The SMART Path to Achieving Your Marketing Objectives
Intelligent marketing objectives begin with SMART marketing. But what’s with all this excitable use of capital letters, and who ever earned anything from being smart anyway?
Being SMART isn’t just about being clever, it’s about setting out clear, defined routes to achieving your marketing objectives. Understanding this process forms one of the fundamental principles of marketing. You wouldn’t dive into other areas of strategic business decision-making without a clear plan, so why should your marketing be any different?
Don’t worry, Content Nation is here to save you from the perils of stupidity. Here are the 5 key elements to make your marketing SMART.
Your marketing objectives need to be specific, and your targets precise in describing what it is they actually seek to achieve.
This is about defining the scope of your objective in a clear way that allows all relevant parties to work towards a defined goal. Don’t hide behind vacuous jargon or generic and intangible goals. Ask yourself what you’re looking to accomplish, and how you can define what success looks like for that objective.
Bad goal: We’re hoping to get more readers for our blog. It’s going to be great.
Good goal: We’re looking to increase blog readership by 10% more unique visitors each month for the next 6 months.
Whatever your marketing objective is, you need a method by which you can track your success. Let’s go back to that blog readership example. Just stating that you’re looking to build a bigger readership gives you no real measurable benchmark to aim for. So how do you know when you’ve achieved that objective? 10% unique visitor growth offers a defined target that can be routinely analysed to evaluate your progress.
Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) and defined milestones form an essential part of SMART marketing objectives. This not only helps indicate success of your current objectives, it helps inform future objectives in ways you can compare and measure.
Bad goal: We want a bigger audience for our content. Like, really big.
Good goal: We want to grow our current blog readership from 1000 unique visitors per month to 2000 unique visitors by December.
It’s nice to have dreams, but it’s hard to show the value of your marketing efforts if you set out objectives that are entirely unachievable.
Red Bull didn’t acquire 49 million Facebook followers overnight, they built their audience through exceptional content and outstanding brand marketing over a sustained period of time. We’re not saying you have to throw a guy from the edge of space to deliver the goods, just make sure the goal you aspire to reach is one you can actually achieve. Laying out goals that are unattainable not only undermines buy-in for your marketing efforts, they’re likely to significantly dent your team’s morale.
Bad goal: We’re going to expand our social media audience by 10 million followers by midday next Tuesday, when we’ll have waffles to celebrate our success.
Good goal: We want to achieve sustained organic growth of our Facebook audience by 10% each month through a defined content marketing campaign.
Relevance is about understanding how your specific marketing objectives complement each other, and complement the wider business goals.
It’s important to prioritise your objectives based on current business direction, availability of resourcing, market conditions, and a variety of other factors which can influence the time-sensitive nature of your marketing efforts. Remember that marketing objectives aren’t some unique and beautiful unicorn that live independent of your organisation, but should be working as part of your greater brand efforts to promote positive business results.
Bad goal: We should launch this campaign now because we’ve just completed the content, and Jane from Graphic Design is off next week on holiday and she really wants to see how people like her unicorn picture.
Good goal: This marketing campaign ties in perfectly with the recent release of our new product. Let’s launch the campaign and aim to grow 20% targeted click-through rate on our emails for the new product over the next 3 months.
Time can be your friend or your enemy in achieving your marketing objectives. Part of ensuring they are clearly defined is understanding where they begin, and where they end. Building an appropriate timeline into your objectives helps create the impetus to achieve your goals whilst also providing a point in time by which you can evaluate your success.
Bad goal: We’ve finally launched Jane’s unicorn campaign. Let’s just keep it going until she gets back from holiday and finds time to check the social interactions
Good goal: We’ll launch this campaign on a Friday afternoon, when we know we get greatest initial engagement. Our aim is to grow organic impressions on social media by 20% over the next 3 months.
Looking for a partner to deliver SMART marketing with impact? Get in touch with Content Nation and find out how we can help you achieve your marketing objectives.