Ready, set, goals: How to set your S.M.A.R.T goals

By HGB , Aug 21 2017
There’s been a bit of DIY happening here at HGB HQ of late. Jacqui’s been welding a hammer, Kylie’s been up a ladder, and Catherine’s been hanging picture hooks. The result? One less wall, an inviting open plan office, and a fabulous new meeting room.

Next week, the HGB team will take their seats around the meeting room table to discuss the upcoming quarter’s goals. It’s something we do every three months. We set finance, sales and marketing goals, HR, personnel and strategic goals. Some goals are big, others are small and we all have our own goals too.

Why? Because goals help us to live by our values – to think, feel, inspire, dream. Goals give us direction, they motivate us, challenge us, push us and reward us.
But what do we look for in a goal?

Creating S.M.A.R.T goals

As an Inbound Marketing agency, specialising in education and agribusiness, our goals adhere to the S.M.A.R.T philosophy: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This is to help ensure we have tangible results at the end of each quarter, project or campaign.

Setting a specific goal allows you to focus on your objective. It’s not a case of narrowing your goal, but rather clearly defining it. Take a goal in the education sector for example. A specific goal could be to attain X number of enrolments by the start of the school year.

  • When setting yourself a specific goal, ask yourself: “What do you ultimately want to achieve?”

Making your goal measurable. What marketing metrics will you utilise, not just to analyse your results, but to track your activity to ensure you’re on target to meet your goals? At HGB, we work with a lot of clients to produce informative eBooks for customers and prospects. These resources are often part of a greater campaign, but to measure the success of each eBook, our clients track visitor numbers to their site and the rate of download.

  • When making your goal measurable, ask yourself: “How can I ensure my goal is effective?”

Ensuring your goals are attainable. While there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, make sure your goals are attainable. This doesn’t mean making them easy; far from it. You goals should still be something to strive for but knowing they’re within reach adds to the motivation.

  • When making your goal attainable, ask yourself: “Am I being realistic?”

Making your goal relevant. Before you decide on a specific goal, ask yourself ‘is this goal relevant’ to your purpose? Does it enhance your company’s reputation, add value to your client’s business? If it doesn’t, either look to revise it, perhaps making it more specific, or shelve it for a later date. Don’t dispose of it completely. It could just be that now isn’t the time for that particular goal.

  • To ensure your goal is relevant, ask yourself: “Does your goal reflect your company’s objectives?”

Give yourself time: It’s all very well setting goals, but you’ve got to make the timeto see them come to fruition. This will likely require you to relook at your priorities. Placing your goal at the top of your list will give it prominence, but shouldn’t come at the expense of others. It’s also important to allocate resources. We recently worked with an education client on an inbound marketing campaign. There were various elements involved which required the different skillsets of our staff, though not everyone was required at the same time. By carefully planning our campaign we were able to allocate staff to the job when they were needed, ensuring our client got maximum value and ultimately achieved their goal.

  • To ensure you have the time to achieve your goal, ask yourself “What needs to be done now?”

S.M.A.R.T goals and inbound marketing campaigns

As an inbound marketing agency, S.M.A.R.T goals play a vital role in the work we do for each of our clients. We want to ensure our clients achieve their goals and have the systems, the support and the resources they need to do this.

But there are also many other components of an inbound marketing campaign. To find out what elements you need for a successful inbound campaign, download our free checklist.

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