In business terms, an objective is a specific commitment to archive a measurable result within a preset deadline. SMART goals present you with an outline that begins with defining your objectives, carrying them through to execution, ending with the measuring of their success.

The SMART acronym was developed in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company. Doran presented his ideas in a published paper called “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”. (Doran, 1981)

‘How do you write meaningful objectives?’- that is, frame a statement of results to be achieved, Managers are confused by all the verbal from seminars, books, magazines, consultants, and so on. Let me suggest, therefore, that when it comes to writing effective objectives, corporate officers, managers, and supervisors just have to think of the acronym SMART. Ideally speaking, each corporate, department, and section objective should be: (SMART).

– George T. Doran

Before we get started with SMART let’s run through the differences between goals, strategies, and tactics. The goal is the objective you want to achieve with the desired result. Strategies are defined by your overall plan, vision, or idea of how you intend to achieve your objectives. Your strategy is carried out by employing day-to-day, or month-to-month activities set to a pre-determined schedule. These activities are tactics and these are the tangible tasks you perform regularly which keep you on target to achieving your goals.


The best way to set yourself on the path to achieving your goals is to follow the SMART format:

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

(Southwell, 2019)

Setting SMART goals when creating a marketing campaign helps you develop and prioritize your objectives. Once you have concrete objectives written down, your next step becomes the strategies you formulate that are relevant and specific to the goals, and finally, you take action with the various tactics that you outline throughout the timeline of the campaign. Once the campaign has run you complete your SMART goals by measuring the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and reviewing the success of the project. Debriefing what works and what doesn’t informs your future campaigns and marketing decisions. The SMART process breaks down your integrated marketing into actionable pieces that bring structure to your practice that may otherwise be scattered. Remember that valuable lessons may be lost without proper reflection.

When working on your SMART goals ask yourself:

  1. What are my objectives?
  2. What are will my strategies be that I need to accomplish my goals?
  3. What action will make up my week-to-week and month-to-month tactics?
  4. What KPIs am I going to use to measure the success of the campaign?

Here is an example of how marketing tactics align to strategies to support set goals:

  1. Goal: Increase brand awareness and revenue through the company website
  2. Strategy: Launch a new website with up-to-date functionality
  3. Tactics:
    – Hire a designer to develop a WordPress site
    – Write relevant copy that speaks to your customer/Customer Persona
    – Develop Keywords for good search traffic potential (SEO)
    – Incorporate relevant in-bound and out-bound links
    – Implement Google services: google my business, analytics, etc.
  4. KPI’s:
    – Return on Marketing Investment (ROI)
    – Brand Awareness Metric
    – Total Visits
    – Click-Through Rate (CTR)
    – Unique Visitors
    – Pageviews per Session
    – Referral Traffic

KPI’s are a way to ensure that your SMART goals are met.

KPI’s are a way that you can make sure that you are moving in the right direction throughout your campaign. These marketing metrics track digital data across all websites and marketing channels. Metrics don’t only help your reach your short-term targets, they are a great way to evaluate campaigns that have ended. With KPI’s you can prepare reports and compare them to upcoming quarters, providing you with concrete proof of your successes.


Doran, G. T. (1981). “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”, Management Review, Vol. 70, Issue 11, pp. 35-36.

Southwell, Charles (June 2019) Marketing Strategy vs. Tactics – Explaining the Difference CharlesSaidThat Retrieved from