Now, most of us have heard about how to develop SMART goals. But, how do you incorporate them into your marketing plan development?
A quick recap: SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. This format makes it easier to see where you need to go and how to measure your progress. That’s why it’s perfect for your marketing plan development.
Making Your Marketing Plan SMART
Every plan must have at least one objective. In the world of marketing plans, the objectives usually include building demand for a product or service, maintaining current demand or shortening the sales cycle. The actual plan you put together works towards obtaining those objectives.
Setting high objectives sounds great on paper. But, when they are not specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or time bound, they become nothing more than marks on a page.
To avoid making paper goals, your marketing objectives themselves must be SMART. For example, let’s say your objective is to gain a 50% increase in market share in the next 12 months. That is definitely specific and measurable, but may not be attainable due to lack of resources or stiff competition. Relevancy depends on the size of the available market and how fast it is growing or not. Being able to grow that much in 12 months may or may not be possible depending on the market.
Incorporate Smart Goals Into Marketing Plan
All of your objectives should be stated in SMART terms. Let’s say you want to increase the number of visitors to the Thingamajig product page on your website.
- Specific: To increase the number of visitors to the Thingamajig web page by 25% over last quarter’s total.
- Measurable: The total visitors last quarter was 2000, so the goal this quarter is to achieve a total of 2500 or more visitors.
- Attainable: Increasing the number of visitors is definitely doable with increased spending in PPC ads and referral incentives for existing customers.
- Relevant: The Thingamajig is our most profitable product. Ten percent of visitors to the website ultimately end up placing an order. Increasing the number of visitors to the Thingamajig web page has the potential of increasing the number of orders by 25% or more.
- Time-Bound: The goal is to have this achieved by September 30th, so that we are ready to enter the Christmas season with a larger share of the Thingamajig market.
Going from a general objective to a detailed one is a major change. Here is what just happened:
- General objective: “Increasing the number of visitors to the Thingamajig web page”
- Detailed objective: “Increasing the number of visitors to the Thingamajig web page by 25%, or 500 more visitors, in the 3rd quarter, in order to generate 25% more orders and to obtain a larger share of the market during the upcoming Christmas season”
Applying SMART goal thinking to our marketing plan development will make all the difference in moving things forward. How can you incorporate it into your next campaign?
Dan Gartlan helps companies of all kinds drive their business initiatives and achieve their goals with strategic marketing programs that deliver results. As President of Stevens & Tate Marketing, he has over 20 years experience across various industries, and continues to share his expertise to build brands nationwide.