Steps to Numerating Your Objectives and Deadlines
Which of these two goals would you rather set, propose to your CEO, and achieve?
- Get more traffic on my website.
- Increase website visits by 20% in the next 6 months.
While these goals actually reflect the same intention, the second statement is the far more attractive one.
Why? Because it’s SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
It’s easy to set non-specific goals because we all have general wishes and intentions for our marketing plans. But setting specific goals that we then commit time and resources to is another story. Not only is it harder to quantify and estimate our abilities, it takes a bit of a leap of faith to commit to making them happen.
SMART goals work for marketers in all positions at all levels: the self-employed who need a starting point; the marketing manager looking to give their boss a firm objective; an account manager working with a client to establish a game plan.
No matter what stage you’re in, approach goal setting as you do any other project with a detailed timeline. Follow these steps:
1. Summarize Your Intentions
Writing down your thoughts in one sentence, no matter how rudimentary they seem, is an important step in the process. Get it out of your head and onto paper!
2. Categorize Your Goal
What type of situation describes your need? Are you looking to generate more leads? Are you interested in growing your social media followers? Do you need more converted customers?
3. Put a Number to the Need
This is the tough part for some, but it’s also the most important — so don’t let it bring your process to a halt! If you’re looking to increase website visits, think of an appropriate percentage increase you’d like to see. Let the “A” in SMART guide your judgment here.
4. Set a Due Date
Like any project, this one needs a due date. This step may work in tandem with step 3, so feel free to discuss both at the same time. If setting an ongoing goal (increase sales by 5% every month), assign an amount of time it will take to be in a position to achieve that goal (i.e. – how much setup time or additional resources do you need to make this happen?).
Saying you’ll commit to the goal you’ve created is great, but we want you to write it down, and be specific! How many hours a week are you going to commit to making this goal happen? How much time does your team need to see it through?
6. Address Challenges
This is the time to note potential challenges: potential conflicts in timeline, resources, and strategy. Again, write these road bumps down. If any of them are undeniably inhibiting, you may want to go back to step 1 and reevaluate.
Best of luck!