University of Maryland Extension

Can SMART Ever Be Dumb??

Ginger S. Myers
SMART goals

Master Marketing - January 2020

December is often a “Slam” month for most direct marketers. Holiday sales, year-end inventories to conduct, annual profit projections, and the final push of multiple last quarter marketing initiatives that were often launched even before Halloween. The major goal is to end the year in the financial black. Other goals now take a back seat.

As the new year begins, now is the perfect time to collect data from last year’s marketing foundation pieces. Summarize your data to mine out answers to the questions about how many, how often, how much, and what makes you sure you’ll never try some particular idea again. The metrics for evaluating business success will bubble up in your numbers. So, it is the perfect time to set your SMART marketing goals for 2020.

Use SMART goals to help guide your 2020 goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving that goal. These criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker's “Management by Objectives” concept. But simply setting the goals is useless without also tagging each goal with a definitive description for achievement.



Here are some common ones:

  • Increase website traffic—measured by unique visitors per month
  • Increase targeted leads to the website—measured by web visits from our geographic service area
  • Grow new business or develop new division—measured by total leads and sales revenue
  • Increase net profits- measured by percentage increase over previous year.
  • Improved labor efficiency- measured by hours to complete tasks.

Your time is limited so, invest it wisely in developing SMART goals for your business this year. Be sure to include measurements for successful completion. Smart goals are one of the most important tools in your business’s marketing foundation. Without a solid marketing foundation, that includes your goals, your daily marketing activities will range anywhere from “not very effective” to a “waste of time and money”. SMART and measurable goals sets the bullseye for marketing efforts that yield positive results.

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