You’ve probably already heard of SMART goal setting.
It may seem basic to some, but we believe the simple SMART goal methodology is the best way for organizations to begin strategic planning, and create specific goals that will help drive their programs forward successfully.
Whether your goals are short or long-term, this planning template can help you manage the process, clearly describe your goals, set a deadline for meeting them, and understand the desired end result. This will all be accomplished by focusing on SMART, a methodology that helps you make, well, "smarter" goals! Before jumping to the template, let's review what SMART stands for.
When creating a goal, you want it to be as short, crisp, and specific as possible. Having "a good marketing year" isn't a reflection of what your company actually accomplished. Imagine that your boss is about to leave for vacation, and you have less than 90 seconds until they run out the door, and all they want is to quickly hear what next year's goal is - what are you going to tell them that concisely explains your plans?
Oftentimes, companies say they want to "increase their social media following." While that is a goal, it's not a trackable goal. If you start the new year with 100 followers, and end with 101, technically you met your set goal. But if you switch that goal to read, "We want to increase social media following by 25%," suddenly you can measure your progress every month to see if you're on track to ultimately jumping from 100 to 125 followers. Now you really know you hit your goal - and hopefully it's more ambitious than this example!
While having history-breaking goals are beneficial, it's still important to keep these goals realistic. If in your company history, you've generated an average of 10 leads every month, jumping to 2,000 leads per month would be a drastic change. Many businesses do this to push employees and to "go as far as they possibly can." But in reality, all this does is discourage employees, as they can never actually be successful. SMART goals are goals you can actually achieve.
Why have a goal if the goal doesn't matter? Say you're a teddy bear business that, at maximum, can only sell 1,000 teddy bears per month. In this situation, your goal likely shouldn't be to "increase production of teddy bears from 1,000 per month to 5,000 per month." If your existing distributors won't buy more, why bother? Your goal should be something along the lines of, "increase distribution channels by X%."
While having all the aforementioned helps develop a solid goal, you need to ensure you have a timeline for meeting that goal. Going back to the teddy bear example, if you do decide your goal is to increase distribution channels, you need to know when you will accomplish this in order to know when to start working on a secondary goal of increasing teddy bear production. You don't want a situation where you end up with more toy stores taking your teddy bears, but no teddy bears to give. Oh the horror!
So how do we get started?
This is a great time to refine (or start) your 2022 planning efforts. We think that you should work to establish 3-5 key performance indicators (or KPIs) for your program over the next year. From there, take each KPI, divide it into 4 and see what you need to accomplish each quarter to meet your goals. Then you can use our free template to develop a smart goal for how you will work to reach that KPI micro-goal in the next quarter.
Biting off smaller chunks of big goals and making a plan to achieve them will set you up for success in 2022, and give you confidence that you’re working on a solid plan.
Now that you have an understanding of SMART goals, head over to download this Google sheet and start planning your very own SMART marketing goals!