NCG Marketing

Digital Marketing for Accountants and Attorneys

Your 2011 Marketing Plan, Part 2: Setting Goals the SMART Way

“Begin with the end in mind.”
– Steven Covey

In my previous post, Your 2011 Marketing Plan, Part 1: The Value of Setting Goals and Planning, I addressed the importance of setting goals. At this time, I’d like to take it a step further by discussing how to set meaningful and measurable goals that become a critical part of a successful marketing plan.

But first, I’d like to step back and take note of what I believe are the two most compelling takeaways of that previous post. First, as personal development guru Brian Tracy tells us, people who set down written goals are significantly more successful than those who do not. And second, despite this evidence, just 3% of us actually go through the process of setting down written goals and tracking our progress toward them in a methodical manner.

Why is this? Perhaps setting goals seems pointless; perhaps tracking them seems difficult. Whatever the reasons behind this anomaly, it’s undeniable that for lawyers and other businesspeople the stakes involved are much higher than whether they lose that last ten pounds or run a 10K at a particular pace. In fact, the high failure rate of new ventures is testament to the inability of many entrepreneurs to effectively set marketing goals and track their progress in achieving them.

Your 2011 Marketing Plan, Part 1: The Value of Setting Goals & Planning

If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

– Yogi Berra

It must be the end of the year already, because all the articles and blog posts about setting goals and planning are starting to appear. And guess what: This is yet another one.

Hey, I heard that groan. And I see how you’re beginning to turn the virtual page to find some other article or story that you feel might actually teach you something.

But wait. This could be the most important and even life-changing blog post that you’ll ever read, if it encourages you to take action. Because – as study after study has shown – goal setters are significantly more successful than everyone else. (By the way, that’s not thought to be coincidental.) And yet, if you’re like an estimated 97% of the population, you’re not a goal setter. And that’s too bad, because here’s what goal setters do:

1.     Write out specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive goals for the year ahead,

2.     Break them down into tasks and sub-tasks, and plot out on a calendar how they’re going to achieve each one,

3.     Revisit their plan on an ongoing basis to measure the progress they’re making, and

4.     Review their goals throughout the process to ensure that they’re still the right ones.