Setting Marketing Goals For Success in 2024

Marketing goals. Probably two of the scariest words combined when it comes to running your own business.

Knowing where to start when it comes to setting those goals can be an overwhelming experience, and for many business owners, it just becomes too much. Goals are shelved for another day, and many are forgotten.

But your marketing aspirations don’t need to go unrealized. You can actually achieve them. There are ways to break them down into far less daunting tasks to set you in the right direction.I’m going to show you how to do that, using the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal-setting.

What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Creating goals using this method provides a structured and strategic approach to goal-setting that increases the likelihood of success.

As you gear up for the new year, my challenge to you is to embrace the S.M.A.R.T. method in setting your personal and business goals. It’s the secret sauce that can transform aspirations into tangible achievements.

To illustrate how a S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting session looks, let’s dive into the fictional world of Zen Yoga Studio.

Zen Yoga Studio’s Dilemma:

Zen Yoga Studio has a physical location and has been riding the wave of success with in-studio clients but faces the challenge of reaching capacity. They need to discover new ways of increasing revenue that does not involve more people coming in the studio.

group of people doing yoga in a studio

Currently, Zen Yoga sells some yoga apparel in their studio, but realize that people really only know about their merchandise if they come into the studio for a class. They do not do any additional advertising of their apparel and really do not have the staff to handle in-studio sales while classes are going on. This is limiting the eyes on their new merch, so they decide to start selling their apparel, and other fitness items, online to broaden their reach. By selling online, they eliminate the need for in-studio staff to service walk-in customers who only want to buy merchandise, and can get their inventory in front of more eyes, and start selling nationwide. If done correctly, they can even begin to leverage this to offering online classes to serve more clients outside of their local area. 

From Vague to Vibrant:

On the surface, Zen Yoga has a basic goal: to increase revenue. But a goal stated in this way is just too vague. How much do they need to increase sales by? When should they see the increase? How are they going to increase sales? 

By not adding some clarity to their goal, it is very unlikely that they will see any real success, or that they would even know what that success looks like. They need to add some parameters around the goal, and using the S.M.A.R.T. method will do just that.

To bring clarity, they turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal: “Increase online revenue by 20% within the next quarter through targeted social media advertising.”

Now let’s look at how each component to make sure the newly stated goal hits all the criteria of a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

  1. Specific– Zen Yoga got really clear on what increased revenue actually means and when they know that they’ve hit their goal. By restating their goal as increase online revenue by 20% within the next quarter through targeted social media advertising, they now know exactly what they will do (Increase online sales revenue by 20%), how they will do it (through targeted social media advertising), and when they should be done (within the next quarter)
  2. Measurable – By stating the percentage increase that you expect sales to grow, Zen Yoga is able to measure their progress more effectively. The 20% increase can be monitored by comparing their sales before their new social media advertising strategy to their sales afterwards. It sounds simple, but without actually stating what you’re measuring, this can be easily overlooked. With this clearly stated, Zen Yoga now understands that this is something they should be monitoring throughout their new strategy.
  3. Achievable – Zen Yoga took a deeper look at their budget, resources, and the feasibility of their advertising strategy to determine if their approach makes sense. They asked themselves questions like, Do we have a budget set aside for social media advertising? Do we know which platforms we will advertise on? What your ads will say exactly? Asking these questions helped them to determine if this is the best approach for increasing their online sales and if this strategy is something that they can actually do.
  4. Relevant – Zen Yoga wants to increase revenue specifically by addressing the online sales of their yoga apparel and other fitness items. Does increasing their online sales actually align with their overall business objectives? In their case, it does. It will allow them to expand their reach to a broader, possibly nationwide, audience, without necessarily increasing foot traffic at their location. With the added visibility, Zen Yoga may also be able to later leverage this into doing more in the online space – virtual classes, memberships, and more. This goal is definitely relevant to their overall business objectives.
  5. Time-Bound – Zen Yoga restated its goal of increasing revenue to include a timeline of when they want to see the increase – within the next quarter. This allows them to have a defined time of when they will review their sales for the increase, but also allows them to set micro goals along the way to ensure they are still on track to meet their main goal.

By following the S.M.A.R.T. method of setting goals, Zen Yoga Studio now has a well-defined and clear goal that they understand how to execute and check-in on along the way. Now that 20% increase in revenue doesn’t seem so unattainable because they have a clear path on how to achieve it.

Benefits of S.M.A.R.T. Goals:

Creating goals using the S.M.A.R.T. method is really the way to go. Some of the benefits of using this method are:

  • Clarity and Focus: Preventing vague objectives by forcing a clear definition of goals.
  • Measurable Progress: Tracking progress objectively for a sense of accomplishment.
  • Realistic Expectations: Ensuring goals are feasible, avoiding frustration from unrealistic expectations.
  • Relevance to Objectives: Maintaining focus on what truly matters in your business.
  • Time Management: Prioritizing tasks with a defined timeframe, reducing procrastination.
  • Adaptability: Identifying areas of improvement and making changes as needed.

Incorporate S.M.A.R.T. goals into your personal and professional life—it’s a game-changer. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you pave the way for success.

Goal Planning Workbook front page displayed on a tablet which is laying on a laptop

Ready to kick off your 2024 goals? I’ve crafted a goal-setting workbook for you. Download it here, and as you work through it, keep these tips in mind to make your goals not just aspirations but attainable realities.

Happy goal-setting!

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