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5 Tips On Making SMART Goals


Holding a trophy

SMART goals are critical for anyone about to embark on a marketing campaign for the first time. That’s because they provide direction for the plans.


These goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Goals that meet these criteria are ones that give you a better chance of success.


Today, we’ll break down the SMART goal strategy and show you how to apply the SMART concept to your goal setting in marketing projects.



Specific

Eight arrows pointing at the yellow circle

First things first: you have to make sure your goals are clear and well-defined.

This specificity serves you in several ways. Among other things, it helps you avoid uncertainty about what you want to achieve and thus, what you should do.


This becomes even more important when you consider that marketing costs you money – this is true even when you’re not doing paid advertising.


Marketing consumes resources, whether that’s in terms of manpower, time, or actual media dollars. Hence, you have to be careful about the way resources are used if you don’t want them to go to waste.


Start by clearly stating your goal. You may want to try using the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.


Here are some questions you can ask yourself that can help:


  • What would you like to accomplish and why?

  • What are some of the conditions or limitations you might face?

  • Is this a personal goal or does it require others' involvement, and if so, whose?


These are just a few of the things you should be considering. Each time you come up with a goal, ask yourself too if there’s any part of it that might merit the query “What does this mean”, as a test for specificity.


For example, let’s say the first goal that comes to your mind is “Strengthen my content marketing strategy”.


That’s all well and good, but it’s not very specific. You know that because it’s possible to ask this: “What does strengthening your content marketing strategy mean?”


Instead, try things like “Publish X number of articles on the company blog every week” or “Increase blog traffic by at least Y% in 6 months”.



Measurable

Measuring tape extending

We already demonstrated this in our last example from the previous criterion. You want to use specifics that can be measured, such as numbers and dates.


This will aid you in establishing the metrics you'll use to monitor your progress toward the target you established.


It can also help you stay motivated. You will likely work harder to stay on track to reach your goals if you can regularly measure your progress and actually see how close you are getting to your aims.


Asking yourself questions like these will help you assess whether your goal is measurable:


  • "How much?"

  • “How frequently?”

  • "How will I know when it is finished?"

All of this is to help you understand how you will evaluate your performance and determine when the goal is accomplished.



Attainable

Catching a star

Project managers create project timelines and budgets that make resource allocation more effective.


This lets them manage the resources spent on a specific campaign or project so that it hits the Goldilocks range – not too much and not too little! That’s how you avoid wasting time and money while still hitting goals.


This also means managing how team members are used, of course. Good project managers ensure that the right personnel complete the jobs they do best.


This efficient use of resources works wonders in marketing campaigns. Without it, you could end up with “wasteful situations” like PPC specialists working on SEO tasks, or dollars being funnelled continuously into underperforming ads.


Typically, by the way, managers handle resource allocation with project management tools. You can find a whole suite of these online that can help you track your project status and allocate resources intelligently.



Relevant

Bubble chat with question mark and dots

Now you have to ask if your goal makes sense. That is, will that goal actually benefit you, your brand, or your business in some way?


This is worth asking because a lot of first-time marketers end up setting goals simply based on what they see others doing. This can work sometimes, yes, but not always.


In some cases, marketing goals that benefit others only end up as vanity metrics for you.


You will then have spent time and money chasing after something that has zero effect on your business’s future or its bottom line.


To that end, ask this about each goal: why do I want to achieve it? How will it benefit me?



Time-Bound

Clock with rotating long arm

It generally pays to specify a deadline for your goals. Among other things, it helps you allocate time wisely to their achievement, besides preventing you and all involved from dilly-dallying needlessly.


Ask these questions:

  • How long will it take to finish this project?

  • When is this task expected to be completed?

  • When should this task be started?


The idea is to set a timeline. Choose a start date and a completion date for your goal in order to get everything moving.


Note that a solid SMART goal can also have a recurring timeline (as in the case of our “X articles per week” example earlier). In this case, the deadline would be the end of each week.



Set your SMART marketing goals now


As you can see, SMART provides an easy framework for goal-setting.


With SMART, you can figure out how to define aims around which marketing efforts can be organised. Without such goals, marketing plans can end up slipshod and wasteful.


If you find that you need more help identifying marketing goals for your brand or business, feel free to get in touch with us. We’ve crafted and run hundreds of successful campaigns for our clients and can do the same for you.


Contact us for a chat for your digital marketing needs!



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