Goal setting: one of the often overlooked parts of marketing. A good goal should be challenging and make you sweat, but reachable nonetheless. Marketers often have a hard time with setting goals, but it’s important that they understand how to achieve them in order to grow their businesses. So let’s get into how to craft what are called “SMART goals.”
What is a SMART Goal?
“SMART” stands for this: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. This acronym is the perfect formula for setting goals that are made for success. Creating SMART goals helps ensure that your goals are strategic and can be accomplished within a given timeframe. To break it down even further:
When setting goals, you need to be specific with what you’re wanting to achieve. Include real numbers and realistic deadlines while targeting a specific area within your goal.
This is easy– make sure you’re tracking your goals, and looking at their numbers over time. Measure them.
What good is setting a goal if you can’t achieve it? Make sure your goals are achievable and can be done by your team.
Going along with Attainable, your goals also need to be realistic. Keep in mind any obstacles or problems that may arise during your climb to success. Your goals also need to be impactful on your business and relevant to your industry.
An important part of goal setting is to create a deadline for your or your team on when the goal should be reached. Then, plan tasks around that deadline to make sure you’re on time and hitting the marks.
SMART Goal Examples
Saying something like “I want more sales” or “I want more followers on social media” isn’t a SMART goal. Why? Because these examples are too generic, and don’t follow the acronym. They aren’t specific or measurable. Attainable, sure. Realistic, yes. But they’re not time-bound, and they aren’t goals. In fact, the examples above are just wishful thinking.
So what does a SMART goal actually look like? Here’s a few prime examples:
“I want to increase my website sales by 5% by the 15th of September.”
“We want to hit 1,000 followers on Instagram by the end of December 2022.”
“We want to rank number one in Google for the keyword “contracting services” by the end of March 2022.”
How to Set a SMART Goal
#1: Know what goal you want to achieve
It’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve when setting your goals to grow your business. If you don’t know, try summarizing your “big picture”. This is where you can start generically.
Example: “We want more visitors to our website.”
#2: Measure what you want to achieve
Adding on to tip #1, now we’re going to add some numbers. How much do you want to increase or decrease your goals?
Example: “We want to increase visitors to our website by 30%.”
#3: Decide when you want the goal to be achieved
This is a crucial part in the SMART goal process. The date of which you want to complete your goal falls under the “specific” and “time-bound” categories. Set a reasonable and realistic date to have your goal completed by.
Example: “We want to increase visitors to our website by 30% by April 5th.”
And there you have it! You’ve just completed and figured out your SMART goal! But of course, there’s a few other things you’ll need to keep in mind as well.
- Be aware of potential roadblocks. If you’re going along assuming everything is going to work out smoothly and perfectly… guess again. This rarely happens. But, the good news is that your goals are supposed to be challenging! Write down a list of everything you think could get in the way of achieving your goal, and then have a backup plan in case that thing does happen.
- Communicate. If your team doesn’t know about the SMART goal, how are they supposed to achieve it? Write out the goal in multiple places so that members of your team are always reminded of their end goal.
- Be aware of sub-tasks. The road to success is certainly not paved in gold. If your goal is challenging enough, then there will be sub-tasks in order to get from one step to the next. Create a “road map” of all the prerequisites and subtasks that you and your team will need to complete along the way.
- Track your progress. Look at your numbers as you make more progress, and see how they are improving or declining. This will help you see if the path you and your team are on is working or not. Make notes or reports of these numbers and review them.
Goal setting is a learning process and you’ll certainly be adjusting your goals as you go. They don’t need to be perfect the first couple of times. What matters is that you and your team are making progress and learning as you go.
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