SMART goals are those goals that are set following a specific formula and clear criteria, integrated into a strategic thinking process.
Every entrepreneur needs to set certain goals, to be sure that the activities he undertakes lead the business in a direction that is in line with his expectations.
There are three major types of goals that can be set within a company:
- Strategic objectives – refers to the position where you want the business to be over X period of time
- Tactical objectives – refers to the results that key departments within the company are expected to achieve
- Operational objectives – refers to the specific results expected from each department, work group or employee in the company
Today we will focus on the tactical objectives located in the company’s marketing department.
Specifically, in this article we will discuss the strategic process by which we set the objectives to be achieved in a digital marketing campaign, using SMART criteria.
Specifically, we will talk about:
But first, before we move on to the details of what SMART means, let’s look at why strategic thinking is important in setting marketing goals.
Have you ever had the feeling that even though you work hard, the results are slow to show up?
Your efforts seem to be taking up all your time and…
energy, you lose optimism with each passing day without getting a
and more and more questions are running through your mind such as:
- “what could be the problem?”
- “what am I doing wrong?”
- “what am I missing?”
- “what should I do to achieve the desired results?”
I’m sure your intentions are the best, so I understand your frustrations.
You are not alone in this situation. I’ve been through it myself, and like you and me, there are plenty of others.
It may be that the problem you have manifests itself in the way you set your goals.
To check this, I need you to stop reading for a few seconds and address your question:
“I have a vision clear on the goals I want to achieve?”
Did you find a satisfactory answer?
I’m wrong if I say you thought of:
- money or…
- …more money?
Intrinsically, that’s not the wrong answer. Indeed, this is the ultimate goal that every business on the planet pursues.
Revenue growth is, however, an ultimate business goal which, in turn, must be supported and stimulated by a promotional strategy.
As a result, before you can think about the ultimate goal of making more money, you must have a clear strategy to get there.
You need a clear marketing strategy with strategically set goals that effectively support your business objectives.
Marketing objectives are vital in a
Setting promotion objectives gives you a clear vision of the results you want to achieve, gives you a direction to follow, the motivation needed to reach a convenient end, and clarity on the need for the digital marketing strategy in your business.
For example, setting goals is the first of the 10 steps of Content Marketing strategySo, the success of a Content Marketing campaign depends on how well the objectives are set.
In fact, the same is true for other services when it comes to building a promotion strategy.
Examples of marketing objectives
Entrepreneurs sometimes choose complex and costly marketing concepts without realizing how these objectives should be selected. Without sufficient information and examples of quantitative and qualitative objectives, marketing approaches can be incorrect.
Setting smart objectives effectively and correctly is the first step.
Now you can read about some examples of smart goals, which will help you understand more clearly what some of these qualitative marketing goals or quantitative marketing goals should look like.
1. Increase brand awareness
Whether it’s a new company, a new product launch or perhaps you’ve decided to target a new audience, increasing brand awareness is one of the best qualitative marketing objectives.
2. Increasing market share
This is one of the most interesting quantitative marketing objectives, which relates to the current situation and results.
It is important to remember that this type of objective does not always have to be “to become the market leader”, as it may not prove realistic. Such a qualitative objective should not be included in the list of examples of smart objectives for a small company, because it may prove impossible to achieve.
3. Launching a new product
Launching a new product presents a unique set of challenges for any marketing department. Informing the public about a brand-new product and generating excitement is no small feat. Between developing the communication strategy, pricing and positioning, this goal can have many different objectives.
4. Launching the company on new local or international markets
Similar to launching a new product, positioning and communication strategy is essential when introducing your brand to a new market. It is not enough to be present in a particular market. Many marketers choose reaching a certain number of customers and a certain turnover as examples of smart sales targets.
5. Improving return on investment
Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important indicators for a company. The result is expressed as a percentage, and it is in the interest of any entrepreneur that it is of positive value.
In the world of digital marketing, it is now easier than ever to accurately determine ROI because you know the cost per click of conversions for your marketing actions.
6. Increasing company profits
Increasing company profits can often involve 3 types of action: cost cutting, profit boosting, or both. Optimising for search engines, social networks and other digital media can be key ways to increase profits while reducing costs.
7. Sales channel optimization
It’s pointless to aim for a massive number of impressions if you don’t get users to convert and buy. Therefore, a good marketing plan objective would be to take into account the different stages of the sales funnel and to get more and more users to become customers.
Examples of quantitative and qualitative goals: to increase conversion rates by 5% in 2022 by encouraging remarketing efforts to potential customers from the middle of the sales funnel.
8. Attract new customers
Attracting new customers to a company is an important, ongoing effort that will keep your sales flowing. Finding new customers should involve different processes as well as optimizing current ones.
9. Retaining existing customers
On the other hand, increasing customer loyalty is another common marketing objective. Retaining old customers by offering them bonuses and special programmes is a fairly common approach. Among the most common business objectives as examples are those related to loyalty and the implementation of loyalty programs.
Marketing objectives and defining them according to this SMART acronym can be complicated concepts. It is best to call in a marketing agency that can help you choose the right SMART objectives for your business.
I hope that, so far, everything is clear. So, so far, we know that:
- There are several types of targets
- Income is the major final objective
- Revenue growth is a business objective
- Marketing strategy supports the achievement of business objectives
- Marketing objectives are vital in a promotional strategy
- Setting the right promotional objectives gives vision, clarity and motivation
Furthermore, remember that “more money” is not a concrete objective.
Okay, but how do we define a concrete goal?
Well, it’s simple.
A concrete goal is:
- Aembroidery (realist)
- Time Bound (with a clear deadline)
I mean SMART.
What does SMART mean?
The official definition says:
“SMART is an acronym for the characteristics considered essential to correctly and concretely set a goal, in this case a marketing goal.“
SMART objectives draw a clear line between “working hard” and “work smart”.
According to Wikipedia, the first proponent of SMART objectives as a superior alternative, in terms of the benefits they confer on a strategy, was George T. Doran, in the paper “There’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’s goals and objectives” published in November 1981.
George T. Doran, then a consultant and former director of
corporate management for the Washington Water-Power Company, said:
“It would be ideal if every corporation had, at the level of
departments and sections, objectives:
The 5 criteria for setting SMART targets have remained approximately the same today.
The exception is the acronym “A”, to which George T. Doran assigned the criterion “Attributable”.
Today, most of the time, the criterion of “Affordable”, which we will develop in more detail below.
This substitution does not mean, however, a definitive replacement of the original proposed criterion.
It is equally important that an objective be Attributable, i.e. to enable the strategic allocation of appropriate human resources to implement the strategy that will lead to the achievement of the objective.
Although the SMART method proposed by Doran has universal applicability, equally effective in all business sectors that require strategic thinking, we will focus today on how to set SMART objectives in a digital marketing strategy.
SMART marketing goals.
The 5 criteria
As I said before, SMART is an acronym for 5 criteria to keep in mind when setting your goal(s) in an online promotion strategy.
Specifically, the objective should be:
In the following, we will address each of the 5 criteria in detail, for a full understanding of the concept. You will also have the opportunity to better understand the concept by analyzing the examples I will attach to each step.
Keep in mind that the 5 criteria that define SMART marketing objectives are complementary and it is necessary to present all of them within the set objective.
Well, let’s go further and say that a well set objective should be:
A specific objective leaves no room for doubt; it is very clearly stated and aims at achieving concrete results rather than general results.
The main method of checking the quality of the objective in relation to the specificity criterion is to align it – fully or partially – with the answers to 5 questions:
- Who – is involved in achieving this goal?
- What – do I want to get?
- Where – I want to achieve this goal, on what business development framework structure?
Example of a SMART objective Specific:
“I want to increase the number of leads from the blog section of the company website.”
The objective must be measurable, either quantitatively or qualitatively.
The objective needs to be clearly measurable in order to be able to accurately obtain the necessary insights that tell you clearly whether or not it has been achieved.
Furthermore, setting a measurable goal gives you the opportunity to continually monitor the progress being made towards achieving it.
Example of a SMART goal Specific if Measurable:
“I want to increase the number of leads from the blog section of the company website. by 20%.”
The third criterion defines the analysis of the chances that the set objective is likely to be achieved.
In this case, a set of conditions must be taken into account, such as:
- company size
- products or services offered
- market situation
- conditions under which the strategy is implemented
- the current situation of the structure chosen to achieve the set objective
- the technical, human, financial and time resources available
In other words, it is not recommended to set an unrealistic target that exceeds the company’s ability to meet it.
Example of a SMART objective Specific, Measurable and Affordable:
“I want to increase the number of leads in my blog section by 20%. Given that we are currently registering 1000 monthly visitors to the blog at a conversion rate of 10% (100 monthly leads), my goal is to increase traffic to 1200 monthly visitors (+20 monthly leads).”
The approach to the relevance criterion in the process of locating SMART marketing objectives starts from the question:
“Why am I pursuing this objective?”
I mentioned at the beginning of the article that setting marketing goals is the first step in setting your digital marketing strategy.
This strategy, in turn, needs to achieve goals that in turn stimulate the achievement of higher goals within the company.
Thus, the relevance of achieving this objective is given by the opportunity it offers in the context of achieving the main business objectives.
Example of a SMART objective Specific, Measurable, Affordable and Relevant:
“I want to increase the number of leads in my blog section by 20%. Given that we are currently registering 1000 monthly visitors to the blog at a conversion rate of 10% (100 monthly leads), my goal is to increase traffic to 1200 monthly visitors (+20 monthly leads). I find it appropriate to reach this goal because the sales team has found that the blog converts 3x more leads than PPC campaigns..“
It is necessary to set a well-defined period of time to achieve the goal.
Setting a clear deadline will give you the insights you need to monitor the progress of your campaign and will mobilise you to make every effort to achieve your goal by the set date.
Example of a SMART goal Specific, Measurable, Affordable, Relevant if Time Bound:
“I want to increase the number of leads in my blog section by 20%. in 6 months. Given that we are currently registering 1000 monthly visitors to the blog at a 10% conversion rate (100 monthly leads), my goal is to increase traffic to 1200 monthly visitors (+20 monthly leads). I find it appropriate to reach this goal because the sales team has found that the blog converts 3x more leads than PPC campaigns.”
If we go back in time for a moment and think about “I want more money”, we note that, although the major objective has remained the same, it is preceded by a series of steps to be taken and a set of micro-objectives to be achieved.
Structurally, by understanding and instilling what SMART means, the process of achieving the major business objective should look like this:
- I want more money. How do I get more money?
- I need to increase sales in my company. How to increase sales in the company?
- I need to sell more products/services. How do I sell more products/services?
- I need to attract more customers. How do I attract more customers?
- I need to locate the company’s most effective conversion channel. What is the most effective conversion channel in the company?
- The blog section is the most effective channel. Why is it the most effective channel?
- It has a 3x higher conversion rate than measured in Pay-Per-Click campaigns and attracts 1000 visitors per month, 100 of which convert into customers. How many more visitors can they bring in each month to increase the number of customers while maintaining the same 10% conversion rate?, using the resources at their disposal?
- +200 visitors, monthly, in the blog section. Is this goal realistic?
- Yes. How much time do I need, given resources and desired growth, to reach the goal?
- Six months.
- Simplified goal: “I want to increase monthly traffic from my blog section by 20% in 6 months.”
At this point, the goal should be clear in your mind.
Anyway I promised you a FREE template that summarizes everything we’ve talked about so far, with the help of which you can set your SMART goals in no more than 15 minutes.
DOWNLOAD HERE: Template – SMART marketing goals
I hope I’ve managed to enlighten you on how to set your SMART goals.
From now on, it’s all about how you choose to translate each criteria into the goals you want to achieve, and where you feel you’re struggling, feel free to go back to the template I’ve provided to make sure you’re doing the right thing.
What does SMART mean?
SMART is an acronym for the characteristics considered essential to correctly and concretely set a goal, in this case a marketing goal.
What are the criteria for SMART marketing objectives?
SMART stands for 5 criteria (Specific, Measurable, Affordable, Relevant, Time Bound) that you need to take into account when setting your goal(s) in an online promotion strategy.