Be Marketing Agency SMART About it!
As a B2B marketing agency and certified inbound marketing consultant, we see that companies that plan a robust B2B marketing strategy are more likely to reach their goals. Whether you have short-term or long-term goals, sales and marketing planning can help you manage the process. You need to clearly describe your goals, set a deadline for meeting them, and understand the desired end result. This can all be accomplished by focusing on SMART, a methodology that helps you make, well, “smart” goals!
What it Means to Be SMART
When creating a goal, you want it to be as short, crisp, and specific as possible. Having “a good marketing year” isn’t a reflection of what your company actually accomplished. Imagine that your boss is about to leave for vacation, and you have less than 90 seconds until he or she runs out the door, and all your boss wants is to quickly hear what next year’s goal is—what are you going to tell him or her that concisely explains your marketing plans? And specific needs to be measurable.
Often, companies say they want to “increase website visibility.” While that is a goal, it’s not a traceable goal. If you start the new year with 1,000 visits per month, and end with 1,001, technically you met your set goal. But if you switch that goal to read, “increase web visits by 25%,” suddenly you can measure your progress every month to see if you’re on track to ultimately jumping from 1,000 to 1,250 visits. Now you really know you hit your goal. For local industrial manufacturers, forecasts say 2015 should be a good year—hopefully your goals are more ambitious than this example!
While having history-breaking goals are beneficial—and here at Grant Marketing, we’re all about exceeding goals—it’s still important to keep these goals realistic. If, in your company history, you’ve generated an average of 10 leads every month, jumping to 2,000 leads per month would be a drastic change. Many businesses do this to encourage employees to push the envelope—burst it wide open. But in reality, all this does is set up the worker for failure and discouragement, as he or she sees this goal perpetually out of reach. SMART goals are goals you can actually achieve.
Why have a goal if the goal doesn’t matter? Say you’re a fastener manufacturing company that, at maximum, can only sell one million items per month. In this situation, your goal likely shouldn’t be to “increase production of fasteners from one million per month to five million per month.” While it’s great you have more product, if your existing distributors won’t buy more, why bother? Your goal should be something along the lines of, “increase distribution channels by X%.”
While having all the aforementioned helps develop a solid goal, you need to ensure you have a timeline for meeting that goal. Going back to the fastener example, if you do decide your goal is to increase distribution channels, you need to know when you will accomplish this in order to know when to start working on a secondary goal of increasing fastener production. You want to avoid a situation where you end up with more distributors ordering, but no fasteners to ship.
Thanks to Grant Marketing's partnership with HubSpot, we can offer you a free template to determine your own company’s marketing goals. You can use this template for monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals … but now is a great time to be SMART and set Q2 goals. Download the SMART template now.