Start SMART in 2020: How to Set (and Achieve) SMART Marketing Goals for your Business

Have you set goals in the past, and failed to achieve them?

Did you try to create and achieve any major goals in 2019? Let me guess…after working hard for a couple of weeks, you gave up or failed never accomplished what you hoped for. But this year is going to be different, right?! Read on for tried-and-true tips on how to NOT FAIL this year and accomplish your goals in an easy and measurable way.

Setting SMART goals can be applied to any aspect of your life to help you break them down into attainable steps, and ensure your ultimate success. For any business owner, however, SMART goals can help you achieve your marketing objectives.

“Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t. And 70% of those successful, goal-setting marketers achieve them.” – https://coschedule.com/marketing-strategy/marketing-goals/

For your marketing efforts to be worthwhile, you COULD dive directly into running paid search campaigns, spitting out tons of content, and throwing up ads. However, without well thought-out, strategic goals in mind, your efforts will likely fail to get the results you’re looking for. Trying to engage an audience doesn’t garner immediate results, and it can be a challenge to demonstrate that your efforts provide any return on investment. Setting SMART goals is the solution!

But first, what are SMART goals?

SMART goals are your guide to successfully achieve a goal. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. They help you identify what your goals are, their purpose, whether they are possible or not, and when they can be accomplished.

To make sure your goal makes sense for your company, and can realistically be completed, you need to check it meets these characteristics:

Specific:
The first step is being specific as to what you want to track in order to improve. For example, instead of just saying “I want to grow my business,” pick a set amount for how much you want to increase sales, or increasing the number of visitors that go to your website, etc.

Measurable:
In order to attain your (now specific) goal, you need to be able to track your progress. Using your metrics, determine what specific number is the one you want to be able to see progress – How many more leads, visitors and customers do you want for your website?

Attainable:
Avoid just picking a random, pie-in-the-sky number and setting yourself up for failure. The goal must be realistically achievable. Have a benchmark and measure from there. For example, if your website traffic has historically grown about 20% per year, it would be unrealistic to aim for an 800% increase in 2020.

Relevant:
Make sure your goals truly align with your overall business objectives. Keep your competitors in mind and determine if your goals relate to the realities and conditions of the current market. Ask yourself some key questions to make sure your goal will help advance your business, not just check a box. Why do you want to reach this goal? What is the business objective behind the goal, and will making a goal really help achieve that?

Timely:
Whatever your goal is, do not forget to include a timeframe to accomplish it. Setting a timeline and breaking your goal down into measurable milestones along the way will help keep you accountable. Additionally, breaking goals down into smaller, easier to complete pieces is less intimidating, so you’re more likely to get things done.

Statistics show that only 3% of adults have specific, measurable, time-bound goals and they achieve 10 times as much as people without goals. – https://blog.weekdone.com/setting-smart-goals-to-achieve-success-infographic/

How Hughes Media uses SMART goals to increase ROI for clients

At Hughes Media, we frequently receive requests from existing and prospective clients to run campaigns or complete marketing tasks. However, in order to give our clients the best outcomes and return on their investments, we always take the time to evaluate their true objectives. By strategically analyzing what a company needs, we are able to create SMART goals, which we then apply to integrated marketing efforts to help our clients grow their businesses.

Example of a SMART goal put to work

One of our clients, a home services company, approached us requesting Facebook ads, but had nothing more specific in mind. Hughes Media took the time to evaluate their current marketing efforts, discuss their situation and the business objectives. We discovered the percentage of people actually booking appointments after filling out a form on their website was low. A targeted Facebook campaign optimized for website conversions was created, utilizing the client’s existing customer list and website traffic to generate lookalike audiences.

How was it Specific?: We ran targeted Facebook ads using lookalike audiences to get an additional 40 leads per month

How was it Measurable?: Facebook Business Manager, UTM implementation and conversion tracking allowed us to track exactly which leads came from the ads

How was it Attainable?: Previous small-scale campaigns Hughes Media ran for the client performed well and exhibited promising statistics

How was it Relevant?: Campaign objectives directly solve their business’s desire to get more quality leads and book more appointments

How was it timely?: A timeline was established with key milestones to stay on track towards achieving the goal. The ad copy and creative we’re completed in month one, multi-variate testing during month two, and campaign optimization during months three and four.

So, how did it go? Hughes Media achieved our SMART goal! We were able to set up a campaign that consistently generates an average of 40 qualified leads per month for the client. Testing and audience optimization have allowed us to run an evergreen, ongoing campaign that continues to deliver a steady stream of leads to the client at a low cost per conversion. Additionally, the ads are generating volumes of positive social buzz, through glowing comments, shares, and reviews on Facebook. This further serves to promote the client and help them generate more business.

Key takeaway: Being SMART helps you set better goals you are more likely to achieve

Setting and developing goals is critical for organizational success. SMART goals allow you to take a broad or vague goal and turn them into smaller actionable goals.

The SMART method sets your business up for success by making it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. It helps organize and shows you the right direction to reach your goals.

“Setting SMART goals really isn’t all that difficult. You simply need to walk through each letter of the acronym and then fill in the blanks.” – https://www.atlassian.com/blog/productivity/how-to-write-smart-goals

Once your goals become SMART, break them down into a specific set of tasks to accomplish them. Also, review your goals periodically and make the necessary adjustments.

There is no right or wrong way to set and track your SMART goals as long as it relates to your business. Now, be SMART and go crush some goals!

About the Author:

Deedra Hughes

Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.

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