Juggling around with lots of fancy objectives and tools and yet not finding yourself there? Well, digital marketing can get really overwhelming with so much to synchronize together. Therefore, one must learn about the SMART marketing strategy framework that allows businesses to focus on what’s important.
Rather than investing time copying what’s working for everyone out there, marketers must look for specific answers. Can you fit in a 30-size pair of jeans when your waist measures 34? Well, you know what I mean. Your particular needs would help you define what marketing strategy will work best for you.
And, as the name suggests, the SMART framework does what it says. Build smarter strategies that go a long way in complementing your products and services and gaining new customers, every now and then.
What is the SMART Marketing Strategy Framework?
The SMART framework measures the efficiency of your business goal. By assessing your objectives against this framework, you can minimize the chances of getting stuck with strategies that don’t work at all.
In other words, the SMART framework is a very crucial step that goes hand in hand while creating an effective digital marketing plan.
But before we go into much detail, here is what S.M.A.R.T Stands for:
Without any further ado, here is what each of these alphabets means when put together in the SMART marketing strategy framework.
S From SMART
S = Specific
As mentioned, it is very important to be specific. This brings us to our first pillar of robust marketing strategy elaborated using the SMART framework.
S means to be very specific about your marketing goals. How about an example to make things clearer as glass?
Think of a company wanting to base its quarterly marketing strategy based on the following objectives:
- Increase sales
- Attract more customers
- Leave competitors behind
When you look at those goals, what’s that one thing that seems missing: the numbers. Now, let’s imagine, the same company comes up with its revised goals:
- Increase the sales of X product by 20 per cent for local customers and 5 per cent for global users through offers and promotional copy
- Engage more through social media platforms to bring new customers on board and drive conversions
- We will initiate festival offers a week early from our competitors to get the perks of the early birds
While both the objectives are the same, the latter one is more specific. It allows experts to naturally define the foundation for their marketing strategy with ease.
M From SMART
M = Measurable
Now that you have laid the foundation, how about measuring the effectiveness of those objectives? The measurement from SMART marketing strategy frameworks assesses the success of the defined goals. You can find out if the goals are met or if not, how far you have made the progress.
Traditionally, marketers measured goals success through the cumulative sales done, gross revenue made, marketing overheads for each sale made, new customers acquired.
However, moving to digital platforms, these metrics have changed. At present, we look for social media engagements, website clicks, email reach rate, keyword rankings along with the conversions made through websites.
To carry this tracking, one does not need an accounting tool, rather an analytics application. By linking the software with all the digital platforms, it is possible to monitor SEO ranking as well as the success of social media strategies.
A From SMART
A = Attainable
The word pretty much speaks for itself! I am not against dreaming big, but goals should always be realistic, especially when it is time-bound.
When planning a marketing plan, timelines matter the most. We always define goals parallel to the expected duration it will take to accomplish those.
So, can you plan to lose 10 kgs in a month? Is it impossible? Not exactly.
The answer will depend on a lot of parameters:
- How often can you take out time for exercising?
- Do you have time to prepare nutritious meals for the entire month, without ordering cooked meals from restaurants?
- Do you have money to pay for the specific exercise and meal plans?
- Can you hire a personal trainer?
For some, these questions may turn to a ‘YES’. However, for many, ticking all the boxes right might seem unrealistic.
This is why ‘Attainable’ from the SMART framework is a crucial step towards formulating an efficient marketing plan. It helps you understand what is possible and how much can you do.
You must consider the following things before calling your goals accessible:
- Total Budget
- Skills and resources, if not, can you pay to hire people and tools to get things done
- Your competition
- The complexity of tasks required to reach the goals
In addition, never run towards the vision in haste. Rather, apply short term approach to slowly stepping towards the final objective – Your Vision.
For instance, “I want to add 10,000 more followers to my business page on Twitter” is a more attainable goal than “I want to gain the highest number of followers on Twitter against my competition”.
R From SMART
R = Relevant
Enough about the ways to set goals. Shouldn’t we also ensure that the goals we set are even relevant? As a digital strategist, I feel businesses must set goals that flow alongside the brand’s market positioning.
In other words, objectives should never clash with the business’ offering and must align with the business relationship with its customers. The more relevant your marketing plan is, the higher is its usefulness.
However, sometimes the game-changing plans, not aligning with the business persona can also achieve unimaginable milestones. It has its own place within marketing goals too.
T From SMART
T = Time-Limited
Time is what makes your goals urgent. Isn’t it?
What if I message you in the morning, “Let’s meet sometime!”
Would you find it necessary to schedule an appointment the same day? Or will you sleep over it? In most cases, people ignore these messages. If ever they come across the text while scrolling through old data, they might go ahead and fix an appointment.
However, what if, I message you in the morning saying, “Meet at 2:00 PM in my office.”
Even if you are busy for the day, you will take out time to ask the purpose of the meeting or if you could reschedule it, based on the priority.
This is what timelines do to us. It bounds us to complete things at related timestamps. The same goes for business objectives. While setting the time, you must care highly about the attainable from the SMART framework. It goes hand in hand.
Are you over-occupied with your business marketing plans? Do you think it takes a lifetime to perfect your goals and you need iterations often to finalize what’s best for your company’s success?
You are not alone? A lot of businesses plan in the air. Without analyzing what they actually want and how short terms goals can help, people roughly sketch what they will be doing for the day, week, month and even a year.
This only leads to one more year of worthless tries. But you can save yourself from those negative approaches, trying to limit your success one step further every day. Build plans based on the SMART marketing strategy framework and create realistic goals that compound with time.