From SMART to SMARTER marketing objectives: Discover how to define marketing objectives, measure your digital marketing goals, and use data to inform your marketing strategy

When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used SMART mnemonic. You will know that SMART is used to assess the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes. By definition, an effective SMART marketing objective is: Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. One of the main reasons we called our site and service SMART Insights is because we help marketers succeed with a more structured approach to marketing strategy and planning.

Defining your marketing objectives

Our handy graphic summarizes the five different SMART components we recommend for your marketing objectives. Of course, different people interpret objectives differently. You can refer to the Wikipedia definition of SMART…

The decision to act, or not to act, can have a knock-on effect on how your company will weather the storm of inflation and change in 2022

In our recent LinkedIn poll, 30% of respondents admitted to making no changes to their marketing strategies in light of inflation. Suggested changes we gave include making marketing more efficient (majority response at 58%) and reducing spend. Only 7% are adapting their strategy to reduce spend - which shows most of the ‘adapters’ are doing so with a growth mindset. But, alarmingly, the same poll showed that 30% are not planning to adjust their strategy, or were not sure. The ‘not sure’ answer indicated, to me, either slow decision-making or poor management, neither being great for reacting to a global phenomenon. So what can we learn from this?

65% of marketers are adapting in light of…

Eliminate bloated bottom lines by adopting a zero-based budgeting approach

The ability to develop an efficient and effective budgeting and forecasting process requires extensive experience and on-the-job training that can take years before your boss finally - if ever - says, “You don’t need me anymore.” Accurate forecasting (even close to being in the ballpark) is the hallmark of the great marketers I have worked with. Sadly, I can count them on one hand. In addition to a wide-ranging combination of consumer, channel, process, and delivery knowledge, they were also comfortable and capable in the numbers department. Although we’ve introduced different forecasting techniques to brief marketers on how to use a more data-driven approach, the concept of zero-based budgeting is becoming a popular technique. As campaigns running all around us right now prove, anyone, can invest/spend/blow (take your pick) money that flows from the magic money tree that…

The next best thing to an SEO crystal ball

Calculating return on SEO activity is a bit of a headache if we’re honest. With so many variables, how on earth do you confidently forecast what will happen? Forecasting anything is never going to be a simple black and white process, but compared to forecasting PPC, organic traffic is a real tough one to predict. As SEO continues to establish itself as a credible marketing channel, forecasting is going to be a requirement that at some point we’re all going to face. If you’re looking to sell big investments in SEO or gain new budget for your activity, I think it’s a pretty fair request to provide an understanding of what returns are available. That’s just good business sense / due diligence. If you’ve never had to work on a forecast before but have suddenly been asked to do one (typically these requests come last…