One of the most important aspects of any business is to set smart marketing objectives and then meet them. Far too often, businesses will set their sights too high or too low, which can doom a campaign from the start. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to correctly set and achieve your marketing objectives so you see tangible results from your efforts.
How to set SMART marketing goals
A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Let’s break down each element around goal setting so you can see how to apply it to your own business.
A specific goal has a clear target. It answers the questions of who, what, where, when, and why. For example, “I want to increase website traffic by 10% in the next quarter” is a specific marketing goal.
A measurable goal can be quantified so you can track your progress. Using the same example as above, you can measure your progress by looking at website analytics to see if traffic has increased by 10% in the desired time frame.
An attainable goal is one that is challenging but possible. You don’t want to set goals that are out of reach because then you will only be setting yourself up for disappointment. At the same time, you don’t want to set goals that are too easy because then you won’t see any growth.
Is increasing website traffic by 10% in the next quarter an attainable goal? It depends on your current traffic levels and how much marketing you are doing. If you currently get 1000 visitors per month and you do very little marketing, then a 10% increase might be achievable. However, if you already get 100000 visitors per month from aggressive marketing campaigns, then a 10% increase might not be realistic.
A relevant goal is one that aligns with your key business objectives. For example, if your objective is to increase brand awareness, then a relevant goal would be “I want to double my social media following in the next 6 months.”
A time-bound goal has a deadline associated with it so you can track progress and keep yourself accountable. Using our previous example, if you want to double your social media following in 6 months and you have 2500 followers, then you know that you need to average adding 100 new followers every week for 25 weeks straight.
Why should your digital marketing goals be SMART?
There are a few benefits to using the SMART criteria to set SMART goals for your marketing strategy.
- It helps you stay focused on the most important tasks that need to be accomplished.
- It helps you measure progress and track results so you can adjust your strategy if necessary.
- It’s easier to set realistic expectations so that everyone involved knows what success looks like.
Set clear key performance indicators (KPIs)
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are measures that help you track your progress towards a goal. Here’s how to set clear KPIs.
What is a KPI?
Before we dive into how to set KPIs, it’s important to understand what they are. A KPI is a quantifiable measure that you can use to track and assess the performance of your business. Generally speaking, KPIs fall into three categories: financial, customer, and operational.
Some examples of financial KPIs include measures like revenue, profit margin, and cost per acquisition. Customer KPIs might include things like customer satisfaction rate or customer churn rate. And finally, operational KPIs could include measures like employee productivity or average order value.
How to set clear KPIs
There are four steps you’ll need to take in order to set clear KPIs for your business:
Define your goals
The first step in setting clear KPIs is defining your goals. What exactly do you want to achieve with your KPIs? Do you want to increase sales, reduce costs, or improve efficiency? Once you’ve decided on your goals, you can move on to choosing the right metrics.
Choose the right metrics
Not all marketing metrics are created equal; some will be more impactful than others when it comes to measuring progress towards your goals. When choosing metrics, it’s important to consider things like alignments with company strategy and data availability. You’ll also want to make sure that you choose metrics that you can actually influence; there’s no point in setting a KPI that’s out of your control!
Now that you’ve chosen your marketing metrics, it’s time to set targets. Targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART). In other words, they should be attainable goals that will help you achieve your overall marketing objectives.
Track your progress
The final step is tracking your progress towards meeting your targets. Regularly monitor your chosen metrics and make adjustments as necessary. Remember, the goal is not necessarily to meet your targets at all costs; rather, it’s to use them as a guidepost to help ensure that you’re headed in the right direction.
Set SMART marketing objectives for your team
Marketing teams are responsible for a lot of different tasks, from creating ad campaigns to analyzing market trends. As a result, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your team’s objectives are before you start working on any marketing projects.
Here are a few tips for setting SMART objectives:
Determine your marketing targets by channel
The first step in setting marketing objectives is to determine your targets by channel. This means breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might break that down into targets for social media, email marketing, and content marketing. By doing this, you can measure your success and adjust your strategy as needed.
Break down your goals into monthly and quarterly targets
Once you have determined your targets by channel, the next step is to break down those targets into monthly and quarterly targets. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness by 20% over the course of six months, you would break that down into a monthly target of 3.33%.
Create a visual marketing plan
The third step in setting marketing objectives is to create a visual marketing plan. This means putting all of your goals and targets into a visual format so that you can see them at a glance and track your progress over time. There are a number of ways to do this, but we recommend using a marketing roadmap template.
Set a single sales target that aligns with your marketing goals
The final step in setting marketing objectives is to set a single sales target that aligns with your marketing goals. This will help ensure that all of your efforts are focused on driving revenue for your business. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness by 20% over the course of six months, you might set a sales target of 10 new customers during that time period.
Measure success for SMART marketing objectives
How will you know if you’re on track to achieve your marketing objectives?
You’ll need to set up a tracking system that monitors your KPIs and gives you insight into how you’re progressing. and to use these metrics to understand what’s working and what needs to be improved in order to achieve success.
First, your metrics should be aligned with your objectives. It’s important to take the time to ensure that your metrics are actually reflective of the progress you want to make. For example, if one of your objectives is to increase brand awareness, then some relevant metrics might include website traffic or social media engagement.
Establishing baseline metrics will give you a point of reference against which you can measure progress over time. For example, let’s say that you want to increase website traffic by 20% over the course of three months. In order to do this, you need to know how many website visitors you currently have.
Marketing tools for tracking progress
Here are two of the most common methods for tracking: Google Analytics and Excel. Let’s take a closer look at each tool.
Google Analytics is a free website tracking tool that provides detailed insights into your website traffic. It can track how people find your website, what they do while they’re there, and how long they stay. This information can be very helpful in understanding what is working well on your website and what needs improvement. Google Analytics is relatively easy to set up and use, and it integrates with other products such as Google AdWords.
Excel spreadsheets are a great way to track your progress towards meeting SMART goals. You can create spreadsheets for each of the metrics you’re measuring and use formulas to automatically calculate your progress. This is helpful because it lets you quickly identify areas where you need to improve or adjust your strategy. Plus, if you have multiple people working on the same project, it’s easy to share and collaborate on the data.
Examples of SMART marketing objectives
To give you a better idea of what SMART objectives look like in action, here are some examples:
- Increase website traffic by 25% over the next 3 months
- Double email list subscribers within 6 months
- Reduce cost per lead by 25% within 1 year
- Achieve an average open rate of 20% for emails within 3 months
- Increase social media followers by 20% within 6 months
- Generate a 10% increase in sales revenue within 1 year
Setting SMART marketing objectives and tracking progress towards them is essential for any successful marketing effort. By clearly defining your goals and KPIs, you can set yourself up for success and track progress to ensure that you’re achieving the results you want. Additionally, by using tools like Google Analytics and Excel spreadsheets, you can easily track and measure progress over time. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your marketing objectives are SMART and that your marketing team is on target for success.