This blog post has been written in collaboration with Grace College’s Writing for Publication Class (Spring Semester 2022).
Students were assigned topics and their blog posts were then assessed for publication by their professor and 1Eighty Digital’s Digital Marketing Manager. This blog post was written by Beverly Winters.
With so many different options for setting marketing goals, it is easy to wonder which one is the best way to move forward. Our favorite methodology for goal-setting is the SMART goals method.
SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals. This goal style focuses on an end result rather than a step-by-step list of tasks needed to complete the goal.
This type of goal-setting process also helps clarify your ideas, plan to use time and resources wisely, increase productivity, and track progress.
When starting this process it is important to think of your end goal. Remember, this isn’t a long list of goals or tasks, but a generalized and broad goal. This goal also should coincide with your responsibilities and capabilities.
While completing a SMART goals plan, if the steps become too specific and task-oriented, take a step back to look at the end goal to refocus on your desired outcome.
S – Specific
When setting this goal you will want to be as specific as possible. This part of your goal is commonly referred to as a Mission Statement and holds most of the key information about a goal.
Focus on these key questions:
What needs to be accomplished?
Who is involved in this goal or project? What are their involvement and their role?
What resources are needed? What is their purpose?
What are any obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing this goal?
Why is this goal important?
Remember, it is best to be very specific and detailed in this portion. Try to avoid generic words such as “improve” or “reduce” or “increase”.
These provide you with a general direction but don’t include the specific action you’ll need to take. Instead, try using words such as “oversee,” “support,” “evaluate,” “develop,” “provide,” or “maintain”.
M – Measurable
Tracking the progress of your goals is vital to staying motivated. Look at the milestones that are within the broad goal (not the task-by-task list) that illustrate the path needed to complete the goal.
These can be both behavior-based goals and number-based goals.
A – Achievable
Make sure your marketing goal is realistic and attainable. Challenge yourself to stretch your abilities mildly to encourage growth and improvement, but not to a point where you’ll burn out trying to achieve the end result.
This goal should also be specific and within your control (instead of “make $500,000 in one month” think “contact 10 new clients”). It’s also important to list the specific tools and skills you need to use to complete your goal.
R – Relevant
The purpose of this part of SMART goals planning is to make sure this goal matters to you and identify if you are the best person available to complete it.
Create a list of yes or no questions that revolve around the relevance of the goal as well as focus on the ones listed below.
Is this worthwhile?
Is this the best time to focus on this?
Does this goal meet the needs of the company or program? Does it match the mission of the company or program?
Are there other efforts being made outside of me to accomplish this?
Am I the best person to complete this or is there someone more qualified than I am to do it?
T – Time-Bound
All goals need a deadline or target date so that regular efforts are taken to accomplish them. These deadlines should also create a sense of urgency so that tasks are made a priority.
This part of the goal focuses on short-term and long-term tasks that are needed to complete the goal.
When working on this piece of setting your goals, ask specific questions about the deadline and look at different markers that should be completed in each window of time.
What is the overall deadline for the goal?
What are tasks that should be completed before what date?
What should be completed at the 25% mark? The 50%? The 75%?
What can be done each day/week/month to accomplish this goal?
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Em Rohrer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English at Grace College in 2005. As a published author and content marketing specialist, she worked in non-profit and corporate business environments before bringing her 15+ years of digital marketing expertise to 1Eighty Digital.