SMART marketing goals – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely

marketing and its role in businessWhether a business is using traditional or digital marketing techniques the same principles apply to defining the goals of any activity.
While it may be tempting to have an overall goal it is actually much more effective to narrow it down to specific targets and milestones that can be measured and tested.
A business will need to monitor the spending in both money and time on the activities that are carried out to achieve its goals in order to have a clear picture of the effectiveness of the marketing strategy.

What to consider when setting marketing goals

Crucially, they must be related to commercial goals. For example, a marketing goal may be to generate 50 sales leads per month, but the question to ask is: are they the right leads and will they achieve the commercial goal, which could be to grow export revenue by 10%.
If the objective is lead generation, there are myriad ways of achieving this.
One might be to send emails to a database. Achieving the 50 leads should be broken down into other measurable goals such as how many on the database, how many emails, how many recipients you expect to respond, what is the desired response, how do you qualify the response, what is the next action, how do you convert the responses and many more. Essentially every component of the process should be defined and monitored. In this way components can be refined and improved.
It is not unusual for small businesses to set the wrong goals.  A good example is trying to generate “likes” for a business Facebook page.
Targeting a large number of “likes” can infer a greater level of awareness but what is the point unless they lead to the desired action from the viewer which can be a long way from there to being a sales lead, let alone an order or a sale?
This is where measuring the number and costs of marketing activity against a business’ commercial goals can be very effective.  If the amount of time and activity is disproportionate to the value of and the profit from any resulting order, then it may be time to refine the marketing strategy so that it contributes more cost-effectively to the sales funnel in which it plays a part.
(image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

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