Whether you have short-term or long-term marketing goals, this planning template can help turn those ideas into reality. With this model as your foundation, you can describe your goals, set a deadline for meeting them, and understand the desired result. This can all be accomplished by focusing on SMART marketing, a methodology that helps you make, well, “smart” goals! So, what is a SMART marketing goal? Let’s take a look.
When creating any goal, you want it to be as short, crisp, and specific as possible. The same is true for mapping out your marketing priorities. Having “a good marketing year” isn’t a SMART goal and won’t reflect what your company has accomplished at the end of the year. If you have less than 90 seconds to explain your goal to a colleague — what are you going to tell him or her that concisely explains your plans? For instance, having a goal to increase your average email open rate to 15% to 20% is far more specific than merely “having a good marketing year,” and it is a good foundation for a goal.
Often, companies say they want to “increase their social media following” as a marketing goal. While that is a goal, not only is it not specific, it’s not trackable. If you start the new year with 100 followers and end with 101, technically, you met your set goal. But it’s probably not the result you wanted. But if you revise that goal to something like, “We want to increase our social media following by 25%,” suddenly you have a specific goal and you can measure your progress every month to see if you’re on track. Ultimately seeing a jump from 100 to 125 followers in a quarter will keep people motivated knowing you hit your goal.
While having history-breaking goals are beneficial, it’s still important to keep these goals realistic. If in your company history you’ve generated an average of 10 leads every month, jumping to 2,000 leads per month would be a drastic change and frankly not very realistic. Many businesses do this to push employees and to “go as far as they possibly can.” But in reality, all this does is discourage employees, as he/she sees they can never actually be successful. Increasing leads per month to 20, for example, would be a realistic goal with the right marketing plan behind it. SMART goals are motivating, challenging, and goals you can achieve.
Why have a goal if the goal doesn’t matter or positively impact how your business runs? Say you’re a teddy bear business that, at maximum, can only sell 1,000 teddy bears per month. In this situation, your goal likely shouldn’t be to “increase production of teddy bears from 1,000 per month to 5,000 per month.” While it’s great you have more product if your existing distributors won’t buy more, why bother? Your goal should be something along the lines of, “increase distribution channels by X%.”
While following all the steps outlined above can help you develop solid goals, you also need to ensure you also have a realistic timeline for meeting that goal. Going back to the teddy bear example, if you decide your goal is to increase distribution channels by X%, you need to know when you will want to accomplish this to know when to start working on a secondary goal. By attaching a specific time frame to your goal, you can stay more diligent and keep your organization and marketing efforts focused.
With SMART marketing goals, your organization will be ahead of the curve when it comes to driving organizational change and powering your business to new heights. With the right marketing strategy, processes, and goals in place, your team will stay focused and committed because they’re held accountable and can see how their efforts are paying off. Now that’s SMART! Need some help? Our marketing strategists can help you set (and achieve) your goals.