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Is Your Marketing SMART? Learn How to Set Realistic Marketing Goals

Inbound Marketing

SMART marketing encompasses all those practices today’s marketers need to be incorporating into their campaign, lead generation, and life cycle processes. SMART Marketing is:

  • Specific: Hard numbers and precise actions.
  • Measurable: Goal tracking. (You did set goals…didn’t you?)
  • Attainable: A challenge but not Mission: Impossible
  • Realistic: Don’t fool yourself into trying to do more than you can.
  • Time-bound: Set a Deadline!

Follow the parameters set forth here and you will have a greater chance, not only of having a successful campaign, but knowing you had a successful campaign. And you can prove it!

HubSpot has an easy-to-use template to guide you through the SMART process.

Getting Started

The first thing to do is to define and summarize your marketing goal. You need something to aim for or you won’t know if you’re getting anywhere. Remember, you need to decide on numbers and actions you want your customers to take.

You can’t just vaguely say, “More traffic.” Set a goal, “20% more traffic that stays on the site for more than 1 minute.” Or, “25% download rate for XYZ e-book.”

Next you categorize your goal. HubSpot actually narrows the categories down to three that most marketers are interested in:

  • You need more visitors to your site.
  • You need more visitors to convert to leads.
  • You need more leads to convert to customers.

Now, set the numbers. You will want to set up a specific numerical goal to work toward. The first few times may be difficult if you haven’t done this before or if you lack marketing experience. In this case, the HubSpot template has some handy calculators to help you create attainable, reasonable goals.

These calculators are set up according to the categories mentioned earlier. But if one of these doesn’t fit your needs, you can still use them to calculate your current position. With that number in mind you can decide how high to set your bar.

At this point you must determine a deadline. How long do you think it will take you to reach your goal? Alternatively, how long do you want to give yourself to make the goal?

The second option provides you with the mindset of a more granular look at your progress and making changes to improve it. Digital marketing means never having to wait to tweak. You can check on your progress at any time. If you aren’t making sufficient headway, take a closer look at how your campaign is going.

Commitment and Obstacles

If ya want it, ya gotta commit to it. In this case, you must commit the time to work on your marketing campaign. How many hours a week will you earmark for this project? This gives you a smaller, shorter goal to work toward and lets you see the fruits of your labors as you go. It also prevents you from leaving the campaign on the back burner until the deadline.

The point is you don’t have to wait until the end to see if you made goal, you can be like those sweepers that shine up the ice in curling. You can make changes on the fly to direct the course of your current campaign towards the goal instead of just throwing it out there to see if you guessed right. Instead of firing a bullet, you are guiding a missile.

Despite your best intentions, sometimes things get in the way of making your goal. Think ahead to see if you can spot anything coming up that will negatively impact your campaign and try to find ways to mitigate these as much as possible, or even eliminate them.

Taking SMART marketing a step at a time keeps the whole project from being overwhelming. It also ensures you don’t leave out any steps and that you have given sufficient thought to each one. From defining a goal through committing the time to monitor and mediate your campaign will be a more cohesive package that easily fits into your overall strategy and takes its place in the line of tactics.

Now go out there and be SMART!

Inbound Marketing 2014 Guide from Mojo Media Labs


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