Making SMART Goals

The First Step to Marketing Success

smartgoals

As I’ve talked to numerous people about creating a marketing strategy, it’s become clear to me that the greatest challenge is coming up with goals. This is a big problem as it’s the first step of the entire marketing plan. If you can’t complete step one, how are you supposed to move on to step two?

I liken this dilemma to trying to start a blog post. Writer’s Block is what we call that. Perhaps we need a term for being unable to think of business goals. Marketer’s Block? …Business Barrier? … I’ll keep working on it.

There are many strategies for coping with writer’s block. One of my favorites is to break down what I’m trying to say. That is, I’ll make a list of key points and then organize them into a logical timeline. Then, I expand on each point to fill in the blanks. The same process can be used to choose goals for your business. You just have to think SMART.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Timed 

SMART!

Specific

sblockBe as specific as you can when it comes to making your goals. Trust me, you’ll be lost if your goal is “To earn more revenue.” (Isn’t that what EVERY business’s overall goal is anyways?). Instead, pick one direction and start there. Let’s say your goal is “To increase brand awareness on social media.” Ok, great! That’s a start!

Now, let’s get even more specific. How do you increase awareness? This one is pretty easy – by earning new fans or followers. Which social network are you going to use? Let’s say you need to increase your Facebook following. So, our new goal is “To increase brand awareness on social media by earning new fans on Facebook.”

Now we’re cooking with oil.

Measurable

mblockNext, you want to make sure your objective is measurable. What aspects of this goal will you be measuring? That would be the number of fans you earn and your deadline. Our goal needs a specific number, so it becomes “To increase brand awareness on social media by earning 1,000 new fans on Facebook.”

Achievable

ablockGood job! You’ve got an excellent goal! Now you need to take a step back and really evaluate your goal. First, ask if it’s realistic to expect to achieve the objective. You do want to work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. Is your potential fanbase large enough to meet your goal? If not, go back and readjust the figures.

Realistic

rblockNow that you have an attainable goal, be honest with yourself on if you have the tools and resources necessary to meet it. Do you know what you’re doing or do you need to hire someone else? Can you hire someone in-house or do you need to outsource the project? For the example goal, do you even have a Facebook page? Be sure you have what you need before you say “Go!”

Timebound

tblockFinally, give yourself a deadline. If you keeping saying “some day,” you’ll find you’ll never get there. Be aggressive, yet realistic.

Now that you have your goals, you can move on to the next steps – Developing Channels, Building an Audience, Creating Content, and Analyzing Results.

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