How to set SMARTer Marketing Goals for 2014

Marketers, it’s time to pony up. The days of sending out pretty little direct mail pieces to “build brand awareness” are over. What are your marketing goals for 2014?

We’ve all been encouraged to set goals, but the thing is that goals are useless if they are far fetched and impossible to measure. It’s time to set real goals for 2014- SMART goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound. With the help of the SMART goal framework and a little hard work you will be on your way to reaching some big accomplishments in 2014.

SMART Goal Framework

Specific – Set goals with real numbers and deadlines
Measurable – Set goals in which you can measure tangible progress
Attainable – Set goals that have an attainable timeframe and deliverable
Realistic – Be honest about what you and your team are capable of
Timebound – Give yourself a real deadline and stick to it

Let’s examine some examples of how poor marketing goals can be translated into SMART goals.

Example #1-  “Our goal is to increase website traffic”

So, what’s wrong with this goal? This goal doesn’t define enough variables to ever be successful. How much do they want to increase traffic by? If the marketer increases website traffic by one visitor have they accomplished their goal? When do they wish to accomplish this increase in website traffic by? You can see the problems with such loosely defined goals.

Using the SMART goal framework the goal would be something like, “We want to increase our monthly unique website visits by 10% by January 1, 2014.”

Example #2- “We want more customers”

Again, this goal is not specific or timebound.

Using the SMART goal framework this goal might be, “We want 250 new customers by March 1, 2014.”

Weak goal: Sell more widgets
SMART goal: Increase widget sales by 20% by the end of Q4

Weak goal: Retain more customers
SMART goal: Retain more than 90% of our customer base by Q1 2014

Want to learn more about SMART goals and planning for Inbound Marketing ROI? Download our Measuring the ROI of Inbound Marketing whitepaper and learn the difference between outbound and inbound metrics, how to plan for inbound marketing ROI, and how to measure the success of your inbound funnel.

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