As marketers, I think we all have a general idea in our minds of where we want a specific marketing initiative to go and what kind of result we want from it. But many times, in the hectic real world, lack of time or want to be an agile organization makes us create a lot of “spray and pray” situations within our marketing groups. So, what’s the best way to stay focused especially when time is tight? Create some SMART goals for your marketing campaigns! I promise that a little prework will go a long way, as the secret of truly spectacular marketing is well-founded and measurable goals. Any goal from now on that you set for your marketing initiatives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely – SMART. How? Make them Specific – define goals for both revenue AND for your brand. Measurable – determine key performance indicators (KPIs). Attainable – assess the ability to accomplish your goals. Realistic – verify that what you’re proposing is practical. And finally, Timely – designate short and long term marketing goals. Although this concept is definitely not new, I feel that it’s drummed into the heads of people at all levels of organizations EXCEPT marketing and communications. Yes, the MarComm group has their ROI and KPI and all that, but I think many times end goals are designed by hunch or come from somewhere else in the organization. SMART goals keep you honest and keep everyone else realistically grounded in the world of managed expectations. And at the end of the day, when it comes to earning buy-in and winning over even the most skeptical leader, the SMART goal framework can move mountains.