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Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

    Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

    After determining campaign objectives, marketers should set specific goals for their IMC programs using S.M.A.R.T. criteria aligned with the marketing strategy. S.M.A.R.T. is acronym organizations and managers use to set clear, measurable goals. Used in the business world inside and outside marketing, S.M.A.R.T. comes from the work of George T. Doran.[2] He proposed that each level of the organization should set goals that are:

    • Specific: target a specific area for improvement
    • Measurable: quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
    • Assignable: specify who will do it
    • Realistic: state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
    • Time-related: specify when the result(s) can be achieved

    S.M.A.R.T. goals help ensure clarity about what will be accomplished with a marketing campaign or other activity. They also contribute to good communication between managers and employees, so that there are clear expectations on all sides about the focus of attention, resources, and results.

    Consider the following example of a S.M.A.R.T. marketing campaign goal:

    The California Campaign, implemented by the marketing team in conjunction with the California sales lead, will use customer referrals, conference appearances, content marketing tactics, and personal selling to identify and develop five new medium-to-large businesses to pilot our new technology product by September 1, 2016.

    This goal is:

    • Specific: It focuses on identifying new business opportunities to pilot a new product in California
    • Measurable: It specifies a goal of developing “five new medium-to-large businesses” to pilot the new product
    • Assignable: It designates the ownership of this goal between the marketing team and the California sales lead
    • Realistic: It states the resources and techniques that will be used to achieve the goal, and the size of the goal appears to be well proportioned to the time and resources available
    • Time-related: The end date for achieving the results is clear: September 1, 2016

    Using the S.M.A.R.T. format helps marketers map IMC activities directly to broader marketing goals and strategy. It also sets the stage for being able to monitor progress and adjust the campaign’s approach and tactics midstream if the initial efforts are falling short or getting off track.

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