Be SMART About Your Marketing Goals

October 31, 2017

Start Your Holidays SMART

Before we turn the corner from online marketing channels to in-store holiday shopping, let’s take a moment to talk about what it is you’re doing this retail season. When December 31 comes around and you close the doors for the last time this year, what do you want to see? Better sales? Increased customer base? Higher profit margins?

If You Don’t Measure, You Don’t Know

Do you know that person who is so great at business that she just spends money without consulting the budget? We don’t either. The truth is that you have to have an idea of what you have in order to know where you’re going and when you’ve gotten there. SMART goals are a management concept, but it easily applies to your marketing efforts for the Christmas shopping season.

First Things First

If you haven’t heard of SMART goals, and even if you have, let’s get a high-level overview of them so we are all on the same page. SMART is an acronym that means:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

These principles are typically applied to things like job performance or project management, but they can be a gift during the holidays.

Let’s Get SMART

We’ll take the SMART acronym apart to show you how it can be applied to your retail marketing goals.

Specific: this is what we started with, you can’t know what you’ve done if you aren’t measuring it. When setting a goal, be very specific about what it is you want to achieve. For marketing, this can be increased visibility, traffic, sales, new customers, profit, or any other targeted goal you set for yourself and your team.

Measureable: While specific is good, it isn’t measurable. Measure is how you’re going to know if you’ve reached your goal. If you want to increase your new customers, set a number. How many new customers would make you happy on December 31?

Achievable: Of course we’d like Santa to bring us the motherlode of profit through sustained foot traffic, that, unfortunately, isn’t likely to happen. (We’re not saying you’re on Santa’s naughty list!) When you are setting your goal and identifying the measure you’ll use, make that something that is lofty, but not out of reach. You’re going to be busy enough this holiday season providing excellent customer experiences--don’t make it harder on yourself thinking “if only” at the end of the day.

Relevant: Along the lines of specific, your goal needs to be something within your reach. This may be a baby step to a bigger goal (and we hope it is). If you’re a new business with a small, loyal following, asking one or two to talk about products you provide them on their social media pages is more realistic than reaching out to a Kardashian asking to be a stop on their social media promoted holiday shopping spree.

Time bound: Don’t think this point is holidays only--why limit yourself, especially when there is so much happening this time of year? Break your SMART goals into smaller goals (ideas?!) that lead to long-term success. Set a 2-week goal for your seasonal employees to be up-to-speed on their role in the store. Set a one-month goal for planning a successful in-store event. Also, don’t let the end of the year be the finish line; think about how you’re going to use your holiday successes to launch your 2018 goals.

Let’s Practice

Sometimes it’s easier to see something in practice so let’s walk through a holiday goal for a retail business.

If Santa were to bring me a store of my own, it would be an accessories store. Coming into OND, the shopping months of October, November, and December, I decide I want to bring attention to the fact that I carry a certain brand of handbags.

Specific: I want to increase the number of people who know about this brand of bag.

Measurable: I want to sell 30% more of this brand.

Achievable: In the second quarter of selling this brand, my sales have increased 24%. 30% is 6% more--a challenging number, but possible considering we are in the holiday season.

Relevant: In order to bring more attention to the brand, I will do 2 1-week targeted social media promotions about the bags that include a code that I can use to track how many online customers convert in my store.

Time bound: The time of this campaign will be through Q4 and just in time to introduce the new line of bags that are coming in Q1 2018!

Hopefully you see a few opportunities within this demo campaign that would naturally fit into other holiday marketing efforts: setting up a mailing list for the handbags; offering a discount for a 2018 purchase; deciding if the investment in the 2018 line is worth the ROI. Of course your business goals don’t run independently, one at a time, they need to work in tandem, one helping the other; the same is true for your marketing goals.

Putting a Bow on It

LIke the child who lives in an in-town apartment and asks for a pony for Christmas, setting goals that sound wonderful but don’t consider the specifics is simply wishful thinking. Be smart about your end result. Being SMART will help you think about attainable steps you can take that allow you to be successful in the short term, future, and long term. You might not come out with a 1000% profit increase over last OND, but you could find that the 30% growth in your customer base will set you on your way to a better 2018 holiday season.

Let Sellr help you set and surpass your SMART goals this holiday season.

Renee Clare-Kovacs is the Content Marketing Strategist at Sellr. She is passionate about creating digital marketing strategies that help business owners develop successful relationships with customers and vendors.