Creating marketing goals, specifically SMART goals, for your upcoming marketing campaign is a great way to get your team rallied and excited. When brainstorming the goals you want to shoot for as a marketing department, the basic SMART goal system is the first set of rules you should know before beginning your marketing campaign:
When we sit down with our inbound marketing customers, we collaborate on ideas and strategies that will help us achieve our marketing goals for the year. We want each goal to follow the SMART guidelines. Here’s how you can track marketing goals that give you the greatest chance to meet or exceed expectations:
S = Create Specific marketing goals for each stage of your funnel
The first step in developing successful marketing goals is ensuring your goals are Specific. Creating a specific goal helps to inform the exact work that your company will need to do to be successful. It also creates clarity across the entire team so everyone knows what to shoot for. General goals don’t create urgency, excitement, or drive. By developing goals that are specific and targeted, you and your team are more likely to achieve them.
Bad: I want to convert more leads this year and onboard 100 new customers.
Good: We want to bring in 200 customers at $22,500 average revenue per customer over the next 12 months for a total of $4,500,000 in revenue. To do this, our goal is to attract 5,000 qualified leads to our website through inbound marketing because our historical conversion rate from leads to customers is 4%.
M = Make sure the marketing goals are Measurable
You need to establish a quantifiable smart goal so your marketing team can use data in their execution. If your marketing team or agency doesn’t know exactly how many leads or how much revenue you want to make, they may struggle to develop an execution plan that aligns with your expectations. This also helps your marketing agency gauge it’s success throughout the entire timeframe of the campaign. They can create milestones that determine whether or not they’re on path to meet or exceed expectations by the end of the campaign.
Bad: I want to increase our revenue by $2,500,000 this year.
Good: We want to increase our revenue by 10% every month for the next 12 months, for a total of $2,500,000 in new revenue.
A = Develop marketing goals that are Attainable
It’s important to make sure you have the resources and capabilities at your disposal to achieve your marketing goal. A smart goal system analyzes the resources available and matches the marketing goals to the capabilities you have. If a company does not have the resources to achieve the goals desired, one of two things must happen. 1) The goal must be reduced until it matches the level of resources available to achieve it, or 2) the company needs to increase it resources and capabilities, often by hiring an inbound marketing agency, to reach the desired goals.
Bad: We don’t have an internal marketing team. As the CMO, I’m going to spend 40 hours a week executing an inbound marketing campaign that includes 20 blog posts a month, 6 automated email marketing campaigns, and 1,000 social media posts per month.
Good: To get to my goal of $4,500,000 this year, I need to find someone who can execute an inbound marketing campaign that brings in the level of website traffic and qualified leads we need for our sales team to close $4,500,000 in business this year.
R = Design marketing goals that are Realistic
The best smart goal setters are people who are realistic. One of the worst marketing goal setting problems is creating goals that are extremely unrealistic. Look at the historical growth of your company. If you’ve grown by 50% year over year for the last 5 years, it’s not realistic to think that your inbound marketing process is going to give you a 600% increase in sales this year. It would be realistic, however, to set a goal of 75% growth with the inclusion of a new inbound marketing campaign.
Bad: Our business made $1,000,000 two years ago. Last year, we made $2,000,000. This year our goal is $12,000,000.
Good: Based on our historical growth rate of 100% annually, our goal is to make $4,500,000 this year. $500,000 of that will come from our new inbound marketing campaigns.
T = Produce marketing goals that are Timely
Your marketing goals should be maintained in a timeframe that is achievable. This helps the team to understand how quickly they need to reach certain milestones and will help you as the goal-setter to critically determine if your goals can be achieved in the time requested. Creating a timeframe is also helpful because it allows you to take a pause at the end of each phase and analyze whether or not your marketing campaign has been effective so far.
Bad: We want to bring in 200 new leads
Good: We want to bring in 200 new leads over the next 90 days.
The inbound marketing goal process is super important because it sets the standard for your marketing team's success or failure for the upcoming year. Whether you've got an internal team managing all of your inbound marketing work or you're working with an official inbound marketing agency (or a mix of both), developing thoughtful goals is crucial. The SMART goal guideline is a great start for any Head of Marketing professional and will give your team a great starting space in their pursuit of success.