Do you ever feel as if you have trouble achieving your goals or motivating your team to help you achieve company-wide goals? Do your long-term goals often get pushed to the back burner by more time-sensitive work? Are you fuzzy on what marketing goals are truly important to the success of the company?
If you found yourself nodding yes to these questions, you're not alone. Only a third of senior managers can correctly identify their firm's top three priorities. Implementing SMART goals for your marketing team will help you stay on task and motivate your department to be more productive. Read on for SMART goal examples and tips how to use them at your company.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based goals. Let’s break it down.
Specific goals signal a clear message for everyone at your company. When working with other people—whether it’s clients, team members or higher ups—it is important to make sure everyone is on the same page. When drafting your goal, ask yourself:
How can you determine when a goal has been met? Besides being specific, the goal should be measurable. To determine how you will measure your goal, ask yourself:
As inbound marketers, we are always working on a team with many different parts. When setting a goal, be sure to discuss it with the whole team and get their input. You might think that 700 blog views a month is a realistic goal, but your content team will tell you that number is for further down the road. Communication is key! After you have drafted a specific and measurable goal, double check:
Dream big, but not too big. Setting goals that are too lofty doesn’t benefit anyone. When you set unrealistic goals, you are promising results that won’t be achieved, and you are giving your team little motivation to try to reach them. Stop and think:
Keeping an end date on your goals ensures your team will be motivated to work on and achieve them. If a goal is set with no timeline, it often gets put on the back burner. To avoid this, ask yourself:
Goal: Increase website traffic
SMART Goal: The content and demand generation teams will increase traffic to Kuno Creative’s website by 10 percent in the next two months using blogs, SEO optimization and Facebook advertising.
Notice that our SMART goal is far more specific than the original goal. It explains exactly how much we want to increase web traffic, what site we are referring to, our strategy, who is involved and our timeline to do so. This SMART goal focuses our marketing strategy.
Goal: Develop buyer personas
SMART Goal: I will work with my team members to conduct interviews of current and potential customers to determine their pain points and characteristics. I will then use this information to create three buyer personas. These will be finished and presented to our management team by December 1.
This SMART goal explains how they will achieve their goal, which helps everyone involved understand the process. It also gives a solid measurement for how many buyer personas they need and when they must be done.
Goal: Write an eBook
SMART Goal: I will write an eBook about quick and effective exercise techniques for busy people. I will start writing at the beginning of the month, write five pages per week and have a total of 10 pages by the 15th of the month. After that, I will hand it off to my editing and design teams to finish the process and the eBook will be live on my site by the last day of the month.
This SMART goal is more effective than the original goal because it lays out exactly how the goal will be achieved, who is needed to help, and when it will be finished. Every team member knows their role and what they need to do to ensure overall success.
Goal: Decrease customer acquisition cost (CAC)
SMART Goal: Using targeted landing pages and Google AdWords instead of direct mail campaigns, we will cut our customer acquisition cost in half by the end of the quarter. Reducing the cost of customer acquisition will allow our company to allocate funds to more important efforts.
Now that you know how to set SMART goals, it is important to make sure these goals are being achieved. There are many ways to increase your chances of meeting your SMART goals.
My favorite technique is posting your goals. Depending on your company, these goals can be posted on the wall for everyone to see, they can be on the agenda in weekly touch-base meetings, or they can be posted on social media. Regardless of how you post your goals, the main idea is visibility. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is a very real concept, especially for busy inbound marketers. Keep your team focused and on task with periodic goal reminders.
Another way to boost your chances of meeting your SMART goal is to put a plan in place directly after setting the goal. Setting a SMART goal is only half the battle: You also must have a clear plan of action with step-by-step deliverables for your team members so everyone knows how to begin the process and work efficiently toward the same goals.
SMART goals can be a quick and effective way to boost your inbound marketing strategy and see immediate results. They give your team a clear understanding of expectations and the path to get there. Have you implemented SMART goals at your company? Share your successes and challenges in the comments below!