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?
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:
- Increase brand awareness
- Empower your email subscribers
- Build brand ambassadors
- Boost your sales through referral programs
- Identify customer behaviour change
- 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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