Every marketing effort should be motivated by your marketing objectives. Setting SMART goals in marketing is a great place to start.
Businesses often begin with the tools when they want to get started with integrated marketing. For example, what are the most important keywords to rank for? Is it better to use Facebook, Twitter, or Google+? Should we create content four times per day or fifty-seven times per month? Should we invest in or sponsor this trade show?
SEO, content, paid search, and social efforts are all critical components of a successful marketing strategy that avoids silos. However, they are only tools. Your efforts can be realized only when you keep track of your goals and KPIs.
Before diving into further details, let’s understand the complete form of SMART and how it works. A practical SMART marketing objective is one that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
These guidelines should be used to set your objectives and goals. Let us examine these elements to see what they mean:
Decide what you want to achieve before you start working on your marketing strategy. For example, do you want to raise brand awareness? Or are you looking to increase your sales? On the other hand, maybe you’re losing customers and want to improve your customer retention rate.
Each of these categories necessitates a slightly different approach. As a result, you should establish specific goals that can be broken down further.
For instance, if you are planning to increase your sales by 10% by the end of the year, you can go for 1200 sales in a year of 100 sales per month.
It is critical to define success early on in order to track your progress. What criteria, or key performance indicators (KPIs), will you use to demonstrate success?
Determining KPIs for brand marketing goals is a little more subjective. Key performance indicators in integrated marketing may include the following, depending on the brand goals you set:
1. More conversation, amplification, and applause (on your blog and social media)
2. An increase in natural social shares of your content
3. An increase in both branded and non-branded SEO traffic
4. An increase in the percentage of new visitors to your website
5. A lower bounce rate
6. More page depth
7. More micro conversions/goal completions
8. An increase in the number of form submissions
9. An increase (or possibly a decrease) in phone calls
10. Increased revenue
Setting clear and attainable goals will keep your team motivated and working hard to achieve them. Conversely, if your team is struggling, it means that either your goals are unrealistic or your team members simply do not understand the strategy.
During team meetings, make sure to explain the plan and answer all questions thoroughly. And, if someone has legitimate concerns about the plan, do your best to address them; there’s a chance you missed something.
On the other hand, perhaps the goal is too easily attained, or the gap is too large. Therefore, when working through the Attainable step of the SMART goals framework, you want to assess your chances of completing what you set out to do and ensure you’ve set challenging yet attainable goals.
If you don’t yet have enough data to determine trends, start with a baseline, implement proper tracking, and start collecting data as soon as possible.
After you’ve assessed your chances of success, you can have a realistic discussion with your team.
Realistic Marketing Goals
The Realistic SMART goal step allows you to discuss whether the goals are realistic with your team. Is your team up to the task? Do they believe it is possible? Building realistic marketing goals allows you to get a reality check on your progress.
Present your logic to your team and solicit feedback, in conjunction with a discussion about the time-sensitive nature of these goals (and ultimately buy-in). After you’ve matched your goals and KPIs with actual time-sensitive expectations in the following step, you’ll be ready to start developing an effective, goal-oriented marketing strategy.
If you are a startup, know that realistic goals are a bunch of practical goals that could be achieved in a month or a year. So it entirely depends on your urge to attain success in your startup.
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Setting deadlines is critical in a well-thought-out plan. Even the most ambitious goals can be met if they are meticulously broken down. Segmenting your entire strategy into pieces gives your plan more structure. Working towards your goal in small steps will keep your team motivated.
How long will it take you to achieve your objectives? Timetable your objectives. Consider the timeliness of our previous marketing goal of increasing software subscriptions by 10%. How long will it take to achieve a 10% increase in software subscriptions? How much time does it take to become a thought leader in your field?
Some of your marketing objectives will be met in the short term (3/6/9 months), while others will take longer (12/18/24 months). That is why, when setting goals, it is critical to address delivery expectations.
Will you spend the first 30 to 60 days researching, analyzing data, optimizing assets, and laying the groundwork? If this is the case, you may not be able to begin aggressively working toward goals until two months have passed (which can significantly impact the delivery of results). If this is the case, now is the time to let everyone know.
Why setting up SMART goals is important?
Consider the following reasons why a marketing team should set SMART goals:
- Develops team cohesion: Marketing teams can discuss goal terms to create a more unified purpose for their objectives.
- This document serves as a guide for your data collection protocols: To achieve your marketing objectives, you may collect a variety of data, and the SMART method can assist you in determining how to use it.
- Understanding the parameters of the goal-setting process can help the team understand the importance of each task and increase overall productivity.
- SMART goals can serve as smaller steps in a more extensive process, allowing teams to develop more organized structures.
Setting marketing goals using the SMART goal framework will help keep your company focused, effective, and efficient. But, more importantly, it will enable critical conversations throughout the process.
Keep in mind that goal setting is an ever-changing process. You can constantly refine your objectives and strive for new challenges. Maintain open lines of communication on your team, and you’ll set your entire team up for success.
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