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Want results with your marketing? Get SMART

BY KHAM INTHIRATH

5/14/2018
Kham Inthirath is the founder and president of Worcester marketing firm InThink Agency, focused on helping local businesses find and connect with their target audiences.

When it comes to marketing your business, you need to establish goals to help lead your company toward a specific direction.

But setting goals isn't enough. You can't, for example, set a goal of adding 1 million new customers to your base in three months and expect it to come true, which is why when setting goals for your marketing ventures, you have to get SMART.

SMART goals stand for the following: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely (or timetable).

To understand how we employ SMART goals when developing marketing campaigns for our clients, let's pretend we represent a Worcester-area law firm.

Our imagined law firm hires us to grow its business. But, boy, is that vague. There a lot of elements going into growing a law firm, and if we try to tackle all of them at once, we'll go nowhere.

So, we introduce the idea of SMART goals to our client: Specific goals falling in line with its greater purpose (growing its business).

Let's assume our research uncovers our client receives an average of 45 leads each month to its website.

If we want our client's business to grow, then it's logical to increase its monthly leads, right? Already you can see how we're getting far more specific with our efforts (get more leads) than just “grow our business.” And, it's a relevant goal: If the client wants to grow its business; getting more leads is certainly a factor.

It's a measurable goal as well. We know our client gets an average of 45 leads each month. We can actually measure whether or not we did, in fact, get more leads for the firm.

But saying, “We want to get more leads” isn't enough. How do we know when we hit the mark? Is it fair to say we won if we get 46 leads one month? 46 is more than 45. But that sure isn't much of a challenge. Here's where achievable goals are key. What's a realistic number to strive for? Market research will help here. You don't want to set your sights too high, or too low.

For our purposes, we've concluded that we can increase our client's average monthly leads by 25 percent. In other words, we'll strive to increase the average monthly leads from 45 to 67 (spelling it out like this is key; that way we know the number we're shooting for).

Now comes the last part: the timetable. When will we hit our goal by? Timetables are important because they help us create a sense of urgency and keep us focused on our task. For our law firm, let's say they hired us in August. Based on our market research, we think it's realistic to increase their average leads by 25 percent by Dec. 15.

Put it all together, and this is what a SMART goal for a law firm might look like:

We will increase site monthly leads by 25 percent (from 45 visits to 67) by Dec. 15.

Everything we do for the next few months will focus on that goal, which in turn will grow our client's business. Then, come December, we can review our efforts, and, if needed, create entirely new goals to market our client to its prospects.

Regardless of your business, SMART goals like these will focus your efforts and reveal whether you're hitting your mark.
Kham Inthirath is the founder and president of Inthink, a Worcester marketing agency focused on helping local businesses find and connect with their target audiences.