Achieving big goals isn't easy - sorry no seceret sauce here.
But we can solve that problem! A lot of marketers don't accomplish the goals they set because their approach tends to lack one of two things:
Structure or context.
Either their process for setting goals is unstructured leading to inconsistentcy and poor results or the process is structured, and they're disciplined, but it's missing the overall context.
Without context - the purpose and passion behind the why - goals are meaningless. Smart goals need stretch goals.
Within business and among teams, the context is the company's mission. What is the overall objective of the company? Once you know this you can reverse engineneer your SMART goals.
Striking the right balance
Marketers have hundreds, of different levers they can pull at any given time. SEO, Social Media, Email, PPC, Sponsored Posts, PR, are just a few of the popular strategies marketers use.
It's no suprise inbound marketing teams are adopting agile project management, rather a testiment to the fluidity and focused nature marketers achieve when they strike the right balance of all these strategies.
SMART goals help you shine a light on the context to better define your actions. In other words, you start by looking at which area of the marketing funnel you are responsible for. Then, peel back the union to find the lowest hanging fruit.
Balancing the strategies and projects you have the knowledge and expertise in with the focus and discipline of SMART goals will keep you from spreading yourself too thin.
Instead of setting yourself up for failure from the beginning, Narrow your focus and set goals you can actually achieve.
Focus one one marketing goal
If you ask any marketing pro what some of the most attractive features of inbound marketing is, she might say something like, "owned assets vs. rented assets."
Traditional paid advertising is a rented asset. Once you stop paying for the ad, people no longer see it.
Blogging is an owned asset. Once published and after promotion, it lives on, compounding results long after an initial push.
It's what makes inbound marketing campaigns slightly different and focusing on one goal a much smarter strategy.
Knowing that inbound content - an owned asset - can continue to drive results overtime you can focus on a single marketing push for a short period of time, then move to the next push.
Each marketing effort with it's own SMART goals.
This strategy might not make sense with traditionaly rented media because everything needed consistent attention, and money, to live on.
Knowing that inbound marketing will long outlive the campaign, we feel more confident in changing goals for the next campaign. This is how you begin to focus on one metric at a time.
Focusing on one goal at a time allows you to move through all the moving parts of each section of the marketing funnel, one-by-one, in short sprints, testing, learning and optimizing along the way.
Marketers are spending the majority of their time collecting, organizing and analyzing data. To make sense of it and to use it to influence their emails, landing pages, social media, and list segmentation.
Focusing on a single objective not only makes it easier to make decisions and take action but it also makes data analysis much faster. You what you're looking for and where to look for it.
Digging into the progress and performance towards only one goal can immediately free up time to focus on optimization.
There is no shortage of strategies to test, platforms to utilize or channel to choose from. Markters have propelled the tech industry by saturating one platform/channel - Gary Vee likes to talk about his 91% email open rate in the mid 2000's simply because marketers didn't f&@K it up yet - and moving to the next one. The one where marketing doesn't exist yet (remember when Instagram didn't have ads).
Focus less on the individual actions and activities and more on what you need to solve for. You've probably heard that you're less productive when you try to multi-task. Well, the same thing is happening here.
Instead of trying to pull together an incredibly complex inbound marketing effort, focus on one marketing one at a time.
Use the free template below to start setting SMART marketing goals today!
How do you set you goals? Are they context? Share your thoughts and feedback.