What are SMART marketing objectives?

What are SMART marketing objectives?

Hello there, my name is martin henley, this is the what the series and in episode number 20 we’re answering the important question what are SMART objectives in marketing?

What are we going to cover in this SMART marketing objectives definition?

In addressing the question – what are SMART objectives in marketing, there are five things we’ll be sharing with you.We are of course gonna answer the question what are SMART objectives in marketing; we’ll be answering the question why SMART objectives in marketing are important; who need SMART objectives in marketing; if there is an issue with SMART objectives in marketing; how you set SMART objectives in marketing and when you set SMART objectives in marketing.

Let’s get this started Sonny.

Did we find a definition of SMART objectives?

As always when we come to explain this marketing jargon we are looking for a definition and we found this one right at the very top of google, at clearreview.com.They tell us “put very simply SMART objectives, or SMART goals are a form of objective setting which allows managers and employees to create, track and accomplish short and long-term goals. And very usefully, what they’ve done, is they’ve given us a graphic which shows us exactly what SMART stands for so SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

So that couldn’t be more simple SMART is simply a mnemonic that helps you to qualify your objectives your marketing objectives so that you your team, and your management, all know exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve; and SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Why are SMART objectives important?

Which brings us to the question why are SMART objectives important.Well, SMART objectives are important because I’m sure, like me, you have at some point in your life set yourself a goal or an objective which has failed miserably.Famously this happens every January.On the 31st of December we’re all committed to make big changes to our lives and by 4 o’clock on the 1st of January it’s all over.Anything that gives you a better chance of achieving your marketing objectives is going to be very valuable and this mnemonic, this SMART mnemonic, is all about qualifying your marketing objectives so when you set marketing objectives you give yourself the very, very, best chance of achieving those objectives.

Who needs SMART objectives?

So now you might be asking yourselves the question who needs SMART marketing objectives and do I need SMART marketing objectives?The answer is yes.If you are serious about achieving your goalS, and your objectives, in marketing you should give yourself every chance to make sure that the objectives that you’ve set the objectives, that you create, are likely to be achieved.So, my advice is, if you’re investing your time, your energy, your money, in marketing, if it’s your business or you’re employed in marketing, or you’re a marketing manager, then absolutely, make sure you set yourself, very specific, very measurable, very achievable, very realistic and timed marketing objectives.

Is there an issue with SMART marketing objectives?

So, is there an issue with SMART marketing objectives? well I hate to break it to you but there is an issue with SMART marketing objectives.The good news is this time it isn’t an issue that I have, this is a universal issue with SMART marketing objectives.

What we have established is that SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely or time-bound.This is what I’ve told you.The issue is that, actually, SMART doesn’t always stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time.

Occasionally what will happen is that people will replace the specific with stretching.It might be important that when you set yourself goals that they’re not too easy to accomplish.This makes perfect sense to me if you’re setting goals with your personal trainer, maybe stretching is something that you should be doing.In this instance, absolutely, stretching is not better than specific.What’s most important here is that your marketing goals are specific.

The M always stands for measurable, so we are good here.

The issue becomes when we come to the A which can stand for a number of things. I’ve told you that it stands for achievable and actually that’s the most common way that you will see this done, with the A standing for achievable.Occasionally the A could stand for attainable,which I don’t really understand. Let’s go back to the issue with achievable. I don’t really understand the difference between achievable and realistic.Surely if it’s realistic it’s achievable, and if it’s achievable it’s realistic.So achievable probably doesn’t work for us here.Occasionally theA might stand for attainable; again, I don’t really understand the difference between attainable and realistic.So attainable also doesn’t work for me.Occasionally the A will stand for agreed.Now this starts to make sense.If you are operating in a business it makes sense that your management have approved and agreed to your marketing objectives.The likelihood is that you’re going to have to invest some resource in this and you need to have that authority that agreement to make sure this actually happens.

For me what is much, much better is this idea of actionable.What I mean when I talk about actionable is essentially two things.Firstly this needs to be an action, this needs to be something that can be done.If your objective is to have aliens land from the moon, that’s not an action, that’s certainly not an action that you can control.That shouldn’t really be in your SMART objectives. The second thing that I’m talking about here is about an action that you are actually responsible for or you have the authority to make happen.What I’m talking about here is the biggest excuse for not achieving your marketing objectives, or any objectives, will always be somebody else. I needed somebody to do something or I was waiting for the authority to do something.To avoid that situation, when you’re setting your SMART objectives, what I suggest you do is you make them actionable.For example, I have the authority, I have the resource to make this happen and I’m not going to sit here in 12 months time and tell you it would have happened if so and so had done such and such.That’s not the way it works.

When it comes to the R, that nearly always stands for realistic. Very occasionally it might stand for relevant.Now you know I’m going to have an issue with this.Why on earth would you be setting objectives that aren’t relevant to achieving your overall marketing goals.For me, relevant is absolute junk; it needs to be realistic.

The T always stands for time bound.This is about putting a date in your diary when you will come back to see if you’ve actually achieved this objective.Too often what will happen, like on the 1st of January, is you won’t have given yourself a time limit, or a time stamp, on when you want to get this objective achieved by. So when it gets to four o’clock on New Year’s day you’re perfectly happy to let it slide.If you haven’t put a date in your diary when you’re going to sit down and assess whether you’ve met this goal it’s almost not worth making the goal altogether.

For me, SMART objectives stands for specific, always specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound.

What I want to do is talk a little bit more about the specific.The good news, if you are following this series of videos, you will see that we are talking largely here about digital marketing.The thing about digital marketing is that it is enormously specific, the most specific.When I think about specific I think about numbers and when we’re doing digital marketing those numbers are available to us.If we are running a website we will know exactly how many people have visited the website, how many pages they’ve visited, how long they’ve spent on the website, if they’ve completed inquiry forms.If we are doing email marketing we will know how big our database is, we will know how often we have sent to that database, we’ll know how many opens there have been, how many clicks there have been how many unsubscribes there have been.If we are running PPC we will see exactly how many impressions we’ve had, we’ll see how many clicks we’ve had, and how many conversions we’ve had.The reason that we lean towards digital marketing is because digital marketing is specific.

Compare this to very vague objectives that will hear if you speak to your typical business owner when they are coming to invest in their marketing.They will tell you – I just need more leads, or I just need more sales, or I just need more cash in my business.There’s a number of issues with this but the major issue is that these objectives aren’t specific enough; how many more leads?What percentage of growth in leads?How many sales?What kind of value in the sales?What kind of conversion rate from lead to sale?The cash might come but the issue is if it costs you too much money to bring in that cash then you’re not going to be achieving our overall marketing objective which is to find, win and keep customers profitably.It is critically important that when you come to set your SMART objectives that they are specific.

Which brings us then to the second thing that I want to talk about which is realistic.What is it that makes your SMART objectives realistic.Again, there are two criteria here.The first is the distance from where you are currently, what you’re achieving currently, to where it is that you want to be.The second criteria is about whether you have the resources to achieve this objective or not.

For example, I’ve worked with businesses and we’ve achieved 100% growth, we’ve doubled their business year on year.That is achievable, but is it realistic, actually, to say we are going to double our business every single year, it’s probably not.What is more realistic is saying that we are going to aim for 20% growth, or 30% growth, which is perfectly, perfectly acceptable, and perfectly viable, and perfectly realistic.That’s the first thing; how much growth you are looking for, how far you have to take it from where you are now to where it is that you want to be.

The second aspect on realism is what you have to invest in making this happen; if you actually have the tools to make this happen.The resources you have, to be successful in your business, if you think about it, are money, and time, and energy, and motivation, and skill, and confidence, and the support of those people around.If you can say, and you will know from our definition of marketing, it’s about finding, winning and keeping customers profitably; that’s about accepting that this is an investment, always, of time, energy and money. Do you have the resources to make this goal happen?If you do, then, that, for me, is realistic.

The two things, when we think about realistic, are; is this actually an action that can happen – is this realistic in terms of where we are now and where we’re hoping to go and do we have the resources to actually make this happen?

How do you make your marketing objectives SMART?

I feel I’ve already answered this, but what’s important is that whenever you set marketing objectives, we spoke about marketing objectives in video number 19, is that you make them SMART.This is essentially a qualifier.When you set your marketing objectives make sure they are specific, make sure that they are based on numbers.Make sure your marketing objectives are measurable, so you can see exactly what happened in your marketing this month, you can see exactly what’s happening in your marketing next month, you can see the difference and you can see that you are traveling towards meeting your goals.Make sure your marketing objectives are actionable, that is that you have the authority to carry this out you’re not relying on a boss to give you something, and you’re not relying on a member of staff to do something, and you’re certainly not relying on anyone who’s outside of your sphere of influence to achieve this specific goal.Make sure your marketing objectives are realistic, make sure that you have the resources to make this happen and make sure that you aren’t giving yourself too big a gap from where you are now to where it is that you want to be when you achieve this goal.Finally, make sure, importantly, thatyour marketing objectives are timed, that you have put a date in your diary to sit down and check if you met this goal because the likelihood is if you don’t do that months will pass and you will completely forget about your marketing objectives and you won’t have achieved the goals.

When should you set SMART marketing objectives?
Which brings us to question number five which is the last question in this episode and it’s the question when do you set SMART objectives?

You will be setting SMART objectives all of the time in your role, in your department.What we’re talking about now is setting SMART objectives as part of our marketing strategy.This is something that we will typically sit down and do once a year and review every 12 months from then on.What I would hope is that in your marketing strategy you will set yourself high level marketing objectives and then immediately you go away to do this work, or give this work to your team, you will break your marketing objectives down into more SMART objectives.

If your objective is to grow your sales from email marketing by 10% over the course of 12 months then you need to set more marketing objectives, more SMART marketing objectives.What does that mean in terms of the way we grow our list?What does that mean in terms of the way we segment our list?What does that mean in terms of the number of emails we send?The number of clicks we get and the number of opens?The number of follow-throughs?What I would hope you would do is break this down so you will have lots of SMART marketing objectives at every level.You will have a SMART marketing objective for list growth, you will have a SMART marketing objective for segmenting your list, you will have a SMART marketing objective for the number of emails you send, the number of opens, the number of clicks, etc.

What will happen is that you will do this high level once a year when you are looking at your marketing strategy and then when you come away and you look at how you’re actually going to achieve those goals you will break it down into more SMART objectives.

So the answer to the question, when should you be using SMART marketing objectives, is all of the time.If you’re setting yourself a goal, or if you’re setting yourself a target, if you’re setting your marketing objectives they should be SMART.Your marketing objectives should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound.

What did we cover in this SMART objectives definition?

If you are still with us well done you now know exactly what SMART marketing objectives are; you know why you should be thinking about SMART objectives and implementing SMART objectives; you know who should be thinking about SMART objectives, it’s you; you know the issue with SMART marketing objectives; you know how to set SMART marketing objectives and you know when to set SMART marketing objectives.

What should you do if you found this SMART objectives definition interesting or useful?

If you have found this interesting or useful please take a second to like, share, subscribe, maybe comment – maybe there’s a piece of marketing jargon that you would like to see to defined in this fashion.

If you found it really interesting and useful why not head across to The Effective Marketing Company blog and subscribe there and you will get this marketing jargon,bullshit busting goodness in your inbox every single day.

We are done here Sonny.

Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation. Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.

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