- Published: May 1, 2021
- Last Updated: Sep 19, 2023
- 8 min. read
Macy StormSenior Content Creator
- Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
When you invest time and money into your marketing plan, you want to know that it’s driving results and helping your business grow. You set goals for your campaign, but how do you know when you’ve achieved them? With SMART marketing objectives.
On this page, we’ll go over what SMART marketing objectives are, why they matter, and four tips to help you set practical SMART goals. If you want to learn more about how to improve your marketing strategy, sign up for our Revenue Weekly newsletter to stay in the loop and savvy when it comes to online marketing and advertising!
What are SMART marketing objectives?
SMART stands for:
Let’s look at each part of the SMART acronym to understand how marketing objectives work.
SMART goals are specific. Many companies make the mistake of creating generic or vague goals that have no direction. If your goals aren’t specific, you won’t know what you’re trying to achieve.
“Gain new leads” is a non-specific goal. As you can see, there isn’t a clear way to know if you’ve reached this goal. This goal isn’t specific, so it will be difficult for your business to measure its success.
If you want to drive results for your business, set specific goals. Your goals should contain enough detail that anyone who looks at your target will know what you want to achieve. Instead of saying that you want to gain new leads, a better goal is “Gain 40 new leads from online channels.” This goal is specific, so anyone who looks at it will know what you want to achieve with lead generation.
SMART marketing objectives must be measurable.
It’s challenging to measure success without having numbers that demonstrate your campaign is working. When you set a goal like “Gain new leads,” how do you measure that? Without a numerical amount, you’ll never know if you’ve achieved it.
You’ll continuously gain new leads, but never know how many leads are enough to reach your goal. A measurable goal will let you know when you’ve achieved it. With a goal like “Gain 40 new leads,” you know how many leads you must obtain.
When you receive 40 leads, you know you’ve completed that objective. An excellent SMART marketing objective has a way for you to measure your success.
SMART goals are attainable, too. The biggest marketing mistake companies make is by setting outlandish goals that are near impossible to achieve.
It’s great to dream big and meet remarkable goals, but you don’t want to set your team up for failure. If you set goals that are too big, you won’t achieve them in time. Good, SMART marketing objectives raise the bar, but not so far that you can’t reach them.
Set attainable goals by looking at what you’ve achieved in the past. Your history will help you set goals that are more challenging but still achievable. Let’s say you look at the past few months to see how many leads you earned.
In the two months prior, you received 30 and 32 leads. If you set a goal like “Gain 100 leads by October 31st,” it is not feasible for your team. It’s significantly higher than the previous lead amount you’ve gained, so it will likely become a goal you won’t achieve.
A goal, like “Gain 40 leads by October 31st,” is more feasible. When you’re realistic with your goals, you will stay motivated.
SMART marketing goals for businesses are relevant. They relate to your company’s overall objectives.
If your goal is to increase revenue, you want to use SMART marketing objectives that help you reach it. Let’s look at the goal to achieve 40 new leads by October 31st. Even if your larger objective is to increase revenue, having a goal to obtain a certain number of leads by a specific time helps you achieve it.
It’s relevant to your goal to increase revenue because leads often become conversions for your business. If you want to see success with your SMART marketing objectives, make all your goals relevant. It will help you stay focused and move closer to your broader business objectives.
The last part of the SMART acronym is timely (or time-based).
SMART goals should always have a deadline. You may never achieve goals without a deadline because you can complete them whenever. If you don’t have a due date, you may end up costing your company more time and money because people aren’t working as diligently to complete the goal.
Deadlines create a sense of urgency. If someone knows they must reach a goal by a specific time, it motivates them, so when you set a time limit on your goals, it helps you evaluate your process. If you’re halfway through October and only have 10 out of 40 leads for the month, it’s an opportunity for you to reevaluate your strategy and see where you may need to make changes to achieve that goal.
Why do SMART marketing objectives matter?
SMART marketing objectives matter because they help you achieve your goals.
When you create goals that you can measure and are relevant to your campaign, you’re more likely to achieve them. These objectives help you create a plan of action. It enables you to generate a step-by-step-process to reach your bigger goals.
SMART marketing objectives provide clarity and direction for your team. If you have a goal to increase revenue by $100,000 for the month, your team won’t know where to start. Your team won’t know the best marketing methods or approaches to reach those goals.
SMART marketing objectives break down larger goals. Instead of looking at a big goal like increasing your monthly sales by $100,000, your team will look at smaller goals, like gaining 40 new leads. It breaks down bigger goals and helps your team see themselves achieving those goals.
4 tips for setting practical SMART marketing objectives
Now that you know all about SMART marketing objectives, let’s look at four tips for your first one.
1. Establish large and small goals
If you look at examples of SMART marketing objectives, you’ll see that every one has a larger goal in mind. To help you achieve those larger goals, you need to set small ones. Establish your primary goal so that you can create smaller SMART marketing objectives.
For example, let’s say your main goal is to earn $100,000 by October 31st. This milestone is a great SMART goal because you can set smaller goals to help you achieve that goal. In this case, you may set goals to generate a certain number of leads through email marketing or social media ads.
If you don’t have a more substantial, overarching goal, your team will struggle to know what they’re working towards achieving. Once you set your larger goal, you can create smaller goals to help you work towards it.
2. Make goals numerical
To ensure you create SMART marketing goals, try making your goals numerical. Typically, a numerical goal is measurable. If you set a goal like “Earn more conversions,” you can’t measure that goal.
There’s no defined way to know when you’ve achieved that goal. On the other hand, you can measure a goal like “Make 40 sales.” You can track sales easily too. You can track who purchases products or services from your business and add it to your tally.
Numerical goals make it easy for you to know if you’re on track to achieve your goals.
3. Set short- and long-term deadlines
When you set goals, you want to choose short-term and long-term goals. Your short-term goals should help you reach your long-term goals. If you want to be successful with SMART marketing objectives, create short-term goals that you can check in on as you progress towards your long-term goals.
Your short-term goals set you up for success and serve as stepping stones to your main goal. Short-term goals will help you stay on track. If you find you aren’t reaching your short-term goals, adjust and create new ones.
You’ll also want to set long-term goals to have larger stepping stones to work towards. It helps you stay focused and work towards achieving your SMART marketing objective. By creating short-term and long-term goals, you’ll create a more proactive campaign approach and monitor your campaign more efficiently.
4. Track goal progress
When you set SMART marketing objectives, track your progress. Tracking your efforts helps you know if your strategies work. As you’re working to achieve your smaller goals, make sure they’re driving results. If you aren’t making good progress, you may need to rethink your strategies.
Measuring your campaign progress will ensure you’re heading for success.
Start setting SMART marketing objectives today
SMART marketing objectives will help you grow your business and achieve your goals. Create your first SMART goal today and learn more about building your marketing goals and strategies with our Revenue Weekly newsletter. Sign up now to start receiving helpful tips, articles, and more!
Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
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