How to Set Smart Goals and Smart KPIs
|What is the SMART Goal?|
|Benefits and Drawbacks within SMART System|
|Marketing SMART Goals Examples|
|SMART Goals - SMART KPIs|
If you want to get where you desire to go, you need a sharp sense of direction. The meaning of this sentence also reflects on your business. Your team is working hard, but somehow you're not getting anywhere? Probably you see some improvement in your team's skills and achievements when you turn around in the past period, but somehow, you're not reaching your long-term goals.
Employees often rush to finish as many tasks as they can, which can result in poor performance or achievements. If you don't have a clear focus on the most critical tasks, and you try to do everything at once, you will most probably not do much.
SMART goals will help you define your ideas, focus your energy, time, and resources productively, and enhance your performances towards goals. When you set goals and targets you want to reach, each action you take is designed to lead you to the ultimate success of your company. With SMART goals and KPIs, you will have a clearly defined direction towards your high-level goals.
What is the SMART Goal?
If you want to follow a goal, you know how it's crucial to determine an excellent description of that particular goal. Empty slogans will not bring you the right, desired results, but setting a concrete-solid analysis in advance will help you achieve goals and lead your company to success. The SMART method will help you determine the right direction, the right actions, and strategic decision making towards success. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
The Smart method will help your team and every individual in your company to have a clear sense of direction to what the company is trying to achieve. Thay way, everyone will be on the same page, working to accomplish the same company goals. A well-structured goal is easy to understand and follow, so there will not be any misunderstandings between employees, managers, and leaders.
To make sure your goals are precise and reachable, each of them should be:
- S pecific (simple, sensible, significant).
- M easurable (meaningful, motivating).
- A ssignable
- R elevant (reasonable, realistic, and resourced, results-based).
- Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, timely, time-sensitive)
S for Specific
Goals should be specific because that way, they will drive action. Don't name your goal "be more successful in sales," adding a specific name like "sing up a hundred more customers" will automatically tell you what you need to do to fulfill your goal and will help you to focus all your activities towards that particular goal.
How do you make your goals more specific?
The best way to make your goals more specific is answering on the next few questions:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What actions do you need to take to do it?
- In what time manner you want to reach it?
- Who will be responsible and involved?
- Why is this necessary to reach, what does it really mean for the company?
By answering these questions, you will be able to redefine your goals and solidify your consignment and improve your motivation.
If you need help making your goal more specific, try answering these next few questions:
- What do you want to achieve?
- Why is this goal important for your company?
- Who is in charge, and who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or boundaries are included?
M is for Measurable
If your goal is measurable, you will be able to quantify its development and check if you have actually accomplished anything. Also, if your goal is measurable, it's motivating for your team and employees. Some companies use their data to motivate their workers.
When data about the performance of the company is shared openly, employees will know what actions should they take, what leaders and managers expect from them, they can check how their progress is developing, and adjust their activities according to data toward goals.
A measurable goal should answer the next questions:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will you know when it is accomplished?
How do you measure your goals efficiently?
There is plenty of data, but not all of your data is the indicator of performance. Even though almost all data is valuable, they all don't represent key performance indicators. When you want to measure your goals, think about key performance indicators, rather than all your available data.
For instance, you want to measure the efficiency of your social media posts, and you're tracking how many followers you gained in the past few weeks across social platforms. But that metric doesn't necessarily show you whether your content is engaging or not. Instead of this metric, you should find the key performance indicator, the metric that will measure your performance. An excellent example of KPI for this goal should be measuring raises in likes, comments, and shares. To gain even more efficiency, track your KPIs using specialized dashboards because when your data becomes visual, it will provide life to your goals and make progress even more trackable for your entire team.
A is for Assignable
Your goals, and metrics that you used to measure them, should be assigned to one individual that will make strategic decisions, point the efforts of the team, and track to make sure development is made. This is not about assigning the most challenging task to someone so that you can blame them for failure. It's about choosing the right person, which will make all the right actions and make sure the goal is reached. The best strategy should be not only setting the overarching goal, then choosing the individual that believes in that goal.
For instance, the Vice President of Marketing may aim to a specific target. In order to reach it, she will give several assignments to digital advertising, content, and social media teams to accomplish supporting goals within their fields. The Vice President then will be able to track them all together on the KPI dashboard to see how teams' goals are contributing to the overall goal.
R is for Relevant
For the fourth criteria, you will need to do some soul researching, because relevance is about seeing the broader picture. What do you need to achieve, and why do you need that?
Whatever your higher goals are, they must be relevant to the ultimate success. If you are trying to reach the goal, and in the meantime, you realize it's not related to your ultimate goal, you should just drop it. Don't lose your energy, efforts, and resources on the wrong things that drive you away from your ultimate goal.
An affirmative answer to the next few questions will help you determine if your goal is relevant:
- Is it really worth it?
- Is the right time to do this?
- Does this match your other efforts and needs?
- Are you (or the person you assigned this goal to) the right person to reach this goal?
- Is it suitable for the current socio-economic situation?
T is for Time-bound
Every goal you set needs to have a date target so that you have a deadline or timeframe within which you need to focus and finish your hard work. This SMART goal rule will help you prevent daily work from taking priority over your high-level goals.
To set time-bound criteria, try answering the next few questions:
- What can I do within six months from now?
- What can I do within six weeks from now?
- What can I finish today?
Benefits and Drawbacks within SMART System
The SMART is an efficient business tool that will provide accuracy, focus, and motivation you and your team need to accomplish goals. This tool is also helpful when it comes to the ability to reach and encourage your team to determine objectives and set a deadline.
The SMART method is very easy to use, and you don't need specialized training or a professional to do it for you.
There are several definitions of the acronym SMART, meaning there is space for misunderstanding or loss of effectiveness.
Some leaders believe that this tool isn't working efficiently for long-term goals because of its lack of flexibility. Others think this tool is suffocating creativity.
Create a SMART Action Plan
Every goal you define thought the SMART method needs to have an action plan with it. This plan is focused on the achievement of your goal. For example, divide your goal into several milestones, highlight some possible pitfalls that could stop you from reaching that goal, and write down what you can do to overcome them. Also, write down the actions needed for achieving that goal and the deadline when you should finish it.
Use A Goals Planner
Planners are very useful, once you have created the milestone and a program in your SMART action plan, you can write them down in your planner. Once you accomplish a goal, you can cross it off, and by doing this, you will be organized, and you will be able to track your progress towards your goals.
Stay Focused With A Goal Journal
Your motivation may decrease over time, so keeping a journal may be very helpful not to forget why you started this at the first pace. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing you can do is to keep track of your development in your goal journal. This way, you can write down all your thoughts, improvement, and more, so you keep the focus on your goals and have a warning of why you need to stay motivated.
Following your SMART goals may be more challenging than just setting them, but with goal journal, you will be more dedicated, and you will follow your strategy to accomplish every goal that you set.
Marketing SMART Goals Examples
Blog Traffic Goal
- Specific: You want to increase your blog's traffic by raising your weekly publishing frequency form 6 to 9 times per week. You have two bloggers working on your blog posts, and you will tell them to increase the volume of the blogs from 3 posts per week to 4 posts per week. Also, your editor will start writing two posts per week, one post more than usual.
- Measurable : An 9% raise is your goal.
- Attainable : The blog traffic increased 6% more than last month when you started writing more blog posts in one week.
- Relevant : When you increase your blog traffic, you will also boost brand recognition and create more leads. This way, you will close more deals and make more profit.
- Time-Bound : The deadline for this goal is by the end of this month.
- SMART Goal : By the end of the month, your blog will see a 9% escalation in traffic by growing our weekly publishing frequency from 6 posts per week to 9 posts per week.
Facebook Video Views Goal
- Specific: You want to increase your average views per native video by casting your video content mix from nine topics to your six most popular themes.
- Measurable: A 30% Facebook video viewers increase is your goal.
- Attainable: When you trimmed down your video content mix on this social media platform from nine subjects to your eight most popular themes six months ago, your average views per native video raised by 30%.
- Relevant: By growing average views per native video on Facebook, you will expand your social media following and brand awareness, reaching more possible consumers with your video content.
- Time-Bound: You want this goal reached within six months.
- SMART Goal: Within six months, you will see a 30% gain in average video views per native video on your social media platform by trimming your video content mix from nine topics to your six most popular topics.
E-mail Subscription Goal
- Specific: You want to increase the number of your e-mail blog subscribers. You will do this by raising your budget for Facebook advertising on blog posts that acquired the most e-mail subscribers.
- Measurable: A 60% increase is your goal.
- Attainable: The number of your e-mail subscriptions grew by 50% since you started your strategy three months ago.
- Relevant: When you increase the number of your e-mail subscribers, your blog will drive more traffic, you will boost your brand awareness, and you will generate more leads.
- Time-Bound: The deadline for this goal is three months.
- SMART Goal: By increasing your Facebook advertising budget on your posts that historically obtained the most significant number of blog subscribers, you will increase the number of your e-mail blog subscribers by 50% in three months.
Webinar Sign-up Goal
- Specific: You need to increase the number of sign-ups for your Facebook Messenger webinar. You will do this by promoting your webinar through social media, e-mail, blog, and Facebook Messenger.
- Measurable: You want to increase the number of webinar sign-ups by 15%.
- Attainable: When you promoted your webinar through social media, e-mails, and your blog, the number of your webinar sign-ups increased by 10%.
- Relevant: Webinars will help you generate more leads, which will lead to increased sales, and therefore profit.
- Time-Bound: You want this by May 23rd by the day webinar starts.
- SMART Goal: You will see a 15% increase in sign-ups because of the promotions through social media, e-mails, blogs, and Facebook Messenger, by the date webinar starts.
Landing Page Performance Goal
- Specific: You need your landing pages to make more leads by shifting from a one-column structure to a two-column structure.
- Measurable: Landing page performance increased by 30%.
- Attainable: When you tested the styles of traditional one-column versus two-column structure, you have discovered that the second style drives more traffic on your landing pages. The second structure, two-column, coverts 27% better than the traditional style.
- Relevant: If you make more leads from your content, there will be more sales and more profit.
- Time-Bound: You want this goal fulfilled one year from now.
- SMART Goal: Because of switching the structure of your landing pages, you will generate 30% more leads, within a year.
Link-Building Strategy Goal
- Specific: You want to grow your website's organic traffic by evolving a link-building strategy that will get other publishers to link with your website. By doing this, your ranking in search engine results will be improved, providing more organic traffic for your website.
- Measurable: You goal is 30 backlinks to your website's homepage.
- Attainable: By using the search engine optimization analysis tool, you found out that around 500 low-quality links are directing to your homepage. Relying on the several partnerships you have with other businesses, and the fact that you generated ten new inbound links monthly, an extra 40 inbound links from a single link-building campaign is a notable but achievable target.
- Relevant: Organic traffic is the number one source for generating new leads, and backlinks are one of the most significant factors for an excellent ranking on search engines, which will drive organic traffic. Building links with high-quality publications will make your organic ranking and traffic boost, and therefore you will generate more leads and profit.
- Time-Bound: You want your goal accomplished in 4 months from now.
- SMART Goal: You will build an extra 40 backlinks that will direct traffic to your company's website. You will cooperate with your colleagues from the PR department in order to connect with publishers and generate an efficient outreach strategy.
What is the KPI?
Acronym KPI stands for key performance indicators which are representing a measurable value that is showing you how efficiently your business or company is achieving key business objectives.
Companies are using KPIs at multiple levels to estimate their success towards desired goals. High-level key performance indicators are focused on the overall company's performance or ultimate goals. At the same time, low-level KPIs are more focused on tasks or processes for a particular department such as marketing, human resources, sales, and others.
Key performance indicators should:
- Be focused on decisive business objectives
- Show you where to direct and focus resources
- Be measured against goals
You should make your KPIs measurable, as adding quantitative values will make the comparisons of performances easier whatever you have to measure.
KPIs can also be qualitative, but this approach isn't recommended because it can lead to confusion and personal interpretations of data.
Key performance indicators are often referred to as health metrics because they will show you how good, or bad, is your business or company developing.
KPI is Not a Goal
KPI is not the same thing as a goal or a company's objective. The goal is the result or performance you want to accomplish, while KPIs are metrics that will indicate to you whether you're on the right path to accomplish your goal.
People often mismatch these two, and that can have severe consequences to your business, company, or organization. That way, you will focus on KPI and not on the actual goal. For instance, you want to boost your sales. Most of your trades come from e-mail marketing, so you decide to focus all your efforts and resources on growing your e-mail list. You organize campaigns to grow the e-mail list, and ultimately you succeed, but what happens when you realize these e-mail addresses aren't well targeted? Your sales stay flat, and you actually lose. Why did that happen? You and your team focused on the KPI and not the actual goal itself. Growing your e-mail list was a metric and not the goal, which was to generate more sales. Even though your list became bigger, that was just an indicator of performance and not the goal.
SMART Goals - SMART KPIs
There is actually no such thing as SMART KPIs, but you can use some of the SMART goals criteria when you are setting KPIs for your company. The SMART method can also be applied to your KPIs, and that way, you can call them SMART KPIs.
- Specific: Redefine your KPIs, so they provide you with the best and most precise information about your development. For instance, don't name your KPI "Make more sales'', name it ''Generate more leads through social media marketing''.
- Measurable: Make sure you measure your KPIs frequently enough to help you stay on track. At least measure it weekly, and if it's possible, do it daily.
- Assignable: The person that owns the goal is also responsible for tracking the KPI.
- Relevant: It's important that your KPI answers the question ''why'', but even more important is to be directly connected with the goal. If your KPI is specific enough, this shouldn't be too hard.
- Time-bound: Build in milestones and deadlines into your key performance indicators, to be able to track it more efficiently.
Through the process of setting goals and objectives for you and your team, the SMART method will help you evaluate them, working as a framework that will help you redefine goals for maximum efficiency. The SMART criteria will help you define solid-rock targets within a deadline that will lead your company directly to success. Using the SMART method, managers should carefully draft objectives towards the ultimate goals.