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A New Approach to SMART Objectives

Published date: 23rd August 2016
Last modified: 9th February 2017

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It may have been all the recent buzz from the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the sudden focus on achievements and gold medals got me thinking about goal setting.

You’d have to agree that a lot of hard work and discipline goes into winning athletic competitions and reaching those final impressive goals.

But it doesn’t matter how dedicated an individual is to their goal, it’s extremely rare that they will achieve their medal alone. Quite often there are a number of equally dedicated people supporting them, coaching them, training them and guiding them on the path to success.

In other words, they need a support team. And every member of that team should know their objectives and be dedicated to helping the athlete reach their final goal.

But let’s not get too philosophical here; first let me explain what all this has to do with SMART Marketing.

Setting Your Gold Medal SMART Objectives

As business owners, or marketing managers, we set our end goals – perhaps ‘new market penetration’ or ‘increased revenue’, but we know to achieve our goals with efficient marketing campaigns, we have to be SMART.

We have to set SMART objectives.

Then we will know that our discipline in reaching those step-by-step objectives will eventually take us to our much coveted gold medal.

You’re probably already aware how SMART marketing works, but as a reminder, here is how the mnemonic SMART is used in setting and reaching marketing objectives:

Specific: The objective set must have enough sufficient detail that it can easily be linked to solving a problem and pinpointing an outcome. So use words such as identify, create, increase, reduce, acquire, design to show exactly what you are going to accomplish.

 “Acquire new visitors to the website using a social media campaign

Measurable: How do you know when you’ve achieved the objective? Set a metric, quantitative or qualitative, and how you will measure your objective so that at the end of your marketing efforts, you can say ‘here’s the proof that we accomplished this.’

“Acquire 4000 new visitors directed from social media to the website using a social media campaign”

Achievable: What needs to be put in place so that this objective can be achieved? Do you need support staff, measuring tools, extra resources? Will achieving this objective cause a positive impact, a negative one or make no difference at all. There’s no point creating objectives unless it’s going to take you a step closer to your final goal. 

Using an approved digital marketing team acquire 4000 new visitors directed from social media to the website using a social media campaign”

Realistic: Can you actually reach this objective? Of course, you can make it challenging but if you’re setting your sights too high, it may be worth adjusting your objective to a more realistic achievement.

“Using an approved digital marketing team acquire 1500 new visitors directed from social media to the website using a social media campaign”

Time-bound: Creating a deadline prompts action and ensures that everyone is working to achieve the objective within the agreed timescale.

“Using an approved digital marketing team acquire 1500 new visitors directed from social media to the website using a social media campaign by the start of the next financial year

So there’s your example of a SMART Marketing objective; so far so good, right?

However, coming back to our Olympic sized challenges, it’s not often we can achieve each SMART objective personally – no matter how focused we may be. So we enlist the support of others, whether that’s colleagues, website developers or digital marketers. But how can we make sure that they will stick to the set SMART objectives and keep you on track to reach your marketing goals?

A Support Team that TRANSCENDS your SMART Goals

As experts in online marketing, we’ve come up with a standard to ensure that all the hard work you’ve put into developing your SMART objectives doesn’t go to waste when choosing your support team.

It’s called TRANSCEND and here’s how it links in.

To transcend your objectives, your team needs to be:

TRansparent – All tasks and feedback must be honest and trustworthy. After all, your objective has specific amounts and quantities set. If you’re receiving figures from others that are skewed in an effort to look better than they really are, then how will you know that your efforts are truly successful or where improvements should be made? 

Analytical – Before tasks are implemented, it’s necessary to identify methods to measure their success; which Cocoonfxmedia accomplish through paid-for industry tools. You’ve already made sure that each of your objectives are measurable and so your support team should have the capabilities and tools necessary to achieve accurate feedback, data and analysis.

None Jargon – If your Olympic sports trainer starts barking to you about idiopathic inflammatory myopathy without even an explanation, you’ll just be confused and frustrated, or worse, end up with an injury that could derail your final goal. That’s why your team needs to understand the value of none-jargon communication. Your SMART objective is set because it’s achievable, which means plain, clear communication with explanations around actions and plans is vital for the whole team to be confident that they will reach the goal.

Social – When undertaking tasks relating to marketing objectives, it’s important for your team to understand social environment and context both for your internal organisation and how the business brand is perceived externally and online. Ensuring that the messages and creative images developed doesn’t damage your business reputation will help keep your objectives achievable and realistic.

Collaborative – with realistic objectives you are sure that you and your team are capable of achieving them with the skills and resources available. This also means that your selected web developers or digital marketers are happy to work with your team and understands how their joint efforts will meet the SMART objective; avoiding disagreements or miscommunication.

ENgaging – your selected marketing support team should be committed to delivering services that are not just functional, but engaging and appealing to your customers. This means, they are willing to go above and beyond of what is required; so rather than just achieving the objective, they focus on ‘exceeding’ them also.

Design Centred – Your objectives are more realistic when your support team understands your customers, their needs and the best solutions to motivate action. This requires that the plans, designs, developments and content for each objective is all centred around meeting customer expectations and delivered in the timescale agreed.

Like that dedicated support team behind each athlete, your marketing goals can be achieved with a team that meets the transcend ethos and is committed to helping you reach each of your SMART objectives.

Why TRANSCEND Works

The transcend approach is used by our team at Cocoonfxmedia because at its core is measurable marketing. This isn’t just the meeting of milestones and tasks, but dedicated research, proof of success, evidence of improvements and reasons behind recommendations.

So if it’s the gold medal of marketing that you’re determined to achieve for your business, then don’t just set SMART objectives, TRANSCEND them.

For personalised support in meeting your SMART Marketing Objectives with a team dedicated to that gold medal level of achievement, contact us at Cocoonfxmedia.

 

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