How to Set S.M.A.R.T. Marketing Goals to Grow Your Business

You have goals, but how can you achieve them? Find out how the S.M.A.R.T. acronym can get you there!

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You’ve set goals for your business, right? You know it can be time-consuming and overwhelming, sometimes with less-than-successful results.

One way to make sure your goals set you up for success is to use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. Find out how to get smart goals with the help of a S.M.A.R.T. strategy when you keep reading!

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. They can be applied to any area of business from your budget to proposed initiatives, including your marketing!

Using this acronym will help you set goals that resonate with your business’s vision and values while setting up parameters for accountability and success.

Let’s walk through each of these criteria to see how they apply to your marketing goals.  

Is Your Goal Specific?

The first criteria, the “S”, should be used to consider how specific your goal is. If your goal is too broad, you run the risk never of completing what you set out to do. Goals that are specific drive action.

Go through the who, what, when and where of your specific goal. Consider which team members need to be involved, what platforms you need to utilize and what time frame you’re looking at. It’s important to narrow your scope by focusing on one specific metric per goal.

For example, if you are setting goals for your paid adveritsing, choose one campaign or platform to set a goal for—whether that be your Google Search ad, Facebook ad, or retargeting ad.

For a review campaign, instead of focusing on Google, Yelp and Facebook at the same time, pick just one and focus your goal around that platform.

So, think about where your goals lie. Are you making them specific enough to be achievable?

Now, let’s move forward to the “M” of your S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Is Your Goal Measurable?

M stands for measurable!

If your brand goal is to become the next household name, consider how measurable that is. How will you know if you’ve reached that goal?

Try to identify units of measurement when setting goals—for example, clicks, calls, shares, form submissions, views, time, etc. Setting measurable goals helps you benchmark your progress along the way.

It also helps you evaluate your completed campaigns to see what worked and what didn’t so you can adjust for the future.

Remember that A/B testing is common with marketing. If your goal is to get more form submissions on your website, setting that as a measurable goal makes it easier to identify your form’s performance.

Is Your Goal Achievable?

The third point you should consider is if your goal can actually be accomplished. Is it realistic for your team to accomplish your goal in the time frame you set?

One of the ways you can determine that is by looking at data. Google Analytics can help you set data-driven campaigns. Also, ensure that anyone who has a part in the goal is on board and considers it achievable. Buy-in is important.  

On the flip side, your goal should also challenge you. Don’t set a goal that would be accomplished organically. For instance, if your company is consistently seeing 10% growth each month organically, set your paid ads goal higher than that.

Strive for more but don’t overwhelm your team with unrealistic achievement.

Is Your Goal Relevant?

Whether your goal is relevant or not will entirely depend on your company and its mission or goals.

This is the time to figure out what your priorities are as a business. What is the vision driving your mission? What is your "why"? What do you hope to accomplish as a business?

For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer needing to get your name out there, spending time creating a Pinterest page might not make sense for you.

Because marketing is so broad, relevant goals can help realign and refocus your business and its needs.

Is Your Goal Time-Bound?

And now for the "T"!

Make sure you set an end date for your goal. If there is never an end date, you can never celebrate your wins or reevaluate a failed strategy.

Marketing can be unpredictable, so you’re not going to hit every goal, but that’s when you can take time to regroup and start again stronger than you were before.

If your team seems to be procrastinating on a project, sometimes the best way to get the ball rolling is to set an end date and hold each other accountable. End dates can also motivate the team to work even harder to reach that goal before time is up.

When it comes to getting ahead of planning and time management, this is the video for you!

S.M.A.R.T. Marketing Goals within Industries

Here are some examples of industry-focused S.M.A.R.T. goals that you can consider for your business!

For contractors who are wanting to improve their online reputation, consider implementing a strategy that uses a defined period of time to gather 30 new reviews on Google with the help of an email campaign.

What about restaurants? When you are looking to offset less foot traffic, you can set a S.M.A.R.T. goal around increasing online/mobile orders by 30%. By setting up a mobile order banner CTA on your website and advertising mobile orders on QR codes, you will have specific and measurable means to meet your goal.

When a life coach wants to grow their YouTube channel, running targeted ads can help them reach their defined terms for increasing their audience by 1,000 new followers within a year.

While these are just a few specific examples, they should help set the stage for what a S.M.A.R.T. goal looks like and how you can tailor is to your industry and business needs!

Final Thoughts

Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals will allow you to anchor the focus of your project and help your business accomplish more in the long run.

When we set goals for our business to build accountability, we feel more motivated, which drives us to action instead of stagnation.

So, the next time you set goals for your business’s digital marketing, be sure to remember the acronym S.M.A.R.T.!

And before you start setting your S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals, check out these blogs for additional business tips and guidance:

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