Goals are an essential part of a marketer’s success. Marketing goals are like personal goals you set for yourself: Meeting them makes you feel on top of the world. Effective. Inspired. However, missing your goal by a few customers, contacts or visits can incite just the opposite.  We’ve all been there, and “there” isn’t a place you want to be. (If you haven’t been there yet, trust me on this one.)

Luckily, HubSpot has some helpful tools to help you set proper marketing goals. (Like these free goal setting templates!) Integrate those goals into HubSpot's platform to help you reach them. It all starts here, with this blog post, where we’ll walk through setting SMART goals, using the Goals app, and tips on how to reach those goals.

Setting your goals

Before we talk numbers, let’s start off on the "SMART" foot. Any time you sit down to set a daily, monthly, quarterly or yearly goals for visits, contacts or customers, you want to make sure you’re setting SMART goals. “SMART” stands for:
  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timebound

The trick to setting smart goals is to put some real numbers down and hold yourself accountable for those results. It’s easy to hide behind buzzwords like “more engagement with our leads for more customers” or “increase site visits by creating better synergy with our digital marketing.” Those are valuable ideas that should contribute to the actual goal, but shouldn't actually be the goal. You have to dig deeper: What does engagement mean to you? How will you put “synergy” into practice?

By using the SMART acronym, we can easily flip those ideas into goals. What about “X% increase in customers this month” or “X% increase in site visits this quarter.” Now, those are some real marketing goals, assuming you have a system in place to measure those increases (“measurable”), the numbers are challenging but achievable (“attainable") and they’re “realistic” when all other aspects of your marketing are taken into consideration.

To help you set SMART marketing goals, we created a free goal-setting template to help you establish some concrete, achievable goals for your marketing. You can download it here, and filling this out will make inputting your SMART goals into the Goals app easy as pie. The best part? If you’re unsure about your goals, simply input results into the "Current" rows under Visits, Leads and Customers and the other fields will automatically calculate your recommended goals. Yep, you read that right -- we’ll do the math for you. Here’s a preview of the free template:

Marketing Goals.png

Using the Goals app

Because goals are so important to marketing success, we have a built-in Goals app that tracks those SMART goals right on your HubSpot Dashboard. Start off by heading to your Dashboard and clicking on “Set Goals” above your Marketing Performance chart:

Set Goals.png
Grab your SMART goals template, because now’s the time to start inputting your goals for visits, contacts and customers into HubSpot.
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Once you save your Goals, they'll be visible in your Dashboard so you can compare how you are doing to how you should be doing.
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Now, every time you look at your Dashboard, you’ll know where you stand with your goals against your actual monthly performance. This will immediately tell you where you need to focus your efforts to reach the SMART goals you’ve set for yourself.

Head to your Dashboard now to input your SMART goals or download the free template to get started.

Achieving your SMART goals

So, you’ve sat down, by yourself or with your team, and figured out your marketing goals. You’ve made sure they’ve met the SMART criteria, and maybe you even tweaked them a bit when you entered them in via the Goals app in HubSpot after viewing the historical information or how other customers are doing. Essentially, you've done the legwork needed to get your goals visible and real.

So, how do you actually achieve these SMART goals? Here’s a few tips on how reach your goals.

1. Share your goals with your team or organization

Depending on the size of your company, achieving these goals could fall entirely on your shoulders, or--if you're lucky--you may have a few other folks on your team that are also responsible for these goals. Either way, you need to share what your SMART goals are with your colleagues so everyone's on the same page.

This does three things for you: First, it helps hold you accountable for the goals you've set. It also can help with the "attainable" and "realistic" aspects of SMART goals -- sometimes, an extra set of eyes is a great gut-check on this stuff. Finally, you may find some unexpected help in achieving these goals. Maybe a team member or another colleague is working on a project that could greatly improve your chances of achieving a specific goal. 

2. Be transparent about your results as you go.


Don't be shy! While it often feels easier to hide your results, you'll be more likely to hit your goals if you embrace transparency. With HubSpot, distributing your results isn't just easy; it's automatic.

From your Marketing Dashboard, simply click Share > Create New Recurring Email.

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Set up the cadence that works best with your team. Have a weekly marketing meeting on Mondays? Drop your dashboard into your inbox bright and early Monday morning. Have a monthly board meeting? Get your dashboard on the first of each month.

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3. Do what you can with the info you have

Because you're checking in weekly on your progress toward your goals, it's likely you'll walk away with a few to-do's. No matter which goal you're struggling with, HubSpot has the tools to help. If you're looking to increase visits to your site, take a look at your content strategy. What blog posts that you've written recently or in the past have made an impact on site visits? Did you run a successful campaign recently, maybe on your social channels, that could use a refresh? You can find out what's driving traffic to your site (and, therefore, what's not) with the Sources Report. You can also access the report by clicking on the numbers right in the Marketing Performance chart on the Dashboard:

clickable visits.png

If you're having trouble getting to your ideal number of new contacts for your time frame, it's worth checking out what content contacts in the past 3-6 months have converted on. What were those pages -- were they landing pages holding an offer that your contacts loved? Was it an email send that did particularly well? Was it a great call-to-action on a site page that just demanded clicks like it was it's job? (To be fair, that is it's job...) Whatever the case may be, take what you know and run with it. 

If you're after more customers, find the newest five to 10 customers for your company and check out their contact record, which you can find in Contacts > Contacts Home by searching for those individual contacts. Can you find any similarities on these records? Make sure to check for similar Personas, content they've consumed, or any other conversion that might give you some insight into why they became your customer. If you spot something, see if you can do it again with qualified leads. Chances are if it worked for a few, it could work for a few others, too. You can always nurture these folks through lead-nurturing Workflows (available in our Professional / Enterprise packages) or by running targeted campaigns to them through our Campaigns tool (available to all customers).

What are some other tactics you're using to achieve your marketing goals? Let us know in the comments!

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Originally published Jul 16, 2014 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017