Writing SMART Goals for Marketing

Writing SMART Goals

This post on SMART goals serves as a refresher tutorial on the SMART goal writing process. It also serves as a reference for my other articles that refer to a goal writing process. The following article first appeared on my Marketing Binder website and is specific to writing SMART Marketing goals. However, the concept and principles of writing SMART goals are the same for any discipline, such as writing SMART goals for students, education, work, and other business functions and processes.

Marketing Goals and the S.M.A.R.T. Acronym

Without realistic, time-bound goals, it becomes a challenge to achieve your desired results, regardless of your discipline. Imagine navigating a ship in the ocean without a navigational system; you’re bound to wander aimlessly and eventually run out of resources. The same can be said if you try to achieve results – at work, school, or in your personal life – without a plan. Thus, developing sound marketing goals is essential to managing the performance of your marketing initiatives.

When setting goals, it is best to use the SMART goal writing process. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. refers to:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-focused
  • Time-bound

smart marketing goals graphic chart - allen stafford

The key to setting and writing goals is the more specific and realistic you are about your goals, the better you can manage the goals and their outcomes.

However, before I dive into the meaning of each SMART goal component, I want to share a few examples of SMART marketing goals. You can substitute any discipline into the following examples.

Example Marketing Goals (Objectives)

The following marketing goals are similar to what you may find in a typical marketing plan:

  • to increase sales of (specific) product/brand X by 15% over the next 18 months
  • to increase market share for product/brand X by 7 percent (in a specific region) over the next 12 months
  • to generate 200 new leads via the website each month
  • to increase distribution of product X (in a specific region/territory) from 15% to 30% within 12 months

Notice that the above marketing objectives already follow the SMART goals format; they are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.

SIDE BAR: Typical Marketing Objectives

Take note that typical marketing objectives may refer to the following types of sales and marketing initiatives (this is just a small list):

  • sales
  • market share
  • distribution penetration
  • new product launches
  • lead generation
  • social media followers


How to Apply Each Letter of the SMART Goal

In the following copy, I will explain what the different parts of the SMART goal mean, provide you an example in terms of writing SMART marketing goals, and provide an explanation. Again, remember that you can use the SMART goal process for any goal setting initiative, such as personal, for work, education, or as a student.

Specific:

A marketing goal should define what you are going to do. The Specific in the S.M.A.R.T. model answers the What, Why, and How of the goal.

Example:

The automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10% over the next 12 months using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies so that it can increase revenue to hire a new counter salesperson.

Explanation: 

  1. What = Automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10%.
  2. How = By using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies.
  3. Why = To increase revenue to hire a new employee; a counter sales person.

Measurable:

There should be concrete evidence that you have accomplished your marketing goal or objective. Typically, the entire goal statement is a measurement for the project, however, there are smaller measurements built into your objective.

Example:

The automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10% over the next 12 months using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies so that it can increase revenue to hire a new counter salesperson.

Explanation: 

The measurable metric is whether the parts department increased sales by 10% within the 12 month period.

Achievable:

Marketing goals should be achievable. The goal should challenge you, yet it should be defined well enough so that it can be achieved. For the goal to be achievable, you must have the proper resources, such as skills, personnel, and finances.

Almost all realistic goals can are achievable when you plan each step and establish a timeline. By following steps, you can achieve marketing goals that seemed impossible. On the other hand, if you establish impossible goals, you may never reach them.

Example:

The automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10% over the next 12 months using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies so that it can increase revenue to hire a new counter salesperson.

Explanation: 

To achieve this marketing objective, you must have a skill-set in selling and direct marketing techniques. Without these skills, you will not be able to successfully achieve these goals.

Results-focused:

Marketing goals should measure outcomes, not activities. Hence, goals are result-focused.

Example:

The automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10% over the next 12 months using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies so that it can increase revenue to hire a new counter salesperson.

Explanation: 

The result of this marketing goal is the ability to hire a new counter sales person and to increase revenue over the past years performance.

Time-bound:

The marketing goal should be linked to a time-frame that creates a practical sense of urgency.

Example:

The automotive parts division will increase sales of car batteries by 10% over the next 12 months using cross-selling, up-selling, and direct marketing strategies so that it can increase revenue to hire a new counter salesperson.

Explanation: 

The next 12  months provides a time-bound deadline. The marketing goal can still be more specific by offering a very specific end date.

Writing goals for any is important your success. Specifically, writing marketing goals is critical to the success of any business navigating the marketing environment. Using the SMART. goal methodology can help ensure that goals are realistic and achievable in a timely manner These lead to a focused, intentional, and methodically approach toward reaching either personal, academic, or business success.