Goals are the main purpose of life. In everything you do in life, there are goals. To some, goals are sources of motivation, while some others view goals as a tool of self evaluation.
The digital world (like other spheres of life) is one that requires the setting of goals. Goals vary with respect to individuals, brands, activities or even campaigns. Whether you are an individual or a firm, a local brand or an international one, the need for you to set goals is as paramount as anything else.
Although there is always a thin line of difference between the goals of various brands, there is the need to clearly elucidate that before your goal can be deemed “Good”, such goal must be “SMART”.
WHAT ARE SMART GOALS?
“The basic goal of every marketing campaign is to generate the most impression possible with the least resources possible” is a saying that is highly infamous in the marketing world.
However, before you embark on any marketing campaign, you need to check if your goal for such campaign is SMART.
The term “SMART goals” is a term coined from five (5) important topics. Each letter of the word “SMART” depicts a feature that must be present in your goal before embarking on any campaign.
The term SMART connotes :
According to the Oxford English dictionary, the term “specific” simply means “clearly defined or identified”.
Therefore, before embarking on any marketing campaign, you need to check that the marketing goal for such campaign is specific (clearly defined) and not generic.
Being specific cuts across various aspects of digital marketing. Right from the goal of your campaign, there is a need for Specificism. Imagine being a start-up sportswear brand and aiming to compete with the likes of Nike, Slazenger, Adidas or Puma. Although, many would say it is good to dream big but as a digital marketer, you are not expected to dream. Except you are going to be throwing a huge chunk of money into the business, it is practically impossible to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas. Instead, try and be more niche-based. You can try by aiming to be the number one sportswear brand in a state in your country (say Lagos in Nigeria). That way, you are more likely to be successful in your business.
Each SMART goal has a starting point as well as a finishing point and they are indications of the quality of the effort to be made. A system, method and procedure must be mentioned. One which determines to what extent the target has been achieved. Therefore, it is advisable to have a benchmark and to determine a baseline measurement of the starting situation
In its simplest term, measurement connotes quantification (allocating numerical values for a particular task or activity).
A marketing campaign is not complete until measurement takes place. This is because measurement enables you to know how well your campaign is performing (or performed) in other to improve in the next campaigns.
For any goal (be it a marketing goal or not), such goal must be an achievable one. Your goal must be achievable for you as well as your group or department.
Imagine a blogger starting up a new blog (say sports blog) and setting a goal of being the number one sports blog globally within twelve months.
That is a good goal. But then, it’s not a smart one. This is because (although the dreamers would disagree strongly with this) it is one which is literally impossible.
The top brands in the aforementioned niche (sports) did not become number one in one year.
As a human, it is normal to dream. But as a digital marketer, you need to be as realistic as realism gets.
So, instead of setting that UNREALISTIC goal of becoming the number one blog on the globe, why not set a more realistic one like aiming to be the number one in your locality. For instance, if you’re a blogger based in a state in Nigeria (say Lagos), aim at being the top blog in a part of Lagos first (say Lagos Island), after dominating in that area, you can then proceed to the whole of Lagos, then the whole nation (Nigeria) , West Africa, Africa and then the whole world. That way, you would have set a goal that is worthy of being referred to as SMART.
Rome wasn’t built in a day remember.
To start with, being realistic simply means having (or showing) a sensible and practical idea of what can be (or cannot be) achieved, done or expected.
A realistic goal takes into account the practical situation and the work in which everyone is involved ( the present scenario). It is impossible that everyone’s focus will be on the same goal all the time; after all, there are always other issues requiring attention. For example, urgent jobs and tasks that need to be carried out, and unforeseen events.
Furthermore, a goal must be relevant to those who are going to work on it. If the finance department of a marketing firm, for instance, is tasked with increasing sales by 20% then it will probably come to nothing because it is not their direct duty to make sales.
Hence, before setting a goal, ensure that your brand actually has the resources, time and manpower accomplish such goal.
As a rider to the above, being relevant and realistic cuts across your target persona. Imagine being an English-based brand (with people from your nation being your target audience) and then setting a goal of being number one brand in China without creating a product or service for the Chinese.
“Time is money” is a saying that even a kid born in the past few hours must have heard of. This is because of the huge importance of timing in everything that we do.
Timing is so important that it is often referred to as MONEY by many a person all over the world.
When setting a marketing goal, always include a time frame for the completion of such a goal. This is because timing helps create a sense of urgency when trying to accomplish a goal.
Football fans would understand this better because it is a common scene that in Football matches, players tend to play better towards the end of the game because they know that the game could end with an unwanted result for their team in little (or no) time.
That sense of urgency that is present in football players in the last few minutes of a game is exactly what your campaign needs if you are to achieve success in your goal(s).
Also, timing is important when launching your campaign. Before launching any campaign, try as best as possible to analyze your audience. What time are the most likely to be busy, and what time are the most likely to be free?
Here’s a little experiment for you to carry out in other to discover the importance of timing: Post content on any of your social media platforms by 7:00am. After one hour, pen down the KPIs for that campaign (this might include number of views, likes, comments, retweets, or reposts. Try dropping a similar content on your platform by 17:00 in the evening and pen down the KPIs after an hour and spot the difference.
Put yourself in the shoes of your client, imagine waking on a Monday morning (when you’re hurriedly trying to get to work) to a notification of a music festival, now imagine seeing the same notification in the evening. When will you resonate with such a post more?
In the evening right? That is exactly how your audience thinks.
When setting your next marketing goal, bear in mind that setting marketing goals and setting a SMART marketing goal are two different things entirely. Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing well.