New Years is a time to make resolutions, whether they’re personal or professional. Now is the perfect time to reflect on your achievements and struggles from 2014 and to assess your marketing goals for 2015. The best way to set goals is the SMART way: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. This method of goal-setting gets you to think about where you want to be in a month, a quarter, or even a year, and helps you step-by-step to achieve those objectives. Each goal should fit in each of these five categories.
When setting goals, it’s easy to think broader is better. Go against your instinct and make your objective as specific as possible. Relate it to a specific audience: visitors, leads, or customers. Do you want more visitors to a specific landing page? Or more leads from a specific white paper download? Think about small, specific targets that will work toward the broad goal you first had in mind.
The mission of Prevent Blindness is to help eliminate loss of vision from preventable causes. Their audience is broad, and includes Americans of all ages. The series of glaucoma screening public service announcements Sparkfactor produced were specifically targeted to reach African Americans in their late middle-age—a high-risk group that can benefit greatly from early detection and treatment. Focusing on this segment of their larger audience enabled us to create a video with the power to connect emotionally and allowed Prevent Blindness to choose targeted media placements where messages reached their audience.
The next step is adding a number to the specific goal to keep you accountable. Look to increase by a percentage of your current numbers. By doing this, you can easily compare to past numbers, while also breaking down the goal into hard numbers to benchmark progress. Push your company in a way where you can evaluate the process along the way.
Rice-A-Roni and Pasta-Roni wanted to improve sales by building excitement around their brands outside of retail. Measurable results were just as important as effectiveness, so they chose Sparkfactor to create a social media campaign. The Personality Quiz we developed met their objectives within just hours of launch. The highly shareable and entertaining quiz has continued to perform and deliver results continuously since. It’s a social success story we tell over and over. When accountability for campaign results are mandatory, so are highly measurable results.
When thinking over numbers, make them reachable. Don’t attempt to increase your orders by 50% when you can only support a 5% increase in capacity. Outscaling solutions can create unneeded hardship when reality sets in. Understanding your past and current marketing analytics is important to your future numbers. If you don’t know what your current efforts are creating, spend some time with Google Analytics or similar resources to understand what works and what needs help.
Chicago music venue Mayne Stage needed a new website for a number of reasons. Their marketing team wanted to increase revenue, make website maintenance tasks easier, and add online functionality that improved their customer experience. The site we created met objectives that fit the scale of each challenge and opportunity. We delivered a highly polished custom design to inform and excite patrons. Development was done in WordPress. The finished site features a mobile-friendly responsive framework with TicketWeb and Spotify integration for the venue and OpenTable reservations for the adjoining pub. To complete the package, Mayne Stage added a Google Business View tour to streamline the booking process for their event space reservations.
With a specific audience and attainable goals, it’s important to keep a clear focus on making every part of your marketing campaign actionable. Does your call to action fit your target audience? If you say “Buy Now,” double-check that your target persona has the power to make the purchase. If not, change your strategy or create a pathway for action. There are lots of campaigns that create appeal, but don’t have the legs that relevance provides.
Business-to-business FM retailer Barco Products had recently added a line of metal benches with custom, laser-cut lettering when they approached us to create a direct mail and digital launch campaign. Rather than targeting their standard list of facilities managers, they used a list of school administrators and timed the campaign to reach schools when graduating classes were making decisions like selecting class rings. Design and copy creative were tailored to a younger audience engaged in decision-making and infused with a sense of class pride.
The last step is to make your goal have a timeline and a deadline. This will help to ensure interconnected goals stay on track and allows you to see the progress of the goal to know when you’re flourishing and when you’re falling behind.
In 2013, the Rogers Park Business Alliance, a Chicago neighborhood association, launched a consumer-facing campaign to rebrand the Howard Street commercial corridor. Sparkfactor’s successful Hello Howard campaign focused on authentic community voices and recent civic improvements. During roll-out, our client approached a decision on how to brand that year’s harvest festival. The festival draws a large audience with demographics that cross over heavily with Hello Howard—young, middle-class families that often relocate to Chicago’s suburbs. The RPBA saw a timely opportunity to tie the two efforts together. Sparkfactor created a unique brand: Harvest on Howard Street. Harvest spoke to the multi-cultural, transit-oriented community at large while tying into Hello Howard as an event sponsor. The well-timed synergy benefited attendance at the festival and awareness of larger neighborhood revitalization.
SMART goals allow big, long-term goals to be easily understood across the company hierarchy, while also easily breaking down into smaller SMART goals for different departments or different time frames. Download the free SMART Goal Template to learn more.