Tracking marketing goals for your company is a complex task. It is necessary to project an ambitious future, capable of maintaining motivation and constant growth.
But you can’t be too dreamy and propose unattainable goals, which instead of motivating your team, will leave you with a feeling of frustration.
Setting the right goals is the first step towards success. But how do you do this task?
How do you set goals that will help my company achieve the desired future in the short, medium and long term?
How to draw a good path of growth for your collaborators without leaving them unmotivated?
We’re going to answer all these questions for you now.
HubSpot, one of the largest incoming marketing initiatives in the world, has developed a model for establishing SMART targets.
It is a structured worksheet to help you define optimal goals for your company and team. Click here to download the translated version.
We will explain how to use this tool and give you great tips to define your SMART goals.
SMART targets: What is that?
SMART is an acronym formed by the initials of the words Specific, Measurable, meritorious, realistic and Time-bound (then see more the meaning of each word).
The objectives that follow these criteria are more likely to be achieved, as they help to define a clear future where a company or a project wants to arrive.
The acronym emerged in 1981, when consultant George T. Doran published an article called There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s goals and objectives.
In the text, the author reports that the managers of the time were confused in the definition of their objectives and proposed a simple methodology to facilitate this task.
Over time, the methodology was appropriate for companies and went through adaptations.
Not by chance, some different words are associated with the acronym’s letters, such as Significant (relevant) for the “S ” and action-oriented for the “A “.
In our case, we will work with the proposal of the HubSpot, which is the most widely used today.
In addition, the author himself clarifies: Not all his objectives meet the five criteria.
For example, many objectives may not be quantifiable, as proposed by the acronym “M “.
But ideally you can attend to most of them to facilitate the achievement of goals.
Why use SMART targets?
First, have you stopped to think about the importance of defining goals in your projects?
If you don’t know where you want to go, you probably won’t be able to choose the right path.
So that’s the first step in guiding your actions.
Let’s see the main benefits of having the clear objectives in your company:
Define a future situation to guide the efforts.
Put the whole team in a common direction.
Motivate the team to the extent of the results.
Measure the efficiency of the actions after their execution.
If the objectives follow the SMART features, the benefits are reinforced, as you will have an even clearer future projection for your entire team.
Moreover, although this proposal has emerged in the business environment, it can also be used in the individual sphere.
Have you ever thought about how SMART goals can help you in your personal and professional accomplishments?
More and more has been used to boost people in their projects.
Now, we will analyze the meaning of each of the letters of the acronym:
S-specific (be specific)
The first feature that the acronym brings refers to specificity: you must be specific in the definitions of your objectives.
Don’t just say you want to “more visitors to the site ” or “Your brand is better known “.
In this way, it is difficult to know exactly what efforts to get there.
Vague, generalistic, subjective objectives tend to be less effective. The suggestion is to be as specific as possible.
Do you want more visitors? Then say how many, in how long.
Do you want your brand to be better known? Then think about how you are going to measure that (number of visitors, reach in social networks, growth in organic search, etc.).
So your goal becomes more tangible for you and your whole team.
M-measurable (define measurable objectives)
After executing the planned actions, how will you know if you have reached the goals?
Using goals like “More brand commitment ” or “more social influence ” makes it difficult to analyze results, as you will not have how to measure your actions.
That’s why, as the letter “S “, it should be specific.
Quantifying your goals is important for, along the way, knowing what is missing and, in the end, being able to compare with the results.
Therefore, their key indicators of success (KPI) are also defined.
For example, if you want to generate more leads, you should pay attention to some points: how many candidates or in the future, how many candidates you generate today (to know their growth) and how you want to measure that number (if you need to use a tool, make some configuration, etc.).
A-Attainable (define achievable targets)
Although you have great ambitions, keep your feet on the ground to define your goals.
The numbers must be challenging, to motivate the team, but not exaggerate in optimism.
Defining unattainable goals generates the negative impact of team frustration, which understands not being able to reach the expected results.
We know that it is not simple to reach a number that is, at the same time, standing on the ground and defiant.
However, have experience in the business, so the benchmark and know your staff well is very helpful.
Following the previous example of lead generation, to define the number of candidates you want in the future, it is not enough to think of an ideal number.
Analyze what you can generate today and, with the actions you want to run, what the real capacity of your business and your team is.
R-relistic (Be realistic)
You know your reality, your business and your team. You know what they’ve done and what they can still do.
Although you believe a lot in the ability of all, there are limitations that need to be considered.
So be realistic in defining your goals. Forget a little of the ideal you would like and work with reality, even if it is still below your dreams.
Perhaps, realistically now, you can motivate your team to exceed expectations and go beyond the expected results.
The “R ” is closely related to the “A ” explained above: to define achievable goals, you need to know the reality of your business.
For example, if you want to improve your Google positioning, you must first examine whether your team has SEO experience or be subcontracted, and then establish a reasonable goal.
T-Time-bound (set a deadline)
Dedication varies along a project, and usually the end demands more energy.
When a deadline is set, the team can schedule and measure their efforts.
However, a project that is infinitely extended, because it does not achieve the results, consumes the energies of those involved.
No-time targets become weary.
You must therefore set a deadline for your team to achieve the goals.
If it does not reach them, it is not extended-evaluate what has gone wrong, which can be improved and remade the plans, with new objectives and strategies.
If it is perceived that the initial projection of the term has not been realistic, it is possible to anticipate or extend the deadline. But don’t make changes in a row so you don’t lose the motivation and confidence of the team.
If it is also perceived that the length of the project is too long, consider short-, medium-and long-term goals that help keep the focus.
Hands on the play!
Now that you’ve figured out how to define SMART targets, it’s time to start working.