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SMART Marketing Goals: An in-depth look.


We recently made a SMART Marketing Goals planner available for free to help plan your marketing strategy and goals for the next quarter, month or year. Many have made the time to use our planner to make their marketing lives easier and more effective. If you’re new to SMART marketing objectives and goal setting, you can see the steps involved to help you use the planner to its potential below:

If you don’t already have the template, download it here:


Step 1: Summarize Your Overall Goal

The first step is to write down a summary of what your goal is. Goals are not always clear for many, so this may be harder than it seems — but forcing yourself to write it down here creates a clear picture that you’ll find extremely helpful. In the orange box, set a numbers-driven goal (keeping the SMART acronym in mind).

If you can’t come up with one now, leave it blank for now and come back to it once you’ve completed the sheet — you might find you have an easier time with it, as the template helps you figure your goals out.


(Note: The example has our company name and logo — you would swap this out for your company’s.)

Step 2: Categorize Your Goal

As a digital marketing agency, Creative Arcade has found that most marketers need to do one of three things:

  • get more visitors to their site
  • get more visitors to convert into leads
  • get more leads to convert into customers.

    When you click on the right of the white box in your template, a drop-down will appear:


Use the drop-down menu to select which best describes your own current situation.

Step 3: Set a Specific Numerical Goal

Now that you’ve narrowed down your goal, it’s time to set a number or value to work toward — this can be the most difficult step of all, but this template should make it easy! If you’re new to inbound marketing or are not sure what you should be aiming for when setting your goal then use ONE of the THREE calculators in this step. It will help give you an idea of what you should be working towards.

smart5.pngAs an example, let’s say I am, generally, new to marketing but I know that I need to focus converting more of my traffic into leads. I’d use the second calculator you see here, outlined in orange, like so:


Let’s  just insert my average monthly site visits — let’s just say 10,000 visits — and my current visit-to-lead conversion rate. Once I add in those two numbers, the rest is completed for me and I now know exactly how many leads I should strive to generate.

Step 4: Select a Completion Date

A goal is just a dream until you add a deadline. Select the length of time you think it will take to reach your goal. This will help you figure out how aggressive you need to be with your marketing efforts.


Step 5: Commit the Time

Now that you got all aggressive (it’s okay, we kind of encouraged you there), it’s time for a reality check. Of course, we would all love to see huge growth in short periods of time, but are you able to commit to putting in the hours it takes to achieve your goal?


By selecting how many hours a week you can work — and we mean really work — on inbound marketing, you’re setting another smaller marketing strategy goal that helps your marketing dreams become reality. This personal goal is something to be mindful of and work toward reaching every week. Of course, Creative Arcade will help along the way.

Step 6: Be Aware of Potential Obstacles

There are always going to be things that may stop us from reaching these goals. Figure those out now so you’re aware of them, you can start planning ways of getting around them, and you can prevent them from turning into excuses for not reaching your goal. Preparing for the obstacles now will make it that much easier to reach your marketing goals.


With a clear goal and a timeline, you can start to put together a strategy to make your best year yet. Just don’t forget the most important part of any goal strategy:

  • planning the celebration when you reach your goal!

    And then, of course, remember to use this worksheet to help you set another goal, and then another, etc, etc.

    Creative Arcade is an digital marketing and graphic design agency located in Duluth, Minnesota who believe in the Power of Play. They provide marketing strategy, inbound marketing and overall marketing and graphic design, web design and development and much more.