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The importance of SMART goals in B2B marketing

When it comes to planning for the year ahead – savvy B2B marketers set SMART goals.

The importance of SMART goals in B2B marketing

SMART goals not only help us to set a clear strategy and direction, but also give us an aligned vision – ensuring that everyone in the team understands where we’re headed.

SMART goals are:

Specific – quantifiable numbers you can define e.g. getting 1000 visitors a month to your website (rather than ‘get more visitors to my website’

Measurable – if you set a target – you need to know whether you’ve achieved it! Make sure it’s something you can track

Achievable – Set goals that are challenging but within scope.  Missing by a mile can be demotivating so better to take small incremental steps unless you are super-confident

Relevant – Make sure the goals you set are in line with company and business goals

Time-bound – this means setting a timescale – maybe 1 month, 3 months or a year.

So why bother setting SMART goals marketing? What do they help us to do? 

Keep sight of the bigger picture

B2B Marketers are incredibly busy people. It’s easy when you are focused on tomorrow’s event or next months campaign to lose sight of the end game.  When the task list seems insurmountable, an acid test to keep you focused is to ask yourself whether your activity is contributing to achieving your SMART goals.

Get the whole team on board

Whether you are a team of one or a multi-skilled multi-function department, chances are you don’t work in isolation. A cohesive team, driving to achieve to well chosen common goals, will achieve more than a bunch of individual high flyers all heading in different directions.

Demonstrate value

As one of the highest variable costs, a key challenge faced by B2B marketing teams everywhere is proving value to the rest of the business. SMART goals help a marketing team to communicate and demonstrate its contribution.

So SMART goals can be pretty handy.  But what sort of goals should we set?  These will vary depending on the size and structure of your business and your team.  In a smaller business, marketing goals will be very closely aligned to those of the business and could include revenue or profit targets. In a bigger organisation, more specialist targets would be appropriate. Goals can be results or activity based, both are relevant.

A few examples:

  • Achieve £500,000 in new business by the end of the year
  • Win 6 new customers in the next six months
  • Generate 10 qualified opportunities per month
  • Generate 50 qualified leads per month
  • Generate 50 landing page conversions per month
  • Generate 50 clickthroughs from emails per month
  • Generate 200 clickthroughs from social media per month
  • Generate 1000 website session visitors per month
  • Achieve 15% marketing pipeline contribution
  • Publish a blog post every week
  • Tweet on average 3 x daily for a quarter
  • Communicate with your customers at least once a month
  • Publish a new premium content piece every quarter

SMART goals can make a real difference to success or failure. Use them to help stay focused on the activities that really matter. And when you reach your targets - don't forget to shout it from the rooftops!

Want to find out how SMART goals fit in the grand scheme of things?  Download the Great Big Inbound Marketing Checklist. 

Download inbound checklist

About the Author: Virginia Bray

Virginia Bray

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