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SMART Marketing Strategies - That Lead to Positive Results

As we all know marketing is an integral part of business development, which is why advertising expenses can easily spiral out of control. Unfortunately, not every marketing campaign is a success, in fact, its effectiveness can hardly be measured in many cases.

This is why it is often regarded as a gamble, but the truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. SMART marketing is a new buzzword in the world of business development, and it is worth looking into.

What is SMART marketing?

In this case SMART is an acronym, S stands for Specific, M for Measurable, A for Achievable or Actionable, R for Realistic or Relevant and T for Timely.

smart marketing visual
The idea is that your objectives and your goals should follow these guidelines. So, let us analyze those elements to find out what they imply.

  • Specific (outcomes) - Before you start working on your marketing, ask yourself what do you want to achieve specifically.

    Do you want to increase brand awareness?
    Maybe boost your sales from the last year?
    Maybe you are losing customers and want to increase your client retention rate?

    Each of these things requires a somewhat different approach and each should have specific goals that can be broken down further.

    For example, I want to increase sales by 10% by the end of the year, which can mean 1200 more products within 12 months, or 100 products more each month. 
  • Measurable (results) - The idea is that your objectives should have results that you can measure and milestones that you can track to have a clear overview of your progress.

    If your efforts are not effective maybe you can revise the strategy and try a different approach, or you can identify the gaps in your current strategy and see how to overcome them. 
  • Achievable (goals) - People need clear goals to be motivated, and if your team feels that goals are not achievable, then you will have a problem. This can either indicate that your view is unrealistic, or that your team members do not understand the strategy.

    Make sure you explain the plan thoroughly during team meetings and make sure you answer all of the questions. Furthermore, if someone has well-justified misgivings about the plan, do your best to address them, they can even indicate something that you overlooked. It is a collaborative effort, and everyone should feel motivated.
  • Realistic (expectations) - To elaborate on the achievable goals you need to show that your expectations are based on facts or reality. Explain the current business climate, or why you believe the demand for your services and products will increase.

    Use data analysis to back up your beliefs and make sure that the data is formatted and displayed in a way everyone can understand, this is how you show relevance. Tell them what is different and what makes the plan viable, and how the numbers you came up with are not just wishful thinking.
  • Timely (deadlines) - Deadlines play an important role in a well thought out plan, and even the most ambitious objectives can be achieved if they are broken down elaborately.

    Segmenting your entire strategy into meaningful chunks gives more structure to the whole thing, which again makes it realistically achievable.

    Going back to the initial example, saying we need 1200 more sales this year may seem daunting, but saying let’s make at least 3 more sales today sounds way more plausible.    

SMART marketing objectives or goals

As you can see SMART does not only apply to market, it pretty much applies to project management or general planning. Just by understanding what SMART stands for you get an idea of how you should frame your goals.

Instead of saying we need a strategy on how to increase revenue this year, let’s all brainstorm, try to be more specific. You need to say let’s boost our profit between 10% and 15%, and then follow up with more measurable elements.

You can say for example how saving on cost centers is currently not an option and how the increase in revenue needs to come from sales. This keeps the planning focused and you get to keep the discussion in the sales field. To boost your sales you would need to either use customer or employee incentives and digital marketing for example.

Now it’s time to get realistic and take into consideration multiple aspects of what makes a user action, like a charismatic sales approach, an idea of a good deal, and a general need for the product.

In other words, get 5% more sales by boosting the motivation of your sales team, another 5% by organizing big sales, and another 5% through increased brand awareness. Then have another SMART plan for each of these to make them more actionable.

Plan big sales in a time frame during which you historically made more profit, do extensive research on your core user personas to know where to focus your digital marketing efforts and find out what motivates your employees to come up with meaningful incentives.        


What are the 5 SMART goals?

5 SMART goals are:

  1. Specific numerical target;
  2. Measurable results or KPIs;
  3. Actionable plan or achievable results;
  4. Relevant inputs or realistic expectations based on historical data;
  5. Well formulated deadlines that mitigate the possibility of scope creep. 

KPI monitoring tool

What are examples of SMART goals?

Examples of SMART goals would be getting 10 more clients within the next 3 months, ensuring that daily, weekly or monthly outreach to new potential users is increased by a specific number, and using previous conversion rate and user feedback as a basis for target goal premise.

Mike Bennet
Written By Mike Bennet
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