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SMART marketing goals

How to Set SMART Marketing Goals & Objectives

In this video, Alyssa shares some advice for setting marketing goals and objectives.


You’ve probably given some thought to the types of results you’d like to see from your marketing campaigns. Outranking competitors and garnering likes while maximizing return on investment (ROI) offers sweet satisfaction.

But what are the steps to get to that point and translate your vision into reality? It starts with a core component of every successful marketing strategy: Setting marketing goals and objectives.

Let’s take a closer look at what marketing goals and objectives are, the common metrics you may use, and how being SMART makes an impact on your business. I also have some tips to help you set marketing goals for your strategy.

What are marketing goals and objectives?

Marketing goals and objectives act as guidelines or targets for your marketing activities. You might also hear them referred to objectives and key results (OKRs).

There is a difference between the two as goals are more broad and address what you want to achieve, while objectives address the details of the how, and in some cases, the why of your what.

Goals and objectives help you effectively plan, structure and execute your marketing campaigns.

Why are marketing goals and objectives important?

Marketing goals and objectives are important because they state what your business wants to accomplish. Your team can then reference and use these goals to power their projects and actions. The result? You achieve more goals.

7 examples of marketing goals and objectives

Examples of marketing goals and objectives include:

  1. Improve brand reputation
  2. Improve brand presence
  3. Improve website traffic
  4. Improve conversion rate
  5. Increase reviews
  6. Increase revenue
  7. Increase project margins

These goals are missing something, though — they’re not S.M.A.R.T.

Keep reading to learn how to make your marketing goals and objectives S.M.A.R.T. so you can achieve your company’s goals and deliver a bottom-line impact!

How to create SMART goals

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for the rules of your marketing objectives.

Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound are the SMART marketing goals you can refer to when assessing whether your goals are descriptive or not.

For example, if one of your goals is to increase lead generation, you would establish the specific details of how many leads you’d like to obtain, establish benchmarks by which you can measure the performance of lead growth, make sure the actionable items to achieve growth are within the realistic expectations of your team, confirm the goal is relevant to the direction of your business objectives and determine a timeline from start to finish to assess the performance and impact of your efforts.

Now that we’ve covered an overview of SMART marketing goals, let’s break them down into their categories.

  • Specific: The more details, the better. Specifying percentage increases, numbers, channels and a time-frame by which to achieve the goal will provide you with clear direction.
  • Measurable: What benchmarks or KPIs can be utilized to measure your goal progress? Are there programs available to integrate with your current marketing channels to measure the data of your goals?
  • Achievable: Goals are stepping stones that are manageable and actionable. On one hand, you want to ensure your goals are realistic and within reach without risking burnout or demotivation from your team. On the other hand, you don’t want to set the bar so low that it compromises the effectiveness of your efforts.
  • Relevant: Make sure your goals fall within the ultimate goals of your business. If your business relies solely on leads, you would focus on goals to qualify and boost lead quality and quantity. If your business is ecommerce only, you would specify goals to boost online sales and reduce abandoned shopping carts.
  • Time-bound: The time-bound category includes creating a deadline for implementation and measurement. It’s important to be realistic about the time you provide for your goals, otherwise you risk losing out on valuable assessment metrics or demotivating your team.

3 tips for setting marketing goals

Our hope is that you find value in our marketing goals and objectives guide. Before we wrap up this segment, we’ll leave you with three summarized tips:

  1. There will always be room for improvement when it comes to your marketing strategy, especially when you set marketing goals for the first time. Keep working to improve the level of detail of your goals and objectives.
  2. Your efforts will yield different metrics. Decide which metrics are more applicable to your performance and measurement.
  3. Make sure you set defined, clear and measurable goals. Following the SMART marketing goals rule will help you understand the impact of your goals and objectives in your business.

Common digital marketing metrics

Let’s take a look at common digital marketing metrics and marketing goal examples in order to understand where they’ll fit into your goal and objective setting.

Digital marketing metrics are the data you receive to analyze your campaign’s performance and could vary based on the nature of the campaign and goals you have in mind. It’s also important to remember that metrics could either be classified as vanity or valuable. I’ll explain more.

Vanity vs. valuable metrics

Vanity metrics are the results that look good on surface level, but don’t make or break your strategy.

Valuable metrics are the results that provide you with a deeper understanding of your campaign’s strengths or weaknesses in order for you to make data-driven decisions and optimize based on your findings.

Not gonna lie, vanity metrics can sometimes be misleading. However, when you look at them closely and compare them to quality metrics, you’d be surprised how they complete the puzzle of campaign performance measurement.

Digital marketing metrics will tell you a story, and understanding which metrics are most valuable or relevant to your performance will help you achieve your marketing goals and objectives.

When it comes to vanity vs. valuable metrics, always remember that context is key.

So what could we categorize as a marketing goal? Typically, businesses look at the following marketing goal examples as the broad or ultimate outcome for their digital marketing efforts:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase lead volume/quality
  • Shorten the sales funnel
  • Minimize the percentage of lost sales
  • Increase profitability
  • Increase brand authority

This is a perfect time to follow the SMART goal guideline.

Measuring the metrics that affect your bottom line.

Are you interested in custom reporting that is specific to your unique business needs? Powered by MarketingCloudFX, WebFX creates custom reports based on the metrics that matter most to your company.

  • Leads
  • Transactions
  • Calls
  • Revenue
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That’s all from me! Thanks for tuning in!

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