SMART Goal Examples for Inbound Marketers

SMART Goal Examples for Inbound Marketers

By Jasz Rae JosephAug 11 /2017

smart goal examplesDo 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.

What are SMART Goals?

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:

  • Who is involved?
  • What exactly must be done? And by whom?
  • Is this goal location-specific? If so, where will it be taking place?


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:

  • What numerical value can I assign to the outcome of this goal?
  • How will we determine what is a good outcome and what outcomes require more attention?

Agreed Upon

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:

  • Have I discussed this goal with everyone involved in this project?
  • Would my higher-ups think this is an efficient use of time?


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:

  • Is my team capable of achieving this?
  • Do we have the resources needed to meet this goal?
  • Will the outcome of this goal benefit my company?


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:

  • By when should this goal be achieved?
  • What is the timeline on achieving this goal?
  • Are there steps along the way that must be accomplished first? If so, when?


SMART Goal Examples

Goal: Increase website traffic

  • Specific: The content and demand generation teams will work together to put a strategy in place that brings more people to our website through blogs, SEO optimization and Facebook advertising.
  • Measurable: We need a 10 percent increase in website traffic.
  • Agreed upon: The head of the content team and the head of the demand generation team have been looped in and agree that their teams will be able to work toward this goal.
  • Realistic: Boosting our website traffic will increase brand awareness and lead generation. We chose 10 percent because, after looking at our previous website traffic increases, we feel like this is a realistic goal that can be reached in the given time period.
  • Time-based: It will take us two months to generate this traffic increase.

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

  • Specific: I will work with my team to conduct interviews of current and potential customers to determine their pain points and characteristics.
  • Measurable: Our company serves three different niche markets so we should create three buyer personas.
  • Agreed upon: I will be working with my team to achieve this goal through interviews and we will be presenting our findings to the management team when finished.
  • Realistic: Creating buyer personas will help my company create a strategy centered on our target customer at every step of the buyer’s journey.
  • Time-based: It will take a few months to complete this so we should have it done by December 1.

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

  • Specific: I will write an eBook that discusses quick and effective exercise techniques for busy people. After I draft my eBook, I will send it to my editor to check for spelling and grammatical issues. Then, I will have my design team make it look great and add it to my website.
  • Measurable: The eBook will be 10 pages total so I will write five pages per week.
  • Agreed upon: I have discussed the project with the editing, design and management teams and they have agreed to help me with this project.
  • Realistic: My target audience is busy professionals so this eBook will spark their interest. I have the necessary team in place to create an eBook.
  • Time-based: I want to have my rough draft done by the 15th of the month and have the eBook on the website by the last day of the month.

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)

  • Specific: My team and I will reduce customer acquisition cost by cutting our direct mail efforts in half and using more cost effective methods of lead generation like targeted landing pages and Google AdWords campaigns.
  • Measurable: I will cut my cost of customer acquisition in half.
  • Agreed upon: I plan to work with the leadership team and learn from teammates who previously have conducted buyer persona interviews.
  • Realistic: Reducing the cost of customer acquisition will allow our company to allocate funds to more important efforts.
  • Time-based: This goal will be achieved by the end of the quarter.

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.

Meeting Your SMART Goals

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!

PIVOTING YOUR PLAN with Inbound Marketing

The Author

Jasz Rae Joseph

Jasz has had experience in nonprofits, a recruitment firm, digital agencies, and more. With a knack for writing, strategy and organization, Jasz found her fit in the world of inbound marketing.