smart goals in marketingWith 2013 winding to a close, it’s time to get a jump start on next year and begin setting marketing goals for 2014. While it may seem like a simple task, you need to take time to identify your professional ambitions and pinpoint specific methods that you’ll use to accomplish your objectives. As you sit down to brainstorm about your marketing approach for 2014, keep in mind some “SMART” ideas to make the process easier.

  • SPECIFIC - Be very detailed in setting marketing goals for 2014. Instead of just vowing to turn a higher profit as compared to 2013, lay out the steps you’ll take to increase your sales. For example, pledge to make ten more phone calls than the previous week or post two blog entries per day. You might want to start with a summary of the goals you want to achieve, followed by specific numbers that will help you accomplish them.
  • MEASUREABLE - Make your marketing goals quantitative instead of using broad strokes or general terms like “more” and “better.” Website metrics and online tools can help you determine where additional effort is necessary to improve your sales. If you find that certain traffic is driven to your site via one particular source, devote more resources to exploit the phenomenon. It might be helpful to categorize your goals into appropriate segments, such as website updates as separate from social media posts and blog entries.
  • ATTAINABLE - Be realistic when setting marketing goals for 2014, instead of chasing a pipe dream that will result in failure. Avoid challenges that would be impossible, too complicated or simply impractical to attain. Make sure your vision is achievable with hard work, not one that requires you to move mountains or develop super powers.
  • REALISTIC - No one knows you and your business better than yourself, so be honest when setting marketing goals for 2014. If you’ve had failures in the past and found that accomplishing certain goals is simply out of reach, it’s a waste of resources to continue. While it may be a goal you want to achieve, chasing an impossible dream won’t result in sales or increased profits. Your efforts are better focused elsewhere, on goals that you're confident you can complete with appropriate efforts and a reasonable time frame
  • TIMEBOUND - Stick with a deadline when establishing marketing goals in the New Year, rather than just promising to accomplish them as soon as possible. Based on your experience, you should be able to pinpoint the amount of time each of your goals will take to achieve. Add to this period the delays and issues that will inevitably arise, and you can establish a time frame to help you stay true to your goals. Commit to this schedule, stay motivated, and increase your efforts if you haven't hit your goal as the deadline rolls around. It's smart to incorporate the agenda into your calendar so you're alerted in advance and can concentrate resources on accomplishing what you aim to do.

It may be time consuming and require you to step outside your professional comfort zone, but setting marketing goals for 2014 is a necessary part of moving into the New Year. Just as with any significant undertaking, success results only from the proper investment of time and resources as you plan the next phase.

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