If you want your business to grow in 2017, you’ll need clearly defined marketing goals. “Good” goals won’t cut it. It’s time to follow goal-setting principles that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. When you follow the SMART methodology, you’re much more likely to see your business grow and have your team stay in sync. Here’s how you can start setting your smart marketing goals.
What is the SMART methodology? Let’s break it down:
- Specific: Ideas like “more” and “an increase” are too vague. Use specific figures and deadlines.
- Measurable: There’s no point in making goals if you can’t track them. You’ll never know if you’re getting anywhere! Start using measuring tools like Google Analytics.
- Attainable: Your business needs to be challenged, but don’t waste time developing goals that are out of reach. It may be possible to grow your business in the first month by 1.5 percent—it’s unlikely you can reach 15 percent. Don’t throw out numbers that will frustrate you and your co-workers. Lean on past metrics to understand what your business is capable of in a particular time frame. If you haven’t been tracking metrics, look to build your business in small increments and adjust your goals as necessary.
- Relevant and Realistic: If, for example, the number of products you sell monthly never increases, don’t make goals to amp up production. At this point, you need to have realistic goals, perhaps concerning how you can distribute product to new outlets. Then, later on, you can increase the production quantity.
- Time-Bound: Deadlines help you and your organization stay on track so you can achieve goals in a timely manner.
When it’s time to write down your goals, where do you begin?
- Summarize Your Goals
Keep goals short and specific so that they’re easy to explain to anyone in your organization.
- Categorize Your Goals
Organize/prioritize your goals into one of three main categories in the drop-down menu.
- Set Specific Numerical Goals
General, broad terms won’t help you attain goals. If you want your product sales to grow, state that you want them to grow by “X” percent.
- Select Completion Dates
If you haven’t established a completion date, you may just chip away at your goal with minimal results. Push yourself and your team toward specific timeframes (e.g., fourth quarter, September 1, 2017).
- Commit the Time
It’s time to spend long hours working toward your goals. Resist procrastination and use time wisely.
- Be Aware of Potential Obstacles
Obstacles don’t have to obliterate your SMART marketing goals. Understand possible problems so that you’re not surprised or side-tracked by them. Preventative problem-solving may make your goal-making far more successful.
Now, it’s time for goal development! According to inbound marketer Gretchen Bulan (Modgility), “Forming the right team to get the job done is also very important. Do your team members have the time, skills and motivation to be active contributors, from start to finish? Note that SMART goals don’t address responsibility for tasks, so be sure the individuals on your team are assigned ownership of tasks that help to meet the stated goals.”
If you employ SMART marketing goals, you’ll find your business growing in 2107 just as planned. Well-defined, attainable goals are easier to follow. The metrics you keep a watchful eye on will serve as your road map for future goals. Remember: SMART goals can be adjusted over time to keep your business on track. Take action now and grow!