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What are SMART goals and how to define your own

Decipher the benefits of this methodology and check out 7 examples of SMART goals to inspire you!

Smart goals – An image with a red gradient background and the word SMART written in white letters and repeated four other times in white lines

Good marketing plans need good goals! They are an essential part of carrying out tasks and putting the plan into practice.

In order to keep in mind the right goals that will boost your business, it’s necessary to understand the relevance and feasibility of each goal. Certain methodologies provide this insight so you clearly understand how to take the next step.

SMART goals are a great way of helping you and your team put ideas into action!

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals help in setting objectives that are more assertive.

Not all goals are actually good ones. They might be unfeasible, they might be poorly structured, and they might even create future problems, so the criteria in the SMART methodology ensure that you select and refine your goals.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Below, you’ll find the meaning of each one and how they contribute to the evaluation of each goal. 

S – Specific

Goals need to be specific. Having a general, vague view of what you wish to execute will probably keep you from actually carrying it out.

If you wish to create an online course, for example, merely defining it isn’t enough. Define your course’s topic, how it will be produced, and how soon it will be ready.

You’ll have a much better idea of the challenges that lay ahead during the tasks and get your team in line and aware of what it will take to achieve success. Focus on the details; they will make all the difference during this process!

M – Measurable

A measurable goal is one that you can assess your results and understand if they were successfully achieved.

Always opt for goals that can be measured. If you want new conversions on your website a month from now, for example, you need to know from which platform you can obtain that metric.

You also need to know which metrics are part of your business’ goals. Therefore, it’s very important that you select good KPIs

A – Attainable

Can this goal be reached, or are you going too far?

We often have high expectations about something that we really wish to achieve, but the business world requires caution in order to do only what you’re able to do.

If it’s completely beyond your means, you might want to review your goals and set new ones, which can be achieved.

R – Realistic

Be realistic and aware!

Only do what corresponds to your current reality. If you only set goals that are completely beyond your experience, it will be impossible to achieve them.

Of course, it’s essential to dream and have positive thoughts, but always execute what’s tangible for your brand. Whenever you feel it isn’t happening, reevaluate and rework your plans.

Deal with your business mistakes, your team’s failures, the limitations during the process, and know that it won’t be perfect, but it can be efficient and enriching.

T – Time-bound

Without a clearly defined deadline, can you honestly expect to meet targets?

Setting deadlines is crucial for a goal to actually be accomplished. Without a date, everything will pile up and in the end, you’ll have more ideas than actions, and that is not good!

Try to be as specific as possible and set feasible deadlines. Create a good plan so that everyone can get organized and accomplish their tasks without expending more energy than necessary.

Why is using SMART goals so important?

SMART goals will speed up your business’ processes and make each step clearer.

With realistic and well-designed goals, it will be easier to carry them out and add them to the team’s routine. Carrying out plans and obtaining satisfactory results will be more practical.

Another interesting point is that your team will feel much more motivated, since they will receive tangible instructions regarding their tasks, and will also know how to predict results and possible setbacks.

Finally, SMART goals are measurable and facilitate business analysis, contributing to improvements and increased brand performance.

Applying SMART goals

Now that you know what SMART goals are and how important they are for carrying out tasks and setting goals, you may be wondering how to implement these criteria in your business. We have listed a few steps to help you in this mission! Shall we get started?

List your goals

Write them all down on a paper or a spreadsheet. First, try to write down all of your ideas without judgment. This phase is important to develop your thoughts more freely.

Then, with all of your goals in place, it’s time to assess whether they fit the SMART criteria. If any of them are incompatible, define them more carefully, or consider replacing them from the list.

Make adaptations, improve on what has already been outlined, and share it with your team. You will become more motivated and prepared for the next steps!

Sort your goals into categories

It’s time to segment your goals! Break them down into categories and use the SMART methodology to interpret the main focus of what you’re aiming for, and define the area into which the goal fits.

You’ll be able to better visualize your brand’s marketing, communication, stages of production and sales plans, and organize everything better.

Set numbers and be specific

Don’t forget: be as specific as possible!

How many conversions do you wish to achieve? How will you advertise a new launch? Outline everything in detail.

We know that it’s hard to know for certain what steps to take!

Therefore, benchmarking and a good public and market survey are important so you can have a better view of the steps you’ll face, and to gain knowledge about the tools and methodologies that will be used.

Set a deadline

Set a deadline for each of your goals. Without a deadline, your planning will be susceptible to failure and may not even be accomplished, since the tasks will always be postponed.

Set reasonable deadlines that meet the team’s limitations, but don’t hinder their performance in the future. Find the balance to define the best regarding what you can and want to accomplish.

Set aside time to focus on your goals

As we said earlier, you can’t merely have everything on paper. You need to take action!

When we talk about action, we’re talking about prioritizing your time to work on your goals with a good dose of dedication and study.

Performing tasks at the last minute and without paying the proper attention isn’t safe. This makes it easier to let serious mistakes slip by, which will affect the entire performance of your end goals.

Pay attention to the obstacles

Always stay one step ahead. Calculate possible conflicts that may arise during the course of developing your goals.

Prepare yourself and your team to make new decisions in case something goes wrong, and have self-knowledge about your business in order to deal with risks and crises.

Don’t rule anything out. Problems may arise along the way and you’ll have to find smart solutions that don’t hinder your plan’s final results.

7 examples of SMART goals

In order for you to have a practical understanding of what a SMART goal really is, we’ve listed 7 examples to prepare you to create your own list of goals!

  • Capture 100 new leads in August by launching a new ebook called “10 tips for a good digital marketing strategy”
  • Prepare informative content every week for a newsletter to be sent to leads every Friday
  • Have a monthly income of USD 5,000.00 from the sales of the course to be launched on September 5;
  • Create inbound marketing strategies to attract 500 new leads who will receive information about the new course
  • Improve the engagement of Instagram posts in October by developing interactive and informative content
  • Place text on Google’s  first page through SEO techniques within 3 months
  • Reduce the CPC of Instagram sponsored posts for the following month.

Define your SMART goals

The transition stage between planning and execution isn’t very easy and requires a series of precautions, as we mentioned in this post.

SMART goals are great facilitators for those who are ready to start acting and accomplish the pre-established goals. Therefore, this is a great methodology to add to corporate environments, since everyone contributes together to complete projects and perform tasks with more fluidity.

Fundamental plans in a business, such as the marketing plan, require good techniques for the development and completion of goals, and SMART criteria play a key role in this.

Would you like to read further details about this type of plan to apply them, together with SMART goals, in your business? Then check out our post on How to Create a Marketing Plan!

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