• Lindsay

Being Smart With Your Marketing Objectives

Every growing business should have objectives. If you don’t have a goal then you’re just meandering along and you’re unlikely to ever achieve anything worthy. With a goal you’ll suddenly have focus and it makes it so much easier to achieve great things. The best sort of objectives are SMART objectives, and this month I’m explaining just why that’s the case.


Marketing objectives are targets that work alongside a main overall business objective. So if, for example, your overall business objective is to reach a certain amount of turnover, then marketing objectives are the smaller objectives you need to achieve to make that possible. It helps to break it all down into manageable actions.


The idea is that if you meet all of your marketing objectives then you achieve your overall goal. But to make it as meaningful as possible, you should have SMART objectives. SMART objectives are:


• Specific

• Measurable

• Achievable

• Relevant

• Time bound


Let’s take a look in more depth.


Specific

First things first, don’t be vague. Be very clear about what you want to achieve. If you want to grow your business then getting in more leads is a must, but just saying “I want more leads” doesn’t really mean anything. What you want to declare instead is how many leads. But don’t just pluck a number from the air. Think carefully about how many sales you’ll need to reach your desired turnover. Then consider your average conversion rate to work out how many leads you’ll need to achieve the required number of sales. So if you tend to convert 1 in 5 leads to a sale, you’ll need 5 times more leads than the number of sales you want.


Measurable

You must be able to measure the outcome or how will you know if your objective has been met? If you’re looking at leads, for example, make sure you have a system in place that keeps a track of how many leads you get in. Even better if it tracks where the leads came from. That way you could also identify what areas of your marketing work best, and perhaps what isn’t working at all.


Achievable

You need to actually be able to achieve your objectives. This might seem obvious, but when you’re sitting there planning, it can be tempting to be ambitious. You might want to get in 100 leads per month and ramp up those sales. But if you got in 100 leads next month, would you be able to deal with them? And do you have the budget to increase your marketing levels to ensure you get in those extra leads? By all means push yourself, but don’t forget to be realistic in your ambition too.


Relevant

Whatever your objectives, they have to actually help towards your overall goal(s). If your main business goal is to increase customer retention so you can make more money from existing customers and reduce the costs of finding new ones, then you wouldn’t want your SMART objective to be all about getting in new leads. This is a broad example, but it can be easy to focus on what you think is manageable or you feel comfortable with rather than what is actually going to aid your business. Take a moment to ensure that if your marketing objectives are met they will actually impact your overall goal.


Time Bound

All of your objectives should be achievable within a certain time frame. So if it’s about getting in new leads, decide how many you want over a 6 month or 12 month period. Working it out as an average over a longer time period can be more advantageous, as with any new marketing campaign it can take a while for the results to be realised. You might get no leads during months 1 or 2, but then a rush coming in during months 3 or 4. Think about how your marketing could actually work and the overall time span.


Example

If your plan is to double your turnover in the next 12 months, these could be SMART objectives to consider. But these are just examples. Every objective needs to work for your individual business and circumstance.


Objective 1

• Specific – get in 150 new leads

• Measurable – we will set up an online tracking system

• Achievable – we got in 90 new leads last year, so we know this is achievable with just a bit more emphasis, and we are looking at ways to improve our conversion rate

• Relevant – 150 new leads at a slightly improved conversion rate will generate 80% of our desired turnover

• Time bound – over the next 12 months

Objective 2

• Specific – get 30% of existing customers to buy one more thing

• Measurable – this will be tracked through our CRM system

• Achievable – with our 2 new product ranges coming out this year, this is very achievable

• Relevant – this will give us the extra 20% of income to meet our turnover target

• Time bound – over the next 12 months


Beginning any plan with 2 or 3 SMART objectives will make everything far more focused and will give you a much better chance of success. It will also force you to analyse your business, which is never a bad thing. If you’ve never done this before, maybe 2022 is the year to try it.

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