How well you set your goals for any business or marketing strategy will have a huge impact your eventual success (or failure). At Rethink Marketing we believe that the best business objectives are SMARTER objectives. SMARTER is a mnemonic that we use to set objectives with our clients for any project based engagement.
S is for Specific
Unless you are clear and specific about what you want to achieve, then you probably won’t achieve it. When we set a goal that is specific it tells everyone involved why we are turning up to achieve towards this. Because the goal is specific we can measure our progress towards it. There are five W’s we need to answer to set a Specific goal:
M is for Measurable
There is an old management cliché that says if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. This is most true when it comes to goals. We work with our clients to set clear benchmarks before, and after our engagements. Evaluating your progress towards the goal on a daily, weekly and monthly basis not only provides you with a clear indication of your progress (or lack of), but it is also extremely motivational when you can see the objective approaching.
To put this in context imagine how much harder a marathon runner would find it without landmarks, mile stones or any way of gauging how far they had run or how long the had been going. Many I suspect might quit with only a few kilometres to go.
A is for Achievable
The best goals require the team to stretch a bit to achieve them, but they aren’t extreme or impossible to achieve. Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless to the business and will be ignored. Effective goals require the team to develop the right set of attitudes, skills, and commitment to achieve it.
When setting Achievable goals we need to ask just one question…How can this goal be achieved?
Goals that seem far away and difficult to achieve eventually come closer and seem more attainable when we apply ourselves toward achieving them. This is not because the goal gets smaller, but because we grow to achieve them.
R is for Reach
For any goal to be meaningful it must represent a reach. To achieve it you must reach a little further than you have ever done before.
The Australian Cricket Team has had some difficulty over the years in achieving low run chases in the second innings of big test matches or one day games. The same team however digs deep and often succeeds when they are faced with sometimes insurmountable targets which they chase down with zeal.
T is for Timeframe
A goal without a timeframe is a wish. To effectively set a goal you need to determine the answer just one more question…
Goals without deadlines or schedules for completion tend to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency, and our goals slip out into the “someday”,”maybe” list. If this is where your goal really belongs because you are not willing or able to commit the necessary resources towards achieving it, be honest with yourself up front,and create a folder titled “Someday/Maybe” write your “goal” down and file it in the filing cabinet, in case someday ever comes around. if not set a date that is achievable and commit to the goal.
E is for Evaluate
In setting your goal be sure to set down an evaluation plan that defines when how and why you will measure your progress towards this goal and book this in to your diary.
R is for Re-evaluate
Allow yourself the flexibility to re-evaluate the goal and/or your progress if and when the circumstances around your goal change. A sales target may meet all of the criteria when you set it, but if the business environment changes markedly then having a predefined way of re-evaluating the goal allowing for the changes ensures you won’t be left with a goal that is no longer relevant to you team.