How to Set Objectives

“To be the best accountant in Madison County!” Is this a good objective?

Maybe, but it’s not a SMART one.

Setting good objectives is not always easy.

Here is the trick.

Objectives should be SMART.

Specific

Be clear about exactly what you want to achieve. For example, “To generate lots of enquiries” is not specific enough. “To generate ten enquiries” is specific.

Measurable

You can’t assess the results of something that you can’t measure. If your goal is to create brand awareness, how will you measure this? Does the goal move the strategy forward?

For example, you may wish to create 90% brand awareness within your target market before June 30th next year.

To measure this, you could interview a sample and assess whether 90% of this sample knows your brand – prompted or unprompted.

Achievable

It’s no use setting objectives that are too high, this just disheartens everyone. Objectives should be a stretch, but not too big a stretch.

Relevant

Are the marketing objectives relevant to the business objectives? Marketing is the tool for actioning a company’s strategy, so they need to work hand in hand.

For example, if the business goal is to generate $100,000 in product sales, the marketing goal may be to attract 200,000 visitors to the website and convert 50% or more to a sale.

Time-bound

Put a deadline on it. When do you want to accomplish your objective. Be specific about the date.

When we set our objectives, we should also understand the strategic implications. If we want to generate ten leads, how many letters will we have to send? What is the past pattern? Ten times as many? Therefore, we will need to send out 100 letters each month. We may need to consider if we are able to do this before we set our objective in concrete.

Do you have any tried and true objectives for your advertising and promotions? How do you measure your ad performance?