This time of year, most of us set at least one personal goal… maybe we want to drop some pounds, take up a new hobby, or finally finish that project that never seems to end (you know the one). But now is also a great time to start thinking about your brand or business goals…
Of course, many of us know all too well how New Year’s resolutions fare around, say, February. The key to success is not just setting goals. The kind of goals we set are just as important—maybe more—as the things we are trying to accomplish.
The truth is most personal goals (like, say, losing weight) are doomed to fail from the beginning because they’re too broad or overly ambitious. Simply saying “I want to lose weight” can be overwhelming, and because this kind of self-proclamation is so daunting, it becomes easy to ignore. That’s why so many resolutions end up in the bin before the first quarter of the new year is even up.
Setting Goals That Work
The problem with goals like these is they just aren’t SMART… as in, they aren’t Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART goals help us take all those grand ideas of things we want to accomplish and break them down into manageable, concrete steps that we can begin to act upon.
The same principles apply when setting marketing goals for the coming year. If we just say, “let’s get more leads in 2022,” that goal is probably going to languish in frustration. But if we say, “our website will generate five new leads per month in 2022,” we have something more targeted to work with.
This SMART goal takes a big, somewhat abstract goal (“more leads”) and concretizes it. “More leads” now means: “five.” It also creates a time frame: “per month in 2022.” And, perhaps even more importantly, this SMART goal is realistic. Five leads a month generated from the web is a reasonable expectation and gives us something to measure. The timeframe also gives us a framework for judging our progress and holding ourselves accountable.
So, what are some SMART goals that can help you accomplish more in the coming year?
SMART Marketing Goals
Let’s start with a few common goals for marketers:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate high-quality leads
- Gain recognition for thought leadership
- Increase customer value
- Empower colleagues & improve retention
As you can imagine, these goals are fairly broad. But they capture what most marketers are looking for by any definition of success. To achieve these objectives efficiently, we need to break them down and craft SMART goals to help us succeed.
Your specific situation will determine the kind of SMART goals you set, but here are some examples of SMART goals for these objectives.
1. Increase Brand Awareness. To meet this objective, let’s make it specific using a familiar and easily measurable metric: “Increase branded search traffic to my website by 5%.” That’s a great start on a SMART goal because it’s specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant for your brand. Now let’s make it time-bound. “Increase branded search traffic to my website by 5% in the first quarter of 2022.”
2. Generate high-quality leads. We all want more leads, right? But to make this objective more relevant and achievable, let’s give it the SMART treatment. “Generate fifteen marketing qualified leads per month from a landing page.”
3. Grow & maintain thought leadership. Being known as a subject matter expert in your field is a great way to generate buzz around your business. But how do we get specific with how we’re going to pursue this objective? Here are a couple of good SMART goal examples for this one: “Write and publish one new trade publication article each quarter in 2022.” Or: “Increase Twitter followers by 25% in 2022.”
4. Increase customer value. How you craft a SMART goal for this objective will depend on the type of business. For a retail or hospitality business, an excellent SMART goal might be: “Improve net promoter scores by 5% in 2022.”
5. Empower colleagues & improve retention. Employees are one of a company’s most valuable assets. When your team believes in what you do, they tend to stick around, advocate for your products, and become strong brand ambassadors.
So, what are SMART goals that might help accomplish this objective? We could improve enthusiasm in the workforce by sharing wins with the team. Try a SMART goal like: “Share one customer success story in the company newsletter every month.” Other SMART goals for improving retention could be: “Initiate one new employee resource group in 2022” or “generate one new piece of feedback per employee in 2022.”
Take the First Step to Thrive in 2022
At the end of the day, the “secret” to meeting your goals for 2022 starts with how you craft the goals in the first place. As simple as the SMART goal system is, it takes a lot of effort to prepare meaningful and reasonable goals. You’ll need to think constructively about your business, your long-term objectives, and your resources to create goals that make sense for your team.
Sometimes it helps to have a seasoned professional as a sounding board. Our experienced marketers at Asen can help you identify business needs and create the right plan for you… complete with plenty of carefully crafted SMART goals, of course.
Get your brand where you want it to be in 2022. It all starts with a friendly conversation, so let’s chat!
Our decades of experience in full-service marketing has generated continued growth for hundreds of brands across all industries. From research and strategy to design and development, Asen’s here to help you thrive.