smart goals for marketing

How to set smart goals for marketing that will inspire your team

By: on October 26, 2017
Posted in: Inbound MarketingMarketing

Smart goal setting is a method that is very specific and works especially well for marketing. You decide what you’re working towards and then come up with a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goal. We wrote a detailed article on setting them here if you aren’t familiar with the process.

The beauty of setting smart goals for marketing specifically is that you have a tangible, quantifiable objectives to work towards. Rather than just vaguely deciding you want more leads and clients, you have measurable ways to know that you’re getting there. That being said, you can’t set goals for an entire department, or organization, and get there alone. It takes a team to drive results.

If you asked your team what your goals are right now, would they be able to tell you? And if they could, would they be excited about them? Would those be the top of their mind when they’re working? If your answer to these questions is no, you’re doing yourself and the business a disservice. It’s time to set new goals that light up and engage your team.

But how?

Schedule an open brainstorming session

Send out an invite to your team for a meeting where you’re going to discuss goals. Let them know that you want an open conversation and that you really value their insight and feedback. This provides 3 positive results:

  • Your team will have a good insight to how things work now and potential hang-up’s or areas of opportunity you may not see.
  • When people feel as though they’ve helped to create something, they feel more attached and responsible for the results.
  • Creating an open dialogue for goal setting, where everyone feels heard, makes your team more aligned in working together.

Here’s how to facilitate a successful goal setting session with your team:

-Come into the meeting with the overall goal in mind, for instance, “I want to get the marketing team 30 new leads a month.”

-At the meeting, print off a S.M.A.R.T. goal setting sheet (we’ve attached our template below) for each person so they understand the structure. Let them know the ultimate goal they’re trying to figure out how to work towards; for instance “We want the marketing team to generate 30 new leads a month.”

-Make sure you let the team know at the beginning of the meeting that the purpose of this is to generate fresh ideas and work together as a team. Create an environment for everyone to openly share their ideas without concerns of repercussion.

-Some people don’t enjoy speaking in group settings, consider getting cue cards for everyone to write their answers on

-Get everyone to agree on a timeline and a course of actions to achieve this goal. Write them down and post them somewhere visible to the entire group.

Ask these questions:

“What are we currently doing to work towards this goal that you would stop, start, and continue?”

Example: If the goal is to generate 30 new leads a month, one of your marketing team members might say they want to stop doing cold calls, start using an email automation to send a greeting to new contacts, and continue to create blogs each month to generate website traffic.

“Imagine that 6 months from now we’ve hit our target. Do we have processes in place to accommodate this goal?”

Setting goals is important but making sure you have the resources and systems in place to handle them is also crucial.

“What are some ways we could work towards this goal that we aren’t doing currently?”

Like stop, start, and continue this question works to explore options you may not have already thought of.

“Why do we want to work towards this? What are the benefits to us?”

Knowing why you’re working towards this goal is imperative to motivation.


After the meeting be sure to bring these goals up during internal meetings to check in with progress and keep them top of mind.

Goal setting is crucial for marketing success. Make sure you’re doing it in a way that’s going to align your whole team and watch how much easier the process becomes. Want to learn more on goal setting? Download our free S.M.A.R.T. goal template here:

SMART Goals For Marketing