5 Tips for Setting Smart Goals

SMART goals are an objective setting method developed by George T. Doran. SMART is an acronym whose meaning has changed over time. For our purposes, SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.

This is a valuable method for creating objectives for your organization’s marketing strategies, but deciding on your goals is only the first part of the SMART goals method. After creating your organization’s objectives, you need to put the method to practice.

The following 5 tips will help you set SMART goals for your organization’s marketing strategy:

Summarize Your SMART Goals.

After you and your marketing team have decided which SMART goals your organization will focus on, your next step should be to summarize them. Summarize your organization’s marketing goals to make sure they’re clear to everyone on your team.

Mike Lemire, senior inbound marketing consultant at HubSpot, asserts that summarizing your SMART goals and writing them down helps clarify them. If you expect your team to get on board with the SMART goals method, they need to understand the goals and their purpose in your marketing strategy.

We offer a free SMART Goals worksheet to help you map out your goals.


Kae Whitaker Solutions Smart Goals Worksheet.


As part of the summarizing process, you and your marketing team should decide what actions to take to achieve the SMART goals. If you’re filling out our free-goal defining worksheet or your own version, these actions fall into the “attainable” section of your summary. Your team should figure out what actions can be taken to make the goals attainable. The actions your team decides on should be as detailed and thought-out as possible.

Set a deadline.

If you’ve already created your SMART goals, you know they are time-bound. You may have already created a general time frame—for example, three months—to complete the objective. Now you should set a specific deadline for each goal as well. A target date—like April 1, 2016—adds a sense of urgency and keeps your team motivated and focused.

Additionally, each member of your team should decide on the number of hours they will commit to achieving the SMART goals, each week. Lemire states that by doing so, you create a subgoal your team can stay “mindful of and work toward reaching every week.”

Plan for problems.

The next step in setting your SMART goals is to plan for unexpected challenges or hurdles. Things rarely go smoothly, so plan ahead for any problems that may pop up.

Lemire affirms, “Preparing for the hurdles now will make it that much easier to reach your marketing goals.”

Think through some of the challenges your marketing team may face in trying to achieve the goals you’ve set, and find ways to prevent or resolve them before they even come up.

Track your progress.

Concrete, numerical data of your progress should be recorded while your SMART goals are in place and during each step towards achieving your organization’s SMART goals. The type of data can be as simple as the number of people who follow your organization’s social media accounts each week.

The point is to keep track of your SMART goals’ progress as the timeline advances. Recording this data will aid you in the analysis phase of your marketing strategy.

This is why it is important to create goals that are measurable. It allows you to gather data you can use to analyze the effectiveness of each action your marketing team takes.

Communicate throughout.

Mackenzie Fogelson, founder and CEO at Mack Web Solutions, advises you to “remember to keep your focus on your goals, the communication lines open on your team, and you’ll be setting your entire team and company up for success.”

Your team should feel comfortable enough to communicate any problems or concerns that may arise. They should also give you periodic updates on their progress.

Communication is an important factor in implementing the SMART goals method because it helps you track your team’s progress and stay aware of any problems that come up. You should encourage your marketing team to communicate throughout every step taken to achieve your organization’s marketing objectives.

Following the implementation of the SMART goals method, your next step will be to analyze your team’s progress.

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