How to Set Marketing Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

Last time I posted I encouraged you to think about your marketing goals for 2016. I want you to think big about what you want to achieve. Hopefully, you’ve thought and set goals to reach by the end of the 2017 financial and calendar year.

Your marketing goals are the building blocks of your entire marketing plan. They should be a statement of the overall results you would like to achieve. There are different ways to set marketing goals and objectives, I find this method on how to set smart marketing goals, very effective.

Take clear, actionable steps that work towards a big goal. Follow the easy SMART approach to evaluating the quality of your objectives:

  • Specific – clearly define your objectives
  • Measurable – measure when they’ve been reached
  • Achievable – they need to be realistic, not unattainable
  • Relevant – they need to fit in with your overall business goals
  • Timely – achieve goals in a specified timeframe

I sit down every quarter to go through the SMART methodology for my own business. I find the process of writing everything down, followed by going through this exercise, helps me think about what it is I hope to achieve in 12 months, and how to do it.

Here’s how to implement the SMART objectives method.

First, set one really big overarching goal. For example, you might want

To increase new leads coming in by 25% each month

Next, decide on 3 to 5 specific objectives that will help you to achieve this goal. For example, objective one could be

To double email database by 30 April 2017

It’s important that you note specific details when doing this. Don’t just write “get more email contacts”. Stick to the SMART framework.

Next, write 2 to 4 aims for each objective. So if we are using the example above, it might look like this:

Goal: To have a 25% increase in leads by 30 June 2017


Objective 1: To double my email database by 30 April 2017

1.1 Develop a free incentive and landing page for visitors to the website by 14 February 2016.

1.2 Start promoting free incentive on business Twitter/Facebook profiles, or LinkedIn groups and via LinkedIn status updates on 16 February 2016.

1.3 Set up Facebook and Twitter advertising campaigns directed from landing page by 16 February 2016.

1.4 Add exit targeting to the website promoting free incentive by 15 February 2016.

1.5 Add links to landing page (mentioning free incentive) in email signature by 15 February 2016.

Repeat the above framework for objectives 2-4 while keeping in mind your ‘big goal’ and the SMART framework.

I find that sticking to this methodology for big goals helps keep marketing activities on track. Not only does it help you avoid your marketing goals becoming unrealistic dreams, it turns them into specific targets that will help you get where you want to be.

It also helps hold you accountable for yourself. This helps you to measure your success and what you’ve achieved. No more guessing if your efforts were successful.

And as always, feel free to comment on this post – and share your thoughts!

If you’re a start-up or an established SME, we can help you ease on down the marketing road. Reach out to us anytime.

Have You Started on Your Marketing Activity Yet?

Like many people, you’re probably back from holidays in the office by now, ready to tackle the challenges that the year ahead will bring and looking forward to reaping the rewards of your hard work.

What better time than now to start off on the right foot with your marketing activity for 2017?

Set Your Goals

Set goals for the year and work out how you will measure your results. What would you like to have achieved by the end of the financial year on June 30? What would you like to have achieved by the end of the calendar year, come December?

Think big! Set yourself big goals that you can achieve this year. You need to find the right balance between lofty, unattainable goals that will leave you discouraged, and insignificant goals that keep you from missing out on growth potential. I’ll talk about breaking your goals down to achievable actions later, but for now think big!

Evaluate Your Resources

How can you leverage your internal resources for your external marketing? Do you have employees who work for you who are passionate about your business? Do you have good relationships with suppliers and contractors who can help your marketing aims? What sort of budget do you have for marketing? Have you set aside money in your budget or are you going to be seriously bootstrapping your marketing efforts this year? All of these factors will help determine how you develop a strategy to kick all your marketing goals in 2016.

What Didn’t Work Last Year?

Where did you direct your marketing efforts in 2016? Have you evaluated your marketing campaigns? Were you strategic, or did you just do ad hoc marketing in the hope that something would work? How much time did you spend on marketing without seeing any real results? Be honest. At the same time, if you achieved success with any of your marketing initiatives, you should harness the momentum and build on that for 2017.


Harnessing partnerships with other businesses and forming strategic alliances can be a great way to further your goals. Perhaps you can work together with other businesses in your industry to run a promotional event. Perhaps you can work with a complementary business to offer discounts to each other’s clients. It needs to be a win/win situation for both businesses though to get the best results.

Successful marketing takes a lot of planning, but if you start thinking about the key points above you’ll be on the right track. Over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss all these points in more detail to help you meet your 2016 marketing goals.

And as always, feel free to comment on this blog – and share your thoughts.

If you’re a start-up or an established SME, we can help you ease on down the marketing road. Reach out to us anytime.