Learn the SMART approach to marketing with Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Time based goals.
- [Woman] In marketing meetings, I often hear myself say, "Yes, but what are you trying to achieve and why?" Then I say, "Can you be more specific?" Setting goals in your marketing program is a top priority. If you don't know what you want to achieve and if you can't be specific, realistic and measure it, the rule is, then don't bother planning any further or rolling out with your program. The pushback I would hear is, "But we have so many goals in marketing.
"We need to help the company increase sales, "grow market share, launch new products, target new audiences, build awareness." True, there's no shortage of goals in marketing but you can't conquer everything all at once. You have to step back and figure out what's the most crucial to your business. This is where the marketing efforts are prioritized based on the company's business goals. At the same time, there's a really easy test for you to determine what can be realistically achieved by you and your team.
Because you're setting expectations for your leadership team, you need to make your goals and objectives smart. Now you may have already heard this acronym used, and if you have, then let it serve as an important reminder the next time you're in a planning session. Smart goals stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. S is for making sure your goals are specific.
You have to quantify them. M is measurable. Always always be able to measure your goals. This means having the tools and knowing which metrics will demonstrate measurement success. A is for achievable. You're not superhuman. You probably don't have endless resources. And be sure to use past data as a good indication for your success. R is realistic, because you know the people, technology and tools will guide you to the finish.
T is for time based. What you say can be done in a quarter or annually or whatever benchmark you use. Knowing your goals have to be smart when you select your goals clearly define what you're going to achieve. For example, saying, "We want to help increase company sales." This is not a smart goal for so many reasons. Be specific. We want our marketing program leads to increase by X amount each quarter in 2017.
Measure it. You can use your past sales data as a baseline and monitor your quarterly sales conversions. You can capture how much traffic your website received, the qualified leads captured through your site and how many of those leads converted to sales. Achievable. Saying you'll increase sales by 50% every quarter is not achievable. Look at your past sales, conversion history and other key performance indicators, or KPIs that drove traffic, leads and conversions to set your benchmarks.
Realistic. There's no backtracking from unrealistic expectations. Figure out how your team will advance to reach a goal and report what makes sense for your resources and manpower. A time-based goal is your check system of the marketing campaign that never really reaches the mark. It's those time-based benchmarks that help you to know if you're on target to achieve what you set out to accomplish. Everything you do in marketing, your strategies and the tactics you execute will be based on your goals.
Your goals will never be perfect and you'll learn a lot along the way. However, setting yourself up for goal success, whether it's sales conversions, product launches, brand awareness, means you have to be the smart one. Executives will always want you to do more and strive harder. Beginning with how you approach your goals is the start to proving that you can reach what you say you will and how you are driving the company's business.
- Conducting research to understand the marketing landscape
- Identifying your buyer personas
- Creating your competitive edge
- Evaluating inputs before building a program
- Creating a marketing plan
- Developing messages that resonate
- Using an integrated marketing approach
- Including a mix of media to excite your customers
- Tips to enhance your SEO program
- Monitoring your marketing programs
- Motivating your employee champions
- Getting your brand ambassadors on board