In order for a cam­paign to be a suc­cess, the goals must con­form to the seven let­ter acronym SMARTER. As I dis­cussed in my last post, the acronym stands for Spe­cific, Mea­sur­able, Attain­able, Rel­e­vant, Timely, Eval­u­ate, and Reeval­u­ate. Last time, we rep­re­sented those goals via demon­stra­tion of a real-world case study. This post gives the mean­ings behind each phrase and puts a more the­o­ret­i­cal tone to the ele­ments of SMARTER.

Iden­tify what you can affect to increase traf­fic – changes to cost per click (CPC), click­through rate (CTR) and qual­ity score (QS). Is that enough? You could flood the account with traf­fic or be strate­gic about it and look at con­ver­sion rate or return on ad spend (ROAS). Tweak your goals and under­stand what is needed in order to reach your goal. Con­vince your­self that you can real­is­ti­cally achieve it.

Spe­cific – Look at your data set, and set spe­cific goals dri­ven using insights from your data. Set monthly/quarterly goals, but mea­sure weekly to track rev­enue increase.

Mea­sur­able – Are you track­ing and col­lect­ing the right data? The best strat­egy in the world is use­less if you don’t know what’s hap­pen­ing. Is the data mean­ing­fully mea­sure­able? Fail­ing to accu­rately and rou­tinely mea­sure can drive a strat­egy into fail­ure very quickly. Mea­sure­ments must be per­formed and recorded rou­tinely and com­pared in order to know if the strat­egy is being effective.

Attain­able – The goal must be real­is­tic and attain­able. It can be dif­fi­cult to judge whether a goal is attain­able. It’s much eas­ier if instead you con­sider the actions that must be taken to achieve that goals. Is each of those actions attainable.

Rel­e­vant – The goal must be rel­e­vant to the over­rid­ing strat­egy. For exam­ple, if you have a web­site that sells wid­gets, one of your goals should be to sell more wid­gets (remem­ber­ing to set a spe­cific num­ber, per the S in this acronym). How­ever, a goal of ensur­ing that a cer­tain num­ber of peo­ple read a par­tic­u­lar page of your web­site would be com­pletely irrel­e­vant if it didn’t lead to more sales. Is the goal relevant?

Timely – It must be pos­si­ble to achieve the goal within the time­line you have. If there is no time line, you should cre­ate one. An open-ended strat­egy can­not be effec­tively mea­sured because it has no end. Is the goal timely?

Eval­u­ate – Con­sider the over­rid­ing strat­egy, the action plan, the processes you have in place, the results you’re achiev­ing, and any exter­nal fac­tors that may influ­ence the strat­egy. Eval­u­ate the goal and take the appro­pri­ate actions (i.e. change the strat­egy based on the infor­ma­tion at hand).

Reeval­u­ate – Don’t be afraid to change the strat­egy once it has been put in play. New infor­ma­tion may present itself that needs to be actioned. For exam­ple, if you have an e-commerce web­site, you may real­ize that you receive more orders at a spe­cific time of day and decide to tar­get your mar­ket­ing to those hours. It is extremely impor­tant to record reg­u­lar mea­sure­ments and reeval­u­ate the strat­egy rou­tinely to ensure that you are achiev­ing a pos­i­tive ROI and achiev­ing your goals.

Data con­sid­er­a­tions in the pre-thinking process are just as crit­i­cal as data col­lec­tion, inte­gra­tion, and eval­u­a­tion dur­ing the exe­cu­tion phase of mar­ket­ing cam­paign man­age­ment. Then, the post pro­cess­ing data analy­sis and lessons learned are where the best prac­tices for con­duct­ing future cam­paigns are devel­oped and imple­mented. This is also where your team becomes the cor­po­rate and indus­try expert in get­ting results and adding pos­i­tively to both rev­enue and profit.