How to Set Smart Marketing Goals for Your Business This Year

setting SMART goals concept on napkinWe’re excited to kick off our 2016 marketing goals with a bang. And if you’re anything like our small business clients, you have some fun and interesting projects in the works too.

Maybe you set a New Year’s resolution to go big in your business this year, or perhaps you’ve simply set the intention to pick up the pace, step up your game, and take some mighty leaps forward. You’re ready to drive your vision onward, and we’re happy to cheer you on, be your support team, and guide your steps along the way. But before you hit the ground running with your 2016 marketing plan in hand, here’s a quick high five for you — 5 tips to set smart marketing goals for your business this year.

Think through what you really want out of your marketing, business, and life this year. Go back over past years, carry on what worked, and toss aside what didn’t. Tap into your growing inner wisdom as a business owner, and make intelligent choices for your future.

And when you sit down to write (or re-write) your smart marketing goals for 2016, we encourage you to keep the process clean and simple, by using a tried and true framework — the good ol’ SMART goals acronym.

1. Specific

What exactly do you want to achieve with your marketing this year? You might have in mind that this is the year you’re going to “become known” or “get yourself out there” or something equally inspiring, but far too vague. It’s helpful to have that big-picture intention in mind; but for your marketing to be most effective, you want to break it down even further. Are you looking to increase your web traffic, grow your email list, convert more leads into customers? Pinpoint precisely what you want to accomplish, why you want to achieve that particular goal, and what it’s going to take to get it done. The more specific the better, because the more clarity you have, the more motivated you will be.

2. Measureable

Know your existing numbers, and set a goal to reach new and better numbers in 2016. What metrics do you want to increase in your business marketing this year? For example, you may want to measure email list subscribers to project how many potential sales you can expect when you launch your next product. If you’ve been flying under the radar, you might want to boost the numbers of your social media followers to get the attention of traditional media or a publisher. If you’ve been trying to sell lots of low-priced items, maybe it’s time to shift your focus to promote fewer higher-ticket sales. Take a hard look at the numbers and always count what matters most.

3. Attainable

We love big dreamers around here. But there’s no reason to set yourself up for disappointment when you have the opportunity to set challenging yet reasonably attainable goals. If you made $100k last year, does it really make sense to set your sights on raking in a million in 2016? Doubling your revenue would be a big win. If you’re brand new on the scene, are you buying into the hype of having a “six figure launch” out of the gate with no reputation, prospects, or network to speak of? Why not aim to get some amazing client experience under your belt and expand from there? Let’s reel it in and get real — consider your resources, your constraints, and potential obstacles; and empower yourself to grow steadily and then exponentially over time by setting achievable goals that fuel your entrepreneurial fire.


It’s important for your marketing goals to be relevant to your overall business goals, and that your timing is appropriate. Be sure to direct your efforts towards the objectives most pertinent to your growth potential, and don’t let distractions steer you off course. Becoming an Instagram celebrity among Millennials probably won’t help you sell directly to your Baby Boomer ideal customers. Planning a big online course launch before building an email list is a sign that you have your marketing priorities out of order. Jumping into a major promotional push to grow your business full steam ahead, when you don’t have the capacity, staff, or systems in place to expand, could be a costly mistake. Devise relevant marketing goals suitable for your business where you are right now, this year.

5. Time-bound

Give yourself a sense of urgency and light a fire under your team by working with due dates and deadlines in mind. Otherwise, you’ll find that you leave yourself susceptible to letting the daily grind of running the operations of your business overshadow your marketing goals. Without setting and sticking to a timeline, you could find yourself with lots of ideas and a solid plan, but little progress at the end of the quarter or year. You may even look up from a completed project or product delivery only to find no customers in the pipeline. So determine what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week, this month, and over the next 90 days to help you meet your smart marketing goals?

As business owners with big visions, sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves. And sometimes we can sell ourselves short. It’s critical to your marketing success to choose the right goals and put some proper planning in place to continuously move forward in the right direction. At the end of the year, you can cross the finish line, look back on your wins, learn from your efforts, and feel inspired to keep going with a true sense of accomplishment.

Looking for guidance and support in setting and reaching your smart marketing goals in 2016? Give us a shout!

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