There is a five-letter word that can help you avoid shouting a lot of four-letter words at your coworkers, and it’s not ‘bonus.' The SMART goals method can be applied in marketing, but also in a variety of different kind of work-related projects. So, what does SMART stand for and how is this acronym used?
The SMART acronym stands for five qualities every goal should have in order to be considered a smart goal. These qualities simplify the process of planning, increase the odds of success, and enable you to track progress and measure the final result.
First and foremost, any goal you set should be as specific as possible. Vague descriptions make it hard to track progress and measure the success of the project, and if you can’t tell if you met the goal or not, all of your efforts go to waste. Define what you want to achieve, set numbers, deadlines, and KPIs to measure progress with. Don’t say just “I want more followers,” instead say “I want 15% more followers on Facebook and LinkedIn by November 30th this year.”
Online marketing has its fair share of marketing “gurus” who shower you with vague expressions and buzzwords, running their mouth without much concern for concrete metrics to back up their strategy. If you want more leads, you should set the exact number of leads you plan to acquire within a set deadline. A number of marketing tools exist that are of great help when it comes to tracking anything from the number of visits to your website to the number of closed deals; so be sure to explore what’s out there when you get started.
We’ve seen it happen a lot with clients who aren’t familiar with marketing; they want it all, and by yesterday if possible. Whether you’re planning an internal project or negotiating the terms of a client project, you should never agree to something that is on the verge of impossible. Miracles happen only once in a while.
Not only does your goal need to be attainable, but it also should be realistic. This requires being well aware from the beginning of all the obstacles and limitations you may encounter. For instance, if your marketing team is already knee deep in other projects, forcing another one upon them will lead to a drop in work quality, missed deadlines, or people quitting faster than Usain Bolt setting the Olympic record in the 100 meter race. Always count on road bumps, because there will be some, no matter how hard you try to smooth the process. People take sick leave, clients ignore your 28 consecutive emails, communication breakdowns produce unwanted outcomes.
Creativity is half the job in marketing, and creative people run on deadlines. Deadlines are the deities they both love and fear as they help them get things done, usually for the price of a sleepless night. Fail to set one, and chaos ensues as the writer decides to do “one more edit, I promise, ” or the designer keeps changing their mind about the color scheme of the final design. If it’s difficult to estimate the exact day the project should be done by, use the most precise estimate possible, like the second half of October, or Q3.
Why Should We Use SMART Goals?
If you’re a fan of miscommunication and wasted resources, then you should avoid SMART goals like the plague. But if you want to be sure that everyone has done their jobs right and that you got your money’s worth when you invested in a project, these five letters will make your life easier. When you have a strong plan and know where you are at each step of the journey towards your objective, the chances of getting there significantly increase. SMART goals are the Google maps of plans, and it sure beats wandering around with an unclear idea of what direction you’re headed in.
We create SMART goals for every campaign we work on, so if you’re interested in discussing how these could be used to your benefit, drop us a line. There’s always room for your email in our inbox.