What in the world are SMART Marketing Goals… well we are one month into 2019, and people are busy evaluating their lives and how they want to change them in the coming year. The same principals apply to businesses – this is a good time to look at whther or not you achieved your goals in 2017 and to figure out what it is you want to accomplish in the coming up 12 months .

Now when you are setting goals, it is very important to set SMART goals. But John, what on earth is a SMART goal. This is a simple methodology where you create goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You will become much more sucessful at reaching your goals when they follow this system. My favorite saying is you can’t start driving anywhere unless you have a plan on how to get there…or a road map. SMART goals are just this…they are a roadmap that help you steer your company to success.

And, who doesn’t want to be SMART? So, why not put some time into SMART goal-setting?

SMART Goal: Specific

When you set a SMART goal, it should be specific. We don’t want to say something that “sounds great” but is to generic. For instance, we don’t want to say “I want to increase revenue”; well crap how do we do that? Let’s just sell more! So at end of year we have three new customers so this years goal is a sucess?? No, we need to say we want to increase customer base as compared to last year by x number of customers.

Which demographics are you going to want to target? Do you want to develop online customers in addition to the customers who come to your store? Do you want to start cross-selling or up-selling to increase your income? Be as specific as you possibly can in your goal setting.

This is also a good time to look at how specificity – or the fact you didn’t use it – has affected your 2018 goals. Were you specific enough at the time of goal-setting? If you weren’t then you can start now and be ready for next year.

SMART Goal: Measurable

You have to be able to track these SMART goals. In our first step we were specific, increase customers by 50. Now we need to have the ability to track this. With increased customers it’s fairly simple. We look at customers at beginning of the year, and add to our goal to that number. We then track customer churn with how many we are adding. If you want to increase customers, you can make this goal measurable by saying “I want to increase sales by 5%” or “I want to increase sales by $–” (insert dollar amount).

It’s not just sales which are measurable – you can also set goals for more “Likes,” “Shares” or “Followers” on social media, or simply to get more traffic to your website. Just remember to put a quantifiable number to each of these goals so you can track them.

Remember to look at your 2018 goals. Did you reach the numbers you set? Did you blow past them? Did you even set a goal with a measurable amount? Take this into consideration when you set 2019 goals.

SMART Goal: Attainable

You should also set SMART goals that are challenging but achievable, but at the same time, you don’t want soft goals.

Think about setting “stretch” goals. If you’ve just started a social media presence for your small business, and your goal is to get a million followers by the end of the Q1, you might be setting your goal too high.

Instead consider how many customers you are looking to gain in Q1 and set your goal for getting that many followers. This stops you from becoming disheartened because you’ve set goal that’s … for lack of better wording … stupid.

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SMART Goal: Realistic

Be honest with yourself. You know what you and your team are capable of achieving.

You need to think about what your company needs and set your goals accordingly. Your SMART goals have to be realistic. If you feel like your company image has become unappealing to your new customer base, you can aim to get a new look in 2019. Set up a new website, blog and social media pages, and keep updating all of these things as often as possible so people come to associate you with exciting new ideas and cutting-edge technology.

The fact this goal aims to rectify problems your company is facing, makes it realistic.

Don’t forget to, again, look at your 2018 goals. Were these SMART goals? Were they even realistic? Did they turn out to actually be realistic?

Sometimes, you set one goal but different issues come up during the year, which make the original goal completely irrelevant. So be sure to consider how 2018 played out before setting 2019 goals.

SMART Goal: Time-Bound

The final piece of the puzzle is you need to ensure you set a specific time which you intend to achieve each of your newly formed 2019 SMART marketing goals.

If you want to increase traffic to your website by 5%, you need to also state how much time you’re giving your team to achieve this SMART goal. Do you want to increase it by that much in the course of one month, three months or the whole year?

Again, look back at 2018. If you set goals which were achieved ahead of time, then it enables you to set goals for shorter time periods in 2019. It also works in reverse, were your timelines set too short to accomplish these goals.

Using the SMART goal planning methodology is an incredible way to increase accountability and build a sense of achievement into your marketing system. The more specific your goals are the better the better, and this will clearly be reflected in your ability to achieve them as the 2019 progresses.

Written by John Phelan