Make your goals specific and measurable
by Maria Corcoran
posted on 11-19-2013
In order for a campaign to be a success, the goals must conform to the seven letter acronym SMARTER. As I discussed in my last post, the acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely, Evaluate, and Reevaluate. Last time, we represented those goals via demonstration of a real-world case study. This post gives the meanings behind each phrase and puts a more theoretical tone to the elements of SMARTER.
Identify what you can affect to increase traffic – changes to cost per click (CPC), clickthrough rate (CTR) and quality score (QS). Is that enough? You could flood the account with traffic or be strategic about it and look at conversion rate or return on ad spend (ROAS). Tweak your goals and understand what is needed in order to reach your goal. Convince yourself that you can realistically achieve it.
Specific – Look at your data set, and set specific goals driven using insights from your data. Set monthly/quarterly goals, but measure weekly to track revenue increase.
Measurable – Are you tracking and collecting the right data? The best strategy in the world is useless if you don’t know what’s happening. Is the data meaningfully measureable? Failing to accurately and routinely measure can drive a strategy into failure very quickly. Measurements must be performed and recorded routinely and compared in order to know if the strategy is being effective.
Attainable – The goal must be realistic and attainable. It can be difficult to judge whether a goal is attainable. It’s much easier if instead you consider the actions that must be taken to achieve that goals. Is each of those actions attainable.
Relevant – The goal must be relevant to the overriding strategy. For example, if you have a website that sells widgets, one of your goals should be to sell more widgets (remembering to set a specific number, per the S in this acronym). However, a goal of ensuring that a certain number of people read a particular page of your website would be completely irrelevant if it didn’t lead to more sales. Is the goal relevant?
Timely – It must be possible to achieve the goal within the timeline you have. If there is no time line, you should create one. An open-ended strategy cannot be effectively measured because it has no end. Is the goal timely?
Evaluate – Consider the overriding strategy, the action plan, the processes you have in place, the results you’re achieving, and any external factors that may influence the strategy. Evaluate the goal and take the appropriate actions (i.e. change the strategy based on the information at hand).
Reevaluate – Don’t be afraid to change the strategy once it has been put in play. New information may present itself that needs to be actioned. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you may realize that you receive more orders at a specific time of day and decide to target your marketing to those hours. It is extremely important to record regular measurements and reevaluate the strategy routinely to ensure that you are achieving a positive ROI and achieving your goals.
Data considerations in the pre-thinking process are just as critical as data collection, integration, and evaluation during the execution phase of marketing campaign management. Then, the post processing data analysis and lessons learned are where the best practices for conducting future campaigns are developed and implemented. This is also where your team becomes the corporate and industry expert in getting results and adding positively to both revenue and profit.