A SMART Marketing Approach

A SMART marketing approach can be used as the blueprint for creating efficient and effective marketing campaigns. SMART is an acronym that uses specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed objectives to outline a successful marketing approach. By examining each aspect of the SMART marketing objectives, you can better understand how to incorporate them into your marketing plan.

In order for a plan to be effective you should already have outlined your goals (it’s surprising how many companies don’t do this) and know your intended audience. All goals you set should be SMART:

Specific – Can the detail in the information sufficiently pinpoint problems or opportunities?

Measurable – Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric?

Actionable – Can the information be used to improve performance?

Relevant – Can the information be applied to the specific problem faced by the manager?

Time-bound – Can the information be viewed through time to identify trends?

Examples of SMART objectives

Here are some typical examples of SMART objectives, including those to support objective setting in customer acquisition, conversion and retention categories for digital marketing:

  • Digital channel contribution objective. Achieve 10% online revenue contribution within two years.
  • Acquisition objective. Acquire 50,000 new online customers this financial year at an average cost per acquisition (CPA) of $50 with an average profitability of $15.
  • Conversion objective. Increase the average order value of online sales to $42 per customer.
  • Engagement objective. Increase active customers purchasing at least once a quarter to 300,000 in a market

A basic marketing plan includes the following information:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Situational Analysis
  3. SWOT Analysis (Opportunities/Issue Analysis)
  4. Marketing Objectives
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Action Plan
  7. Financial Forecast
  8. Controls

A written formal marketing plan is essential to a company’s success.  Please note that these plans will change over time and need to be actively reviewed and updated.  The marketing plan serves as a reference point for all marketing activities during the given time period.  Developing the marketing plan allows for discussion between employees, departments and/or management teams.  The discussions and plans result in an agreed upon agenda for the subsequent business activities.  Marketing plans are often included in business plans to show investors how the company will grow and how investors will receive their return on investment.

Marketing is an important step in the success of a business. The purpose of business is to create a customer and to do this, two functions are needed, innovation and marketing.  Marketing creates awareness, incites interest, produces desire and leads to action. Marketing objectives set using the SMART goal criteria help managers and department heads create specific objectives that can be achieved.  Marketing objectives are part of the larger marketing plan.  The marketing plan serves as a reference point for all marketing activities during the given time period and is part of the larger business plan.


John Goddard
John Goddard
Vice President of Sales

John Goddard is a Vice President of Sales with Valve+Meter Performance Marketing.