Discover How to Set SMART Marketing Objectives with Our Guide and Examples

Discover How to Set SMART Marketing Objectives with Our Guide and Examples

By Nathan Cavet
Published: 5/19/21

You once heard the word “SMART” coming to your ears and you are now starving to learn how to define SMART marketing objectives examples?

When applied to project planning, or to structure any business initiative, the definition of clear and concrete objectives is essential.

How exactly do you use the SMART technique? And how do you formulate SMART objectives in order to put yourself and your teams on the path to performance and success?

Find in this article a detailed methodology to adopt according to your objectives, whether they are marketing, managerial or HR, and use SMART marketing objectives examples to build your own!

What are SMART Marketing objectives examples?

SMART principles

Created by George T. Doran, the SMART method is a tool for formulating and achieving goals positively, using a mnemonic. Thus, S, M, A, R, T are the first letters of each criterion to be met.

This methodology encompasses two fundamental aspects of the business creation and management process:

  • the objectives’ definition that the business project will pursue,
  • the definition of the specific steps that will allow the achievement of these objectives.

It grants a precise, quantifiable and measurable framework to bypass difficulties and lead to the success of a project, saving time and money.

💡 Whether in project management, HR or marketing, the criteria defined by SMART goals apply in the same way.

What does SMART mean?

S for specific

The objective must be simply formulated and precisely defined. Simplicity allows you to get straight to the point, without confusion.

M for measurable

Setting an objective also means being able to evaluate its progress and the results obtained. Factual and measurable indicators must be determined from the start. It is useful to have a clear metric.

A for achievable

Depending on the variant of the acronym, the letter A contains several criteria: achievable, appropriate and ambitious. The objective must take into account the context in which it is set and offer a certain degree of challenge to provide the necessary motivation.

R for realistic

That said, the objective must be within the reach of the person or team that must achieve it, according to the means and resources at their disposal. It should not be perceived as unattainable.

T for time-bound

The definition of a precise deadline will influence the achievement of the objective. This time horizon allows the preparation of the necessary efforts to cross the finish line.

SMART infographic© MileIQ

Why use the SMART method?

  • SMART goals allow you to mobilize your resources and your time more intelligently in order to achieve them. The actions you take to reach these goals are more strategic and therefore optimized.
  • SMART goals push you to rigorously evaluate your progress towards the expected results. Thanks to this visibility, you are able to evaluate the efforts made and readjust the course if necessary.
  • SMART goals play a positive role on the mind and boost motivation. They allow you to see where you stand, so you can better understand what has been achieved and what remains to be done. It is always more stimulating to see a level of progress rather than navigate by sight.

How to define a SMART goal?

Let's see how to methodically set your goal in a SMART approach, by methodically following each of the criteria listed above.

[S]MART - Specific

To set specific goals, ask yourself a set of questions that will allow you to clearly see where you are directing your efforts.

👉 For example, the Five Ws, used in project management, prompts you to specifically answer the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?

In this way, the framework is established: each collaborator or member of the project team knows the direction to take, the resources at their disposal and the scope of their action.

S[M]ART - Measurable

How can you improve something without having a way to measure and compare the progress made? One of the main advantages of SMART goals is undoubtedly their quantifiable nature, which facilitates their achievement, but also the ability to anticipate and forecast.

👉 In terms of continuous improvement, this criterion is essential, as it allows the monitoring of the achievement of objectives. In order to implement this process, define precise and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that are based on factual data.

SM[A]RT - Achievable or Attainable

As part of their strategic planning, companies often tend to set very ambitious goals. Yet, even though they appear fundamental to successfully completing a project or developing their business model, these goals are sometimes not achievable.

This can lead to :

  • the need to deploy new resources, both human and financial, to redefine its strategy,
  • a drop in motivation on the part of the team,
  • a loss of confidence from investors and other stakeholders, etc.

👉 To ensure that the goal is achievable, appropriate, yet still ambitious, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it in line with the reality of the market, targets and competitors?
  • Do you have the necessary resources (financial, material, human)?
  • Is there enough time at your disposal?
  • Is the same vision shared by all team members?

Your objectives must therefore be based on concrete and factual analyses, so that your company or your project progresses as planned.

SMA[R]T - Realistic or Relevant

The R in relevant invites you to ask yourself how relevant the objective is to the organization or project.

In other words, identify how important it is to the company's goals:

  • Is it a priority?
  • Is it profitable for your company?
  • Is it the right time for you to focus on it?

👉 Do an analysis of your situation: what are the expected results? What will they bring to your business? In light of the targeted ROI (Return on investment), this will help you assess the relevance of your goals.

SMAR[T] - Time-bound

Without a well-defined timeframe, there is no result! Indeed, an objective can only be reached if it is fixed in time, otherwise its realization might never happen.

Within the framework of a project, the definition of the deadline is essential to control the use of resources and the budget throughout its realization.

Creating a project schedule or roadmap will provide a "navigation map" that the project manager can follow, in order to steer the actions and ensure their sequencing until the goal is achieved. It is necessary to define a clear deadline, like the end of a financial year.

👉 Whatever your type of objective and the time frame in which it falls, break it down into intermediate objectives and set them in time as well. To visualize the tasks, their interrelationships and their accomplishment, help yourself with tools such as:

  • the Gantt chart,
  • the Pert chart,
  • the critical path method, etc.

2 SMART marketing objectives examples

We will see 2 examples of using the SMART method. In the workplace, you should transform a global goal into a goal that is intelligently set to achieve a concrete result. You can illustrate and create examples on your own, you just need a clear overall goal.

1st example: Increasing website traffic

Overall goal  🎈 SMART Objectives 💡

Increasing website traffic

Increasing traffic to the .es and .com domains of the company's website
Increasing from 3,000 visits to 5,000 visits per month
By strengthening the directory and doubling the content of the magazine
Generating more leads and attracting more customers
T → In the next 6 months

2nd example: Increasing the number of subscribers

Overall goal  🎈 SMART Objectives 💡

Increasing the number of subscribers

Increasing the magazine’s subscribers count
By doubling the number of subscriptions to the company's newsletter
By creating 100 new downloadable pieces of content
Which provide added value to the user
T → In the next 30 days

Ready to move mountains?

You now have all the keys to understanding the SMART method, to set a clear course and climb the coveted peaks!

To go further, don't hesitate to equip yourself with project management tools to better define and organize your work.

Finally, don't forget that your indicators themselves must be SMART, to better mark out and follow your progress towards your destination. With clear and SMART objectives, you will be able to drive more sales easier!

And you, what are your favorite criteria when you set objectives?

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