Defining SMART Marketing Goals for Digital in 2018

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When it comes to digital marketing, one can spend an entire career trying to come up with the golden plan to skyrocket sales. To be successful, you need to start with an understanding of your marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that define that success. SMART marketing enables marketers to generate specific goals for a particular brand, product, or service's marketing campaign. Digital marketing enables SMART marketing in the sense that specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals can be met—as long as you start with your success criteria first.

Specific Success Metrics (KPIs)

The only way to know if you have met your goals is to be specific in what you want to achieve. During the onset of a marketing plan, this can be difficult to ascertain. Once you get rolling though things get clearer. You will find it much easier to assign a specific goal to each piece of a marketing plan too. For example, if you have an overall campaign that includes banner ads, social media advertising, as well as video content, you want to measure the success of each piece. As an example, you want to increase your Facebook fan base by 50 people by placing a targeted ad for the month of June.

Measurable Marketing Channels

Make certain that every marketing piece you produce has a measurable result. With SMART marketing, you should obtain clear results and analytics. The whole point of SMART marketing to be creative with your marketing dollars. You want to market effectively in order to increase sales. Choosing digital marketing techniques and channels that work for you may require some adjustments, but you will find the right mix. If you analyze data correctly, you will continue to adjust your marketing plan accordingly. In fact, you can almost guarantee that your marketing plan will change each quarter or so depending upon measurable results.

Attainable and Incremental Improvements

Every business wants to increase revenue. The key is making sure you lay out an attainable marketing plan. Wanting to increase your social media base by 500% will not happen with one banner ad placement. There is always room for continuous improvement in digital marketing.

Realistic Expectations for Success

Really take an objective look at your success goal. Is it realistic? If not, tone things down a bit in terms of expectations. Unrealistic marketing goals are likely to lead to failure. It’s not fair to your company, executive management, or marketing team to place unrealistic goals as a success measurement. If everyone can agree on realistic goals, achieving them will set you up for the next big win.

Timely KPI Measurement and Reporting

As with achieving any goal, it takes dedication and time to make it happen. Success will not happen overnight. Make sure you do put a timeline wrapper around each piece of your plan, and when you want to achieve your main goal. You may have a great plan and it may work, but if your plan is off by six months to a year, you may miss a key deadline or some other related success measure. With SMART marketing, give your plan enough time to work but do not over extend. Place key dates for a checkup in your timeline. This way, if a portion of your plan is lagging, you can tweak.
For one to achieve SMART marketing results, get off to a sound start. If you don’t have a clue on where to start or how to analyze, work with a digital agency that can help get you started or continue to work with you as you move through your checkpoints. Remember, start with a baseline plan, but be prepared to adapt along the way to find success in the ever-changing marketplace.

Originally published January 10, 2018 at 1:15 PM

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