How to set SMART marketing goals

A strong marketing strategy is essential to success. Learn how to set effective and SMART marketing goals to take your business to the next level.

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Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise, setting marketing goals is essential to hit targets and drive growth.

Research shows that vividly describing your goals in writing leads to greater success in achieving them

But what are marketing goals, and how do you set them? Let’s examine some marketing goals and why they’re important. We’ll provide examples of strong goals to help you to get started.

What are marketing goals?

Marketing goals are specific results you aim to achieve with measurable targets. They range from increasing brand awareness to driving website traffic — anything that aligns with your broader business goals. 

Setting goals with the SMART framework — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound — optimizes marketing performance by providing structure. Here’s how the acronym breaks down:

  • Specific: Goals should be specific, clearly defined, and easy to understand. This helps to provide a clear outcome.
  • Measurable: Keep goals measurable to track progress and achieve your desired results. Include metrics like web traffic, post views, or conversion rates to keep tabs on important details. 
  • Attainable: Goals should be challenging and productive without being impossible. Always set marketing goals based on current business capabilities and constraints, not future projections. 
  • Relevant: Are your marketing goals relevant to your business goals? Confirm that these aspirations align with the overall strategy to propel your brand forward.
  • Time-bound: Ensure your marketing goals have a clear start and end date for better implementation and tracking. Creating goals without a timeline often leads to procrastination — with end dates, you introduce accountability to complete projects on time.

For example, "increase website traffic" is a vague goal with no clear direction. A SMART goal provides specific and actionable steps. For example, "increase website traffic by 25% within the next three months by implementing a new content marketing strategy and promoting the blog on social media."

SMART marketing goals strengthen a business plan. They also help businesses write marketing proposals — a marketing plan outlining specific marketing solutions for your needs or those of a client. 

Understanding the 4 Ps

Before diving deeper into marketing goals, it’s essential to understand the four Ps of marketing, which are also the building blocks of SMART goals. 

The four Ps are:

  • Product: The product could be physical, like a smartphone, or digital, like a subscription service. 
  • Price: The price is the amount you charge for a product or service. Set prices to maximize profit while remaining competitive and appealing to your target audience.
  • Place: The place is the location where you sell products or services. This could be a brick-and-mortar building, an online store, or a combination of the two.
  • Promotion: Public relations, sales promotions, ad buys and other marketing activities meant to promote your products or services.

Together, the four Ps form the marketing mix — the tools and strategies used to achieve a desired result. Gain a deeper insight into your product and how to position it in the market by carefully considering the four Ps. This helps develop a marketing strategy tailored to your target market and goals.

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Tips for setting SMART marketing goals

Once you know what you’d like to improve, write your goals. Here are some tips for setting attainable and measurable marketing goals that adhere to the SMART framework:

1. Set key performance indicators (KPIs)

Set KPIs to measure metrics and determine if you’re on track to achieve your goals. Some examples of KPIs for marketing goals include website traffic, conversion rates, and social media engagement. 

2. Make short-term and long-term goals

Short-term goals focus on the tasks at hand and mark progress on a daily or weekly basis. Long-term goals plan for the future to hit comprehensive business objectives. An example of a short-term goal is to write two more lead-generating articles for your blog each month, whereas a long-term goal would be doubling your revenue over the next year. Setting goals for both timelines helps you assess the big picture and improve all aspects of your business.

3. Plan your content

Content is a critical component of any marketing strategy. Delivering the right messages to the right audiences at the right times can also help you reach goals. For example, if you want to increase conversions during the holiday season, plan content for social media that promotes a product as the perfect gift. 

4. Use automation tools

Automation streamlines your marketing efforts and saves time. You can schedule content, manage social media accounts, and track progress toward your marketing goals. Automation tools include email marketing automations, app integrations or task automations, and CRM integrations

3 marketing goal examples

Here’s a list of relevant SMART marketing goals to help you brainstorm. 

Increase website traffic by 10% in the next quarter

This goal has a defined timeline and precise metric to meet, making it specific, measurable, and time-bound. More web traffic generally leads to more sales or conversions, so it’s also relevant for a business. Attainability is trickier because 10% isn’t realistic for everyone — but sometimes, aiming high is part of goal-setting.

Hit 10,000 Instagram followers by the end of the year

Gaining followers improves customer reach and brand visibility, which makes this a relevant goal. It’s also trackable with Instagram’s metrics to measure specific numbers throughout the year. Hitting 10,000 followers is low for some accounts and high for others, so adjust this number based on your projected social media growth.

Develop one new product prototype every month

Ongoing goals are a great way to maintain an upward trajectory and grow a business. In this case, there’s only one metric to measure: a new prototype. This is attainable depending on your workflow, and there’s a clear timeline. It’s relevant for businesses that want to achieve rapid growth and regularly give customers new, exciting products.

Take the next steps with Webflow

Setting marketing goals is an essential first step toward enacting a marketing plan. Without clear goals, it’s difficult to measure the success of your efforts and determine progress.

But what happens after you’ve set your goals? Every good business needs a strong foundation — and that often begins with a well-designed and user-friendly website showcasing your brand. With Webflow’s visual development platform, you can build your site — no coding necessary. If you need extra support, check out Webflow University for more resources on building your business, from branding to digital advertising.


March 2, 2023



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