Setting vague marketing goals is like aimlessly wandering around a maze. It can be confusing, frustrating, and ultimately lead you nowhere.
By being SMART about your goals, you can set your business up for success without the hassle and stress of guesswork. In this blog post, we’ll look closer at the SMART Method and explain how to use it to set realistic business marketing goals.
What is the SMART Method?
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals are well-defined objectives that are set for a specific period. They utilize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to provide a clear direction to your team, making it easier to achieve the desired goal together. You can use the SMART Method to set goals, measure performance, track progress, and re-evaluate the approach if needed.
How to Set Up Smart Goals
Segment each section of the SMART Method to assemble your future goal.
Your goal should be clearly defined and specific. Be as specific as possible about what you want to achieve. Answer the five W’s: who, what, where, when, and why. Try asking yourself questions like: What is the goal? What do I want to accomplish? Who is involved? When do I want to accomplish this?
Example: Instead of setting a goal like “increase sales,” you should opt for something like “boost monthly sales by 20% within the next quarter.”
Create a goal that can be quantified or measured in terms of a target number. Define how and where you will track progress and success. Use tools like Google Analytics to generate real-time progress. Quantify your achievements and use that data to adjust your strategy if necessary.
Example: Instead of setting a goal like “improve our website traffic,” try “increase website traffic by 10% in the next 90 days.”
Set goals that are realistic and attainable. Review your past progress and identify an achievable objective based on available resources and capabilities. Goals should be challenging but not impossible.
Example: Increasing your social media followers from zero to ten thousand in a month is unrealistic. Instead, grow your social media following by 10% or 20% in a quarter.
Ensure your goals are relevant to your overall business strategy, objectives, and values. Relevance is based on the importance of achieving the goal and should be aligned to help reach the bigger picture. Goals should be meaningful to the growth and success of the business.
Examples: If your business is focused on sustainability, set a goal to increase sales of eco-friendly products.
OR increase online sales by 15% over the next quarter by expanding digital advertising efforts and optimizing an e-commerce website.
Set a clear and realistic deadline or anticipated completion date to achieve your objectives. Time-bound goals increase commitment, urgency, and motivation. Stay on track and measure progress along the way.
Also, consider external factors that may impact your progress, such as market trends, industry events, or holidays. Adjust your timeline accordingly.
Example: Instead of setting an open-ended goal like “make my website rank higher,” set a goal like “boost our website’s organic traffic by 25% by the end of Q2, 2024 through a combination of search engine optimization and content marketing strategies.”
When developing your SMART goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable goals so that you can build momentum and hit those milestones more quickly.
Examples of SMART Objectives that Combine the Elements
Now that we’ve broken down each part of the SMART in SMART objectives, let’s look at a couple more examples of using more than one element.
- Increase website traffic by 20% over the next six months by implementing a search engine optimization strategy.
- Increase social media engagement by 15% over the next quarter by posting more educational and engaging content.
- Increase revenue by 10% over the next three months by launching a new product line and increasing our outreach efforts.
- Reduce customer complaints by 25% over the next year by improving customer service experience and addressing their concerns promptly through online reviews, social media, in-person, and over the phone.
Follow-Up and Evaluation
Once you’ve established your SMART goals, monitoring and evaluating them will ensure you’re on track to achieving them.
Conduct regular check-ins to measure progress and re-evaluate the strategy if necessary. Make sure you celebrate when you hit those milestones or when you achieve your overall objective. Acknowledge the hard work and dedicated effort put in by the team to meet these goals.
The SMART Method provides a framework that guides businesses to set clear and defined objectives, measure progress, and track success. It helps ensure that the team is on the same page about focusing on achieving specific outcomes. Remember, achieving your SMART goals will require consistent monitoring, evaluation, and adaptation.
At Vervocity, we are passionate about helping businesses set and achieve realistic goals that lead to scaled growth. Whether you want to increase website traffic or improve your social media presence, we’re here to help you create success-driven strategies.