SMART Marketing Planning

Every organization should have a clear plan detailing their marketing goals, how they intend to achieve them, and how performance will be measured.

Whether you are responsible for your organization’s strategic marketing plan or department or program’s tactical marketing plan, you must first set clear, concise goals so that you know what you are working towards.

To begin, every successful strategy, marketing or otherwise, should lay out SMART goals. Yes, SMART goals.

Your marketing goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

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Be specific about your goals!

When writing your marketing goals answer the following questions:

  • What are you going to do? Use action words like increase, direct, develop, or build.
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • How will you achieve this goal?

Do you want to “be more popular on Twitter” OR do you want to “Post more content to Twitter in order to gain 500 new followers (small business owners) by March 11, 2012?” Obviously, the latter is a SMART marketing goal; it is specific, measurable attainable, realistic, and timely.


Marketing without the ability to measure is NOT MARKETING! If you set a goal that cannot be measured, you will never know when it’s achieved.

Rick Burnes’ How to Spot A Clueless Marketer said every marketer should have the ability to gauge the success of their marketing activities. Otherwise, they are clueless about their marketing.

In our example, we can easily determine the number of new followers we need each day, week, month… in order to achieve 500 new followers by March 12, 2012. 


Are your goals within reach? Some brands can attract 500 new Twitter followers in one day, but that’s an unlikely feat for others. This is realistic, but may be unattainable for you. Your goals should require an increased commitment, but should also be possible. Setting impossible goals will increase your likelihood failure and abandonment.


Is it possible for you to achieve your goal? It would be unrealistic to say that you want to “post more content to Twitter in order to gain 500 new followers (small business owners) by March 11, 2012” if you do not have a computer and/or internet access.

You must have the knowledge and available resources needed to achieve your goals. Otherwise they are unrealistic.


Specifying time limits gives you a clear target to work towards. Just saying you want to “post more content to Twitter in order to gain 500 new followers” does not give you a timeframe to gain the followers. Eventually you may gain 500 new followers, but it may be too late. Time must be measurable and realistic.

Setting timeframes such as end of the quarter, or end of the campaign are necessary in some cases, but it’s much better to use specific dates when setting goals.

Now tell us, how SMART are your marketing goals?

11 Responses so far.

  1. [...] | advertising, Featured, Online Marketing | Tonya Walker | No Comments First things first, set SMART goals for your Adwords campaign. You need to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely [...]

  2. [...] with any successful marketing campaign, you must define SMART goals ahead of time. As a small business owner you may be thinking that mobile marketing is a waste of [...]

  3. [...] Who’s Your MVF? Most Valuable Follower (MVF) just launched last week. The app tells you exactly who your most valuable Twitter followers are by evaluating criteria that the developers used to define value: scarcity and popularity. MVF is free thanks to developers, by Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld. You may not want to rely solely on one measure to determine the true value of your followers. That can only be determined based on your specific marketing goals. [...]

  4. [...] of purposes – to teach, amuse, sell, promote and increase conversion rates. Once you’ve determined your marketing goals, you can use video to successfully reach [...]

  5. [...] in other marketing activities for a specific reason. By now, you should have outlined your goals and developed a plan for achieving them; now it’s time to think about visibility and [...]

  6. [...] success (or any success, for that matter). I’ve discussed the importance of setting SMART marketing goals, but how many marketers or business owners actually develop comprehensive marketing [...]

  7. [...] should include all of your social media, email, and direct marketing efforts.  The key is to set SMART goals for each channel and use your marketing plan as the roadmap for achieving [...]

  8. [...] email, direct marketing, and any other marketing efforts you like to engage in. The key is to set SMART goals for each channel and use your marketing plan as the roadmap for achieving [...]

  9. [...] want from Twitter, it may be time to re-evaluate your social media strategy. Make sure you have set SMART goals and implement daily marketing activities that reflect [...]

  10. [...] starts with a solid marketing plan. Your marketing plan should be thorough and reflect your SMART goals. Be sure to include direct and digital marketing efforts that your audience will respond [...]

  11. [...] are you waiting for? Set some SMART marketing goals and start [...]

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