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Turn SMART Marketing Goals into a Marketing Plan

by Kierstin Payne on March 18, 2019
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Most of us know how important marketing goals are.

Goals help us determine the ROI of our marketing campaigns. They provide critical insight into both the success and failure of efforts. With goals, you can identify areas ripe for improvement, and track success to accelerate planning in the future.

Goals are great… but if you aren’t hitting your goals, then they aren’t helping. Not hitting your goals can be disheartening and demoralizing.

Not to worry – we can help with ideas that make your goals achievable. Let’s start with the SMART marketing goal formula.

What are SMART Marketing Goals?

SMART is a simple method for setting achievable goals.  SMART stands for:

  • Specific – each goal should target a specific area.
  • Measurable – each goal should be quantifiable, or at least provide an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – each goal should be assigned to a person who is responsible for it.
  • Realistic – set results that can be realistically achieved with available resources.
  • Timely – identify when the results can and should be achieved.

SMART is a framework for creating goals that are achievable and strategic. Evaluate your goals using the SMART guidelines and you’ll have goals that are identifiable, achievable and measurable.

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Assessing your SMART Goals

Now that you have goals, it’s time to figure out how to reach them. Here are a few questions to ask as you begin your planning:

Do I have a plan?

Your goal is not a plan. Telling your team you need 20% more subscribers to reach your sales goal will not instantly make it happen. You need to look at what actions you will use to reach that goal. For example, a plan to gain more subscribers might involve defining your target audience, creating audience personas and developing a content marketing strategy to reach your newly defined audience. This is a great time to try new ideas, like expanding to new social media channels or developing a new piece of premium content.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

-Greg Reid, Author and Motivational Speaker.

Have I evaluated the resources required to execute the plan?

Creating lofty goals and a laundry list of (potentially) great ideas is easy. Finding the right people and resources to implement your plan may be more difficult.

You need to assign the necessary resources to reach your goal. What skills and experience are required? Do you have the available resources, or will you need to a put a few other projects on hold?

Leaders need to ensure team members have the capacity to complete the work and make the goals a priority once they are set.

Does my plan match our overall business goals?

Consider the overall goals for the business. How does your marketing plan connect? Let’s say your company has set a revenue goal of $400,000 from inbound marketing. To support this goal, you could determine the number of site visitors, subscribers, leads and customers you need to generate then develop your marketing plan based on achieving these numbers.

Aligning the marketing goals with the company goals will ensure buy-in from the business, and potentially provide resources from other departments. Without alignment, your goals will never be a priority for the business.

Have you established a connection between your plan and your goals?

Many teams are great at executing a plan, but are shocked when the plan doesn’t deliver. This is often because there wasn’t a connection between the plan and goals. For example, your digital marketing campaign could have a solid strategy for achieving impressions but if you haven’t worked out how to convert that attention into meaningful consumer action, it won’t help reach your revenue goals.

Align your plan to the goals, and prioritize the goal even as you execute the plan.

Making the Most of your SMART Marketing Goals

The last step in turning your SMART marketing goals into business results is to create a strategy for evaluating your goals. SMART goals are measurable, but that doesn’t mean you have a process and strategy for measuring them. Do you have a plan for reviewing results? Can you adjust your plan during the campaign to ensure you meet your goals?

I’ve seen many companies spend time establishing amazing goals, and then never look at them again. Don’t let this happen! Your goals should be your focus.

Evaluate and track progress as you work on the goals. Evaluate early and often so you have time to make adjustments.

The Next Step toward SMART Marketing Goals

If you aren’t feeling confident with your current goals, be sure to download the Marketing Goal Setting Template provided by our great friends at HubSpot.

Use the tool to set your goals and then read through this blog again to make sure you’re on a path to success!

Topics: Social Media, Marketing, Digital Marketing, SMART Goals