There are many benefits to marketing your business and if planned correctly, it has the power to help you gain and retain clients for life.
Yes, marketing plans take many forms – often determined by budget or time – but there’s a common denominator in all successful plans; setting clear, achievable goals aligned to the overall aims of your business.
Aligning your marketing goals to your overall business goals is a critical factor when developing a marketing plan, but how can you truly home in on what it is you are trying to achieve?
Here, we explore how being SMART with your objectives is the key to success.
The purpose of SMART objectives
SMART objectives exist to help you answer the question “What am I trying to achieve?” and they’re usually developed on the back of extensive research into your target audience’s behaviours, preferences and pain points, as well as the state of your industry.
But what are their purpose?
- They help you communicate with your team what you are trying to achieve and motivate them to contribute to that
- They allow you to control and measure the effectiveness of your marketing plan
- They ensure that all functions within your business have a defined and consistent focus
What does SMART stand for?
SMART objectives pretty much do what they say on the tin – ensure you’re being smart with your marketing. How?
Let’s look at the elements of a SMART objective.
General goals have a purpose, but that purpose isn’t to form part of a marketing plan. Marketing plans need specific objectives so that you know exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. This adds much more value and supports you with your wider sales and growth efforts.
If you develop an objective that isn’t measurable, how will you know whether your plans were successful or whether you achieved the end goal? As with any plan or investment, you need to be able to measure your efforts.
Every business owner we’ve spoken to wants to prosper in their field and be the brand of choice, but with so many businesses around, how can everyone be the brand of choice? Making objectives achievable will not only manage your expectations, but it will also ensure you feel confident in the success of your marketing plan. Setting objectives too high just causes stress and can cause you to overlook the little wins and progress you’re making.
“I’m going to sell 10,000 products in a day” – it would be nice, but it’s not realistic. Making your goals realistic isn’t accepting failure, or not being ambitious enough. It’s knowing your market, knowing your business, and knowing the audience’s behaviours and needs.
Nobody likes deadlines, but they do serve a purpose, especially when it comes to objectives. Deciding on a time frame to achieve your objectives will allow you to not only track the progress and make comparisons, but also fill you with motivation and keep you on the right track with your marketing.
Even with the above explanations, if you’re new to creating a marketing plan, it can be difficult to get started with your first SMART objectives.
Below are some examples to help.
- To increase sales of product B by 5% before the end of 2021
- To increase awareness of the importance of X amongst the small business community from 10% to 20% by August 2021
- To gain 20% of the market for product B by the end of 2022
- To increase the size of our Yorkshire operation from £1m to £2m by 2023
- To make product B the product of choice for men aged 25 -30 in England by 2023
Any SMART goals set should always be informed and align to your wider business goals. If you need support with identifying your goals, or any aspect of your marketing plan, get in touch, we’d love to chat.