Before you know it, it will be 2020. It's time to put together those 2020 marketing goals you haven't had time to even think about. Right now, they're a little vague, and you're running out of time. Why not try creating SMART goals?

What are SMART goals?

Since it was first used in 1981, the meaning of SMART has been modified to stand for slightly different things to different people. Despite the slight variations, SMART refers to goals that are:


Increasing blog traffic is a nice goal, but it isn't specific. A more specific goal would be: Increase blog traffic by adding a category of Employee Engagement to the blog.


A goal needs to be quantifiable. If you can't measure a goal, how do you know if you have reached it? Do you want to increase traffic by 5%, 25%, or 50%?  


If the goal isn't achievable, it's not a goal; it's a dream. Increasing blog traffic by 25% may be unrealistic if your current monthly increase is less than 2%.


Marketing goals must have a purpose. Why increase blog traffic? Are you trying to improve your inbound marketing strategy? Do you need better lead generation?  


The goal may be to increase traffic by 25% by the end of 2020, but setting a quarterly goal of 5% may be a better option so that you can adjust tactics if needed.

If you want SMARTER goals, be sure to evaluate and revise your progress at set intervals throughout the year.


Increase blog traffic by 25% in 2020 by posting two to three articles per week in a new category of Employee Engagement, and assess its efficacy on a monthly basis, making adjustments as needed.

Now that you have goals, how do you use SMART goals to create a successful marketing plan?

How to Use SMART goals

Marketing goals are not created in a vacuum. They are created in the context of meeting corporate sales goals. So how do you ensure that your marketing goals are in tune with your company's goals? 

Identify Business Objectives

Business objectives can be long-term, such as "Become an industry leader by 2025," or short term, such as "increase revenue in 2020 by 15%." 

Set Priorities

A marketing strategy needs to address all business objectives, but time and budget constraints may make it impossible to address the objectives equally. It is essential to set priorities so that you know where to focus your resources. 

With prioritized business objectives defined, you are ready to put together your annual marketing plan. Using SMART goals can make writing that plan a little easier. For example, consider the goal of increasing blog traffic. What changes should you make to align it with a goal of a 15% increase in revenue?

Align Goals

Aligning goals means taking a thoughtful look at your business and marketing goals. If the company needs to increase revenue, you need to ask yourself questions about your blogging goal, such as:

  • What percentage of website visitors are converted into buyers?  
  • If you have a 20% conversion rate, how many visitors are needed to increase revenue by 15%? 
  • Do you need to look at more than increased blog traffic? 
  • Do you have the budget to hire writers?  

By answering these questions, you'll see your marketing plan take shape. Maybe you could drive more traffic with a downloadable eBook instead of more blog posts.  Instead of using resources to hire writers, you might try a print campaign. When your marketing and business goals align, it's much easier to develop a plan that supports company-wide objectives.  

Contact Experts

A successful marketing plan takes time. It also requires expertise in a range of marketing tools such as website design, digital marketing, and print advertising.  That's why contacting us can be the best use of your resources. Our experts know how to align SMART goals to business objectives. Let us help you work SMARTER, not harder in 2020.



Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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