

What does a SMART goal in marketing look like?

You first start with a SMART business goal.

Here’s an example. Let’s assume you have an online ladies’ shoe shop. You want to grow your business.

A SMART business objective should be defined like this:

Spring is around the corner. I want to sell 15% more ladies’ shoes for spring. To achieve this I will invest $1000 in Facebook ads targeted at young fashion-forward professional women for a period of 3 months.

Why is this business objective SMART?

Because it is specific and measurable.

There are many ways in which you can grow your business (partnerships, investments etc), but you have chosen to focus on sales. You also narrowed down the sales offer to shoes for the springtime, not office shoes or running shoes. The 15% increase in sales is measurable.

Let’s assume your sales have grown by 10% last year, therefore, a 15% increase is achievable whereas a 100% increase in sales would not be achievable.

You have also decided to invest $1000 in Facebook ads to target a specific customer base comprised of young fashion-forward professional women. Once again, specific and relevant to your business.

Your Facebook campaign will run for three months so the business objective is also time-bound.

Now that you know what a SMART goal in marketing should look like, I’ve put together a simple template with 5 easy steps that you can use to set SMART marketing goals for your company.

5 easy steps to set SMART marketing goals

1. Link the marketing goal to a business goal

As you saw in the example above, marketing goals must be relevant to the overall business goals.

So the first step is to set a marketing goal that relates to your business goal.

It could be a short-term goal like increasing sales of a specific product or it could be long-term business goals like increasing brand awareness or share of voice.

To increase sales you could set several marketing goals like increasing the number of qualified leads or increasing the number of email subscribers. To achieve long-term business goals like brand awareness you could increase the number of brand ambassadors or increase website traffic.

2. Establish the benchmark

Pulling numbers out of thin air is not going to help you achieve your goal.

Perform a marketing analysis before setting a new marketing goal. Run the numbers and come to a conclusion with regard to previous results.

How much does it cost to get a new customer or a new email subscriber?

What is the average cost per lead?

What is the current landing page conversion rate?

Learn how to calculate them and other key performance indicators in this two-part article.

Only after you know these numbers ie the benchmark, you can set achievable marketing goals.

3. Write the goal using the SMART framework

Follow the example above and make your marketing goal specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

4. Design the strategic plan you will use to achieve the SMART marketing goal

The goal of a strategic plan is to provide you with a roadmap to achieve set marketing goals.

The plan outlines what (resources), how (specific tools, activities, platforms etc) and why (the reasons behind your choice of a specific resource or tool) the company will use to achieve this goal.

Referring back to the online ladies’ shoe shop and its goal to increase sales by 15% through Facebook ads, you need to establish who will design the creative concept of the Facebook campaign and who will write the copy.

What is the format of the campaign: video, image, link? Once the campaign is ready to be launched, establish who will set the campaign in your company’s Facebook Ad account and solve any problems that might arise.

Should the customers reacting to your campaign need the help of your customer support, how are they going to reach your company?

A successful campaign is an eco-system where every factor is aligned and working in perfect harmony.

5. Implement & optimize

Now that your campaign is ready to go and you have planned everything in detail, you can implement the campaign and optimize it if necessary.

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Do You Want to Get More out of your Facebook Ads Campaigns?

Are your Facebook Ads not meeting your marketing goals as of lately?

Do you feel your ads need a makeover?

If you want to get more out of your Facebook Ads, this article is for you!

When setting up your Facebook ads, you can choose from multiple ad formats: a static image, carousel, panorama or 360 photo, canvas, or video.

Our recommendation is to give video a try.

Video is on the rise

Facebook insights show the dramatic increase of video consumption:

  • 71% of users say their online video viewing has increased over the past year;
  • People are 1.5X more likely to watch video daily on a smartphone than on a computer;
  • 1 in 5 videos is now a live broadcast;
  • 30% of mobile shoppers say video is the best medium for discovering new products;
  • Business decision makers are 1.64x more likely to consume short-form video clips on Facebook than other platforms;
  • 50% of video advertising revenue came from mobile-first videos in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Here are three reasons you should use Facebook video ads:

  1. Facebook video ads receive 10 to 30% more views compared to imagine ads (source: solocube.com);
  2. Video Ads allow you to build an audience of engaged people which you can retarget;
  3. Ads with videos have lower costs and higher conversions as compared to image ads (source: facebook.com).

Make your ad targeting smarter than your competitors’

Make the most out of your Facebook video ads by targeting warm audiences with various custom audience options:

  • Lookalike audience of your current email list subscribers;
  • Website visitors and lookalike audience;
  • Users who viewed other posts of your Facebook page;
  • Users who interacted with your ads and page posts;
  • People who interacted with your Canvas;
  • Viewers who messaged your page, or clicked on your page button, or commented on any of your posts;
  • Website visitors who abandoned their cart;
  • People who watched other videos on your page;
  • High LTV (lifetime value) customers.

Do you want your customers to watch your video ads? Make them too good to ignore!

If you want your video ads to stand out among the user’s crowded newsfeed, Facebook recommends making sure your ad checks the following features:

  • Subtitles

Include subtitles in your video because nearly 85 percent of video views happen in silent mode.

  • Short length

Keep it short (up to 15 – 30 seconds) and attract their attention early on in the first 5 seconds.

  • Brand mention

Mention your brand in the first 3 seconds: Facebook found that consumers were 23% more likely to remember which brand made a given video ad if the brand was featured in the first three seconds.

  • Visually impactful

Use stunning imagery, make your video visually pleasing.

  • Creative

When using video, let your creativity flow: surprise your viewers with an original point of view, give it a funny twist, or use animated characters.

  • High-quality

Always use high-quality videos and sounds.

  • Edit

If your company is on a budget, use free video editing tools to make your video look professional. Here are a few examples of video editing tools: Lumen5, Legend, Boomerang, Stop Motion Studio, Quik, Piclab, Videoshop.

  • Mobile-first

Create a mobile-first video: Facebook found that mobile-first video are watched for a longer period of time and are more memorable.


  • Vertical

Use vertical videos because statistics say mobile phones are used in portrait mode 98% of the time (source: facebook.com).

[bctt tweet=”Mobile phones are used in portrait mode 98% of the time @facebook” username=”brand_minds”]

Influence your audience to click on your Facebook Ad button

Besides vanity metrics like high reach and high number of views, your Facebook Ads are expected to determine the audience to click on your ad’s button that says Purchase, Follow, Sign-in, Download App etc.

How to influence your audience to click on your button?

  • Write a catchy title which shows your UVP (unique value proposition)
  • Use social proof: 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust these recommendations over any other form of advertising (source: nielsen.com)
  • Show the benefits of your product or service;
  • Use testimonials;
  • Insert urgency to influence conversions;
  • Include a relevant call-to-action.

Here are 3 examples of Facebook video ads:

  1. FlipBelt

Check out FlipBelt’s success story.

2. Wanderer Bracelets

Check out Wanderer Bracelets’ success story.

3. Inspiralized

Check out Inspiralized’s success story.

Get your inspiration going and creative juices flowing with this article from Facebook:

Tips for your Facebook video adverts.

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