In almost every field of human endeavor today, Goal setting is considered to be very important. This is because they give direction to human efforts, and help us measure how much progress we have made. It has even been argued that you achieve more by setting goals than working without any set goals.

Even though goal setting is very crucial for success in any endeavor, it is important to note that for goal setting to be effective it has to be done correctly. One of the most popular methods of setting effective goals is the SMART method.

This article will be guiding you on how to set SMART marketing goals for your organization.

What are SMART Goals setting?

The SMART goal-setting acronym is credited to George T. Doran. It was written in his Paper titled “There is a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”. For more details, visit What does the SMART acronym represent?

The SMART acronym represents the following:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable / Assignable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time-bound.

Specific:The major question to answer here is what are you actually trying to achieve? For your goal to be SMART, it has to be specific, it has to identify clearly what it is trying to get done.

It is not specific enough if your goal reads something like: “we will increase our sales this year”. It should sound more like, “we will sell 20,000 of our products in the year 2021. To achieve this we should sell at least 5,000 of our products every quarter”.

The following questions from will help you in building specific goals:

  • Which of the brand’s products and services does the goal relate to?
  • Who does the goal relate to? Which audience, internal stakeholders, and competitors are involved?
  • Which locations does the goal relate to, e.g. individual stores, cities, regions, foreign markets?
  • How will the goal be reached?
  • What are our key obstacles in pursuing the goal? 
  • Why is the goal important?

Measurable: For a goal to be SMART, it has to be measurable. There must be a measurement yardstick attached to the goal. This is to ensure that at the end of the performance period, you can examine what was achieved against what was expected or demanded.

Measurement yardsticks could be a number attached to the goal, or a tool to analyze what was achieved.

Attainable / Assignable: Another factor that is necessary for your goals to be SMART is that they have to be Attainable. It does not make sense to set a goal to sell 5,000 products in a month when you have never sold 500 in previous months. Planning to sell anything between 1000 and 2000 is a good enough place to start.

The flip side to this principle is that the goals should be assignable, as in assignable to someone in the organization. Organizations achieve their goals faster when everyone knows the role they have to play towards the achievement of the said goal.

Relevant: A SMART goal is one that is relevant to the needs of the organization. Would it be meeting a need in the organization if you go-ahead to pursue a goal? If it would not, it most definitely is not a relevant goal.

For instance, a relevant goal for an organization that services young people will be to increase their engagement with young people by 10 percent.

Time-bound: Every SMART goal must have a time limit attached to it. The question to consider here is, when is the deadline for the achievement of your goal? Any goal that is not time-bound is not SMART.

In summary, for your goals setting to yield results, ensure they follow the tenets of the SMART acronym. Building your goals with the SMART agenda helps ensure that your goals are achievable, and motivates your team to pursue them.

What are Marketing Goals?

Marketing goals are the objectives that an organization wishes to achieve through its marketing efforts or plan. According to, Marketing Goals are specific objectives described in a marketing plan. These goals can be tasks, quotas, improvements in KPIs, or other performance-based benchmarks used to measure marketing success. Visit, for more details.

What are SMART Marketing Goals?

Marketing Goals become SMART when they are built following the SMART tenets. In other words, Marketing Goals can be describedas SMART, when they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

How do you set SMART Marketing Goals?

How to Set SMART Marketing Goals

If you want to learn how to set SMART marketing goals that will motivate you and your team to achieve your goals, follow these steps:

Summarize your Goal

A first step to take in setting a SMART marketing goal is to summarize what you hope to achieve in a simple sentence. This sets a good foundation to build your SMART marketing goals. Below aresome examples of a summarized goal:

  • We want to increase sales.
  • We want to improve customer engagement.
  • We want to increase leads.

Include a number in your Marketing Goals

After writing a summary of your marketing goals, include a number to it. Adding a number to your marketing goals makes it more specific, and measurable. For instance,

  • We want to increase sales by 20 percent.
  • We want to increase leads by 15 percent.

However, before including a number in your goal summary, examine where you stand in your present marketing efforts. It does not make sense to say you want to increase your sales by 20 percent when you are not even sure of how much you have been able to sell previously.

Include a Timeframe

One of the key factors that distinguish SMART marketing goals from ordinary marketing goals is that they always have a timeframe attached to them.

As you may recall, we mentioned that a SMART goal is time-bound. Adding a timeframe to your goal makes it time-bound, and easier to evaluate (measure).

It is easier to evaluate a goal that says to sell 5,000 products before the end of the first quarter of 2021 than to measure a goal that says to sell 5,000 pieces of product. Adding a time frame makes your goal SMART.

An old Chinese proverb says that the faintest ink is better than the sharpest memory! This is because people can forget things, but what is documented cannot be forgotten (unless it is destroyed).

It gets even better. According to Brian Tracy, People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.

Written goals serve as a motivator. Whenever you or a team member reads it, it motivates you to work harder towards achieving the goal. A written goal will also serve as a yardstick for measuring how much you achieved during the performance period.

Reduce it to smaller tasks

When goals are not broken down into little action steps, they can seem very huge and very difficult to achieve. Many times, they leave you confused as to where to start. However, when they are broken down into smaller action steps, it becomes easier to pursue.

For instance, if the goal is to sell 15,000 products in a quarter, it can seem cumbersomeat first. However, if you breakdown this sales quota into the three months and the 12 weeks that make upa quarter, the sales quota for a week will be 1,250 products.

Furthermore, when other steps that should be taken to make it easier to sell 5,000 products in a month are listed, and timeframes given to each, it makes it easier for the marketing team to pursue the SMART goals and achieve them.

Make Plans for Challenges

Many times, when you are trying to pursue your goals, unexpected setbacks emerge. A SMART marketing goal should make plans on how to resolve unexpected challenges that may arise. This makes the plan even more solid and achievable.

Communicate With Your Team

As you strive to achieve your SMART marketing goals, ensure to communicate with your team continuously. Discuss the achievements so far, the challenges so far plan on how to resolve those challenges, and the next steps to be taken, etc.

These discussions help everyone on the team to be on the same page, with regards to set goals.

Review Your Goals

The importance of reviewing your goals and the progress made cannot be over-emphasized. Why is it necessary to review progress?

As you review your goals and achievements so far, it helps you identify areas you are handling well, and areas that need more attention. This information can help you reorganize your efforts and channel them better.

Furthermore, goals can be adjusted or changed in the process of reviewing them. For instance, if your goal was to sell 5,000 products in a month and 15,000 in a quarter, but in just one month you sold 6,500 products. It simply means that there isa need to review the quarterly and monthly goals upward.

This analogy works either way. Marketing goals can be reviewed upwards or downwards if there is a need to do so. The need to adjust your goals is usually discovered in the process of reviewing your goals.

Align Your Smart Marketing Goals to Business Goals

A SMART marketing goal is only as valuable as how much it aligns with the organization’s business goals. It is the duty of the marketing team to ensure that their Marketing Goals align with the overall goals of their organization.

To ensure this, the marketing team should, first of all, familiarize themselves with their organizational business goals, before setting out to draft their marketing goals.

SMART marketing goals that align with the business goals of the organization always enjoy the support of the organization.


Learning to set SMART Marketing Goals is not as difficult as you may have guessed. If you follow these principles, you will arrive at SMART Goals for your Marketing team that will drive them to achieve great results for the organization.

Finally, as you persist in setting and reviewing your marketing goals, you will keep improving in your ability to set SMART Marketing Goals. So do not get discouraged if you encounter challenges on your first try. It gets better with practice. Wishing you success as you go-ahead to set your SMART GOALS.