How do you make objectives SMART?
SMART objectives are simple and quick to learn. The objective is the starting point of the marketing plan. Once environmental analyses (such as SWOT, Five Forces Analysis, and PEST) and marketing audit have been conducted, their results will inform SMART objectives. SMART objectives should seek to answer the question ‘Where do we want to go?’. The purposes of SMART objectives include:
- To enable a company to control its marketing plan.
- To help to motivate individuals and teams to reach a common goal.
- To provide an agreed, consistent focus for all functions of an organization.
All objectives should be SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed.
- Specific – Be precise about what you are going to achieve.
- Measurable – Quantify your objectives.
- Achievable – Are you attempting too much?
- Realistic – Do you have the resources to make the objective happen (men, money, machines, materials, minutes)?
- Timed – State when you will achieve the objective (within a month? By February 2018?)
Some examples of SMART objectives follow:
1. Profitability Objectives
To achieve a 20% return on capital employed by August 2024.
2. Market Share Objectives
To gain 25% of the market for sports shoes by September 2023
3. Promotional Objectives
To increase awareness of the dangers of AIDS in France from 12% to 25% by June 2024.
To increase trail of X washing powder from 2% to 5% of our target group by January 2026.
4. Objectives for Survival
To survive the current double-dip recession.
5. Objectives for Growth
To increase the size of our Brazilian operation from $200,000 in 2027 to $400,000 in 2028.
6. Objectives for Branding
To make Y brand of bottled beer the preferred brand of 21-28 year old females in North America by February 2026.
There are many examples of SMART objectives. Be careful not to confuse objectives with goals and aims. Goals and aims tend to be more vague and focus on the longer-term. They will not be SMART. However, many SMART objectives start off as aims or goals and therefore they are of equal importance.