Text books, college lecturers and the graduates from the Mars management training programme extol the virtues of marketing planning and the importance of setting SMART objectives.
And for good reason.
Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed objectives give your marketing meaning and focus. If you know you have to sell a set number of units through a particular distribution channel over a given time period, you can direct your resources to ensuring you meet, even exceed that objective.
And when in total alignment with overall corporate and sales objectives, your marketing is even easier and even more focused.
How to Write a SMART objective
Specific – state what exactly is to be achieved (like an increase in sales or awareness).
Measurable – establish whether or how far the objective has been achieved (whether a % or £ increase).
Achievable – set against the context of the business and its market environment (growing, declining, new market).
Realistic – set against the context of previous performance (comparing like for like periods and sales).
Timed – ensure you allow an acceptable timeframe.
Too often, companies and marketers get sidetracked by whims, fads and trends, and channel energy into activities that don’t deliver against objectives.
Review your marketing plan. Do it today. If you can’t link an activity to a marketing and higher business objective, immediately stop spending time and effort on it. And if you are labouring to meet an objective, reassess your activities to ensure that they get the attention they need.