Marketing isn’t easy. Its constant evolution means even the most experienced can stumble without a set methodology, especially when training a team. Your strength as a team is reached most easily when everyone is working toward a clear common goal.
During an interview with Fred Harrington he explained that individual creativity makes for unique campaigns, but working within a framework (even if it’s loose) makes for greater efficiency. Working SMARTer enables your team to focus their creativity towards clear objectives. SMART is an acronym for:
- Specific – Set legitimate deadlines for real numbers. It’s easy to be vague when planning. A fear of failure does little more than stifle your progress. If you miss your target, just use the data to improve.
- Measurable – It’s difficult to improve if you have no metrics measure how you’ve done. It’s vital that you record growth, loss and stagnation. Buzzwords mean nothing. You want real data.
- Attainable – Unless you’ve legitimately developed the next Google be patient. Even they took some time to reach where they are. No one is taking over the world overnight so try not to under or over-shoot your goals.
- Realistic – Honesty is everything. Your path will likely include some hurdles. Plan for these and keep in consideration what you and your team can do to mitigate/solve problems along the way.
- Timed – This was stated earlier, but it’s paramount. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines. “Someday” and “eventually” aren’t enough. Meet or miss your targets and take the time to adjust if need be.
What is the goal?
This may not be the easiest thing, but your first step is to create a perceivable goal. Get a giant whiteboard for your time and write it down. Your goal can be anything from “increase conversions to x% by year/month/date” to “raise social media follower-base to x by year/month/date.”
So long as there’s clarity on what the goal is, you’re set.
What type of goal is it?
Marketing generally has three goals – increasing visitors, conversions or leads. So, chances are your goal will fall into one of those three. On our hypothetical whiteboard, under the goal, you could write “increase visitors”, “convert visitors to leads” or “convert leads to customers.” Once that’s understood you have parameters to work within.
What are the exact numbers?
With your goal and category set, you need exact numbers. What is and isn’t attainable is decided by your field and resources but what matters is that you have the data for where you’re at and decided where you intend to be. Under the type of goal you could write your number for current “x” and list you intended “x” to be met before your deadline.
Now, get to it within the Framework.
This is where your team’s talents can shine. It will take time, but that’s what planning is for. So long as you account for potential roadblocks and everyone’s on board nothing is stopping you but yourselves.