Imagine this: Your marketing team has assembled in the conference room.
They are stressed and at a loss about not achieving their targets for the first six months of the year.
Once you commence the discussion, one of your team members is ready to ask you a question–something you’ve been ignoring yourself. And this is how it goes…
“In the past five and half months, we haven’t met a single target. And our clients haven’t received the number of leads that they were expecting from our marketing efforts. What’s worse? Goals that we’ve set together in consensus weren’t met. So what do we do? What plan of action do we have to retain our customers?”
Well, for some it might, while for others it might very soon. Companies that just focus on driving in results without concrete goals tend to face this scenario.
When asked, “Why don’t you create goals?”, they reply, “We plan to achieve more than what we achieved in the previous quarter or year.”
But this is where things start to spiral downhill.
Organizations need to understand that this is not how goals are set.
There must be numbers, statistics, and proper reports that help them build a bullet-proof marketing plan. This plan leads them to a common goal–making customers successful, and thus, happy.
So, rather than saying that your goal is to help customers improve sales and boost website visibility, you need to get more specific. Show them numbers. But, this is also where the possibility of another mistake arises.
Telling your customers that your marketing team can boost website traffic up to 100,000 visits in a month sounds unbelievable.
You need to take baby steps. Create goals that can be achieved through clear objectives.
Marketers, at this point, tend to mix the two (goals and objectives) concepts.
Are goals and objectives the same? Not at all.
Nonetheless, if you thought that both the concepts are one and the same, then we’ve defined them both below for you.
What Are Goals & Objectives?
Many people tend to use the two concepts interchangeably. If you ask a project manager to define the two, then this is what he/she would say:
“Objectives are means to reaching your goals.”
What are Goals?
These are benchmarks that impact the marketing strategies you execute for your clients.
Goals are a desired, or necessary, state of achievement, where companies start thinking of different outcomes that will benefit their business.
What are Objectives?
These provide detailed steps that a marketing team needs to follow in order to achieve their desired goals. That’s one of the reasons why you can find so many tasks in an objective that the marketing team plans on fulfilling.
In short, objectives contribute towards the success of a brand’s marketing strategy.
Now, just because the two are different does not mean one can exist without the other. Both goals and objectives are dependent on each other. If you don’t have a goal, then there is no way objectives can exist.
However, you need to have a clear goal in order to create objectives that are achievable.
After all, marketing goals and objectives are the sources behind making or breaking bonds with your customers.
Learn to define your goals before creating objectives, otherwise, all your attempts can go downhill. Below are ways you can be SMART about defining your marketing goals effectively.
Be SMART While Defining Your Goals
Only SMART considerations can help you create goals that are achievable. And SMART not only means “act smart”, but also refers to this acronym
Being specific can help your marketing team build strategies that work towards achieving your goal. For example, be specific about:
- What is the target audience?
- How do you plan to reach them?
- What’s your aim when it comes to boosting your brand in market?
- And, how do you wish to track your performance and that of your team members to see whose efforts are bringing in results for your organization?
You know why most marketing campaigns fail in the market? Because most of the times, their goals look abstract. So like any metric that you use to measure the performance of your efforts, your goal should also be measurable too. And by measuring your goals we mean:
- How much has the traffic of your website increased since last quarter?
- How many website visitors engaged in comparison to previous month?
- How many sales have you recorded ever since the last marketing strategy got implemented?
Marketing dashboards are extremely useful for measuring you (and your team’s) progress against your set goals.
Do you know that only 20% of employees feel satisfied with their jobs? Sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it? But true indeed. Understand this – it’s not just the package or position that satisfies employees. They need to experience a sense of accomplishment which is only possible if the goals you set succeed in inspiring them.
Aspirational goals sound great. An excellent strategy to keep your marketing team motivated. But how long will this strategy be effective? Well, the answer to that is simple – as long as it is realistic.
Setting realistic goals isn’t a challenging task for marketers today. However, their aspiration to reach an unrealistic target does make it difficult for their teams to provide predicted results to a client or boss. If you fail to set realistic goals most of the time, then practice the following steps before announcing your goals as a benchmark:
- See how much time your commitment takes and whether you are prepared to give the necessary time and input to successfully achieve the goal in the decided timeline. For example, your marketing team wants to boost website traffic by 3x in comparison to last month. This looks more like an aspirational goal.
- Never forget what limitations you can face while you work towards achieving the set goal. These will help you tackle them as you progress with upcoming tasks.
- Another aspect that not many take into consideration is external obstacles. As you work through various marketing tactics to reach your goal, there might be a chance that Google drops the ‘update’ bomb. With updates, your targets are sure to be affected and there might be a chance that your efforts do not incur the expected results.
- Always create more than one backup plan. By doing so, you have a window for improvising your efforts later.
When you start implementing the necessary tasks that help you achieve your goal, never forget that everything done within a set deadline assists you to reach the final outcome with flying colors.
As you create tasks that meet smaller objectives, ensure to create a realistic timetable that defines:
- When will the task be completed?
- When will the results of a completed task be reflected?
- Which member of the marketing team is responsible for completing the task?
Once you get answers to these questions, it will be easy for your marketing team to help clients achieve results that they’ve been aiming for.
Disclaimer: Every aspect of SMART acronym is essential. But never forget to be specific.
Most marketing teams create goals like:
- Work towards increasing sales.
- Boost awareness about a product amidst the target audience.
- Increase brand awareness to help clients reach their audience hassle-free.
But SMART goals helps us to make these target more specific. Let’s see how.
- Increase product sales by 9% in comparison to the previous quarter.
- Boost the landing page conversion rate for a specific product by 5%.
- Increase website visitors by 2,000 and get at least 8 clients signed up organically.
So, being specific while working towards SMART goals is guaranteed to help your marketing team achieve inspired results efficiently.
But that’s not all you need. To fulfill every aspect of your marketing project, you, as the team lead, should boost the idea of collaboration among all members.
Boost Collaboration for SMART Goals Achievement
Collaboration and communication are what makes or breaks a project.
You need to stay updated with all the efforts your team puts into the marketing campaign. If you see that a specific strategy isn’t bringing in as many visitors as planned, then letting your team know about it in real-time becomes an essential step.
But real-time collaboration isn’t something your email can help with. So what’s the other alternative to it?
Project management software is the answer to this dilemma. You may become a bit skeptical about its use at first, but these benefits are sure to change your perception a lot.
Benefits of Using a Collaborative Project Management Tool
1- Makes Real-Time Collaboration Possible
With collaborative software, your team and you can collaborate in real-time from anywhere at any time. What’s even better? You don’t have to shoot an email to send separate reminders for every task that is created in order to meet your SMART marketing goals. Once you leave a message, the software automatically shoots an email to all the team members responsible for the specific task as a notification. Therefore, nobody misses the update on new tweaks made to the marketing strategy.
2- Helps to Share Documents
You will not lose track of all your marketing strategy documents and files with project management software. Unlike email chains that tend to stretch like a spider web, the software helps you store and share files with your team members as per the specific task.
3- Track Deadlines Hassle-Free
One of the crucial parts of SMART goals is setting a deadline. Otherwise, you are sure to keep working endlessly without creating results. With collaboration software, you can easily set deadlines for every task and even for your marketing project. And tracking deadlines becomes even simpler with the Gantt Chart view in the software.
With these benefits, there is no way you or your marketing team can ignore the use of project collaboration software in the workplace.
In the End, It’s All About Defining Your Goals…
There is a reason why we need to have a set of clear and realistic goals while working on a marketing project. A clear goal helps your marketing team and you to think of strategies that will be useful to reach the goal with flying colors.
But to successfully reach fruitful outcomes, you also need to create small objectives that collectively help you reach your goal. Make them more detailed, measurable, and statistics-based. This is where SMART goals come in to play. This is where you have to:
- Be more specific about you wish to achieve.
- Be able to measure your goals through metrics.
- Create aspirational goals that motivate your team and you to give in 100% towards the marketing campaign.
- Be realistic and consider whether these are achievable or not.
- Be strict with the timeline.
By doing so, it will be easier for you to create and define your marketing goals easily. What’s more? You’ll be able to prove your worth in the competitive sphere of digital marketing industry easily.