The Great and Mighty S.M.A.R.T Goals

First, let’s do a brief history lesson on the findings of SMART goals. In the 60’s, researchers began examining the power of goal setting and the first published paper appeared in 1968 by Dr. Edwin Locke. “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives” confirmed that set goals do in fact result in superior organizational performance. Later in 1981, George T. Doran furthered Dr. Locke’s findings and laid out the main principles of SMART goals in, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’ goals and objective.” His simple, yet mighty formulation consist of:                                                              


Choosing goals for marketers can sometimes be a hit or miss because you have to play the guessing game at picking the right goal. Incorporating these five areas into your marketing goal will allow your team to hit realistic achievable numbers. Here is how you set it:


Specific: Set each particular metric you seek to improve. This includes specifying real numbers, deadlines, and team members assigned. Focused metrics can be coverage, visitors, news flow, number of social media posts, Facebook likes, etc. For example, one of my previous campaigns included, “Increase attendance of University of South Carolina students at the April 27th event by five percent.” Which leads to the next target…


Measurable: As shown in my example above, you need to state a measurable objective outcome. Like achieving an X percentage increase or gain at least X positive news stories. Objectives should always be clearly defined and concrete instead of vague like “I want to improve my social media channels.” This is crucial in your planning because not only will it show you where to spend your time and money, but also is the only way to prove it was worth doing. The more specific, and quantifiable they are, the easier they will be to evaluate.


Attainable: Well thought-out objectives are realistic. It should be attainable, yet challenging. Your goal objectives should not seem unreasonably high because this might result in failure. Start with your own analytics and based on that starting point, set your objective(s) in small increments towards reaching your overarching goal.


Relevant: Each goal and objective placed should move you towards your company’s general marketing plan goal. As well as, remaining consistent with current industry trends. When drafting your goals seek input from management, refrain from lengthy time frames and get a second professional opinion.


Time-bound: Creating tangible deadlines will help you and your team defeat procrastination. This builds consistency and enhances productivity.


Over time, as you monitor and track your SMART goals, you will start to see your company or organization rise to the top internally and externally. Good luck!


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