‘Tis the season for goals – both those from the year that has yet to fully pass and the one still to come. As we close in on the start of 2018, you’re likely hard at work analyzing your 2017 marketing goals and the progress you made towards them, while also setting goals for the new year. After all, to achieve success, you need to define what it looks like before you get there.
Ideally, goals should be attainable while also allowing for reaching and achieving greater growth. Fortunately, there is a framework that can help you effectively create those kinds of goals.
No matter the objective, ensure that you set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals. In essence, S.M.A.R.T. goals help ensure that your objectives are clear and specific enough that it’s easy to determine whether you hit your mark or, if you didn’t, how short you fell of achieving a set goal.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Explained
Specific – Be as specific as you can with your goals. Outline the who, what, when, where of your objectives.
Measurable – If you can’t measure a goal, how can you be sure you have achieved it? For each goal you set, ensure that you have a method for measurement.
Attainable – Lofty goals may sound good on paper, but they won’t do much good if they are impossible to achieve. Use your current performance and, when available, that of your competitors to know what’s reasonable and achievable.
Relevant – Choose goals that really matter. How relevance is defined will differ for every company, but you should think about those that have the potential to make a real business impact.
Time-Bound – To create a sense of urgency, every goal should have a deadline. But be sure to be realistic when setting a given goal and consider the timelines for other goals or marketing activities as well.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Examples
Some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals include:
- Growing your LinkedIn followers by five percent each month for the next six months.
- Increasing your average click-through rate on your monthly email newsletter by 10 percent over the next year.
- Doubling the number of likes on Instagram posts in the next three months.
- Decreasing website bounce rate by 5 percent in the next quarter.
- Generating a minimum of 1,000 new marketing qualified leads each quarter in the next year.
Be sure that you set enough goals to make meaningful progress, but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. A few goals related to each of your major marketing initiatives should work well. Or you can try setting primary and secondary goals based on your priorities, which could be either be specific to different areas of your marketing strategy or to the various tactics that make up your strategy.