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How to Develop Marketing Objectives: the SMART Model

Every brand should have marketing goals they’re working toward. But defining and outlining those goals takes intentionality and effort.

In this article, we explore the SMART model for developing marketing objectives. Marketers, leaders, and even folks making New Year’s resolutions have adopted the SMART model to shape how they think about and set goals and objectives.

This method of goal setting has been around since the early 80s. Its longevity proves that the approach has stood the test of time and goal setters for more than 40 years. Below, the Project 320 team breaks down each aspect of the SMART model for setting marketing objectives. You’ll be equipped to set and achieve goals that propel your business and brand forward by the end of this article.


Having a specific objective means defining your goal clearly, stating the exact goal or objective you wish to achieve. It should be written or stated so that even those outside of your business or organization should be able to understand this objective.

You can ask the following questions when defining your marketing goals:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this important to the brand?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where will this take place?
  • Are resources limited for this project?

Your goal should include a clear action that involves the customer. A single marketing objective can often be more clear and more realistic than multiple smaller goals.


A successful marketing campaign can be measured using numbers and data to track progress. Your marketing objectives must be measurable, and you should be able to verify your results numerically.

Use these questions to determine if your goals are measurable:

  • What are our KPIs?
  • Do we have digital data to leverage? (Traffic, lead generation, social media tracking, etc.)
  • Where are we starting, and how do we expect our numbers to evolve?
  • At what point has the objective been accomplished?

When you’ve ended your marketing campaign, you should have the data to quantify your impact.

What to measure?


The marketing world is full of dreamers and big thinkers. If brands aren’t careful, they can set goals outside the possibility that aren’t attainable for that team then.

Determining an achievable marketing objective means your current team on your current budget can attain the goal.

Work through these questions to craft an achievable marketing goal:

  • How can we accomplish this objective?
  • Is this goal realistic?
  • What is our budget for this project?
  • Does our team have time each week to work toward this goal?
  • What factors might prevent our team from succeeding?

If you’re overly ambitious and set unreasonable or unattainable goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, take your time, evaluate your resources, and ensure you’re creating realistic marketing objectives.


As you’re brainstorming marketing objectives with your team, you’ll likely find that they present fantastic, innovative ideas. But, in all the excitement, you could end up with a list of really great goals –– for another brand or team.

Your marketing goals must be relevant to your company. They should support the goals of your business and integrate with the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish as a brand. Before you set your marketing goals in stone, examine them against your business goals and ensure they work in harmony.

These questions help you determine the relevance of your marketing objectives:

  • Is this a worthwhile use of our resources?
  • Will this move us closer to our preexisting goals?
  • Is this the right team for the task?
  • Will existing and potential customers react positively to this campaign?


Lastly, you must set a time limit for your marketing objectives. Your specific purposes and the smaller goals that help you attain the main objective should be bound by an end date. Imposing time limits on your marketing goals helps keep your team focused and taking steps toward the goal.

When creating your objectives, set short-term and long-term goals:

  • What can be done today?
  • What do I hope to accomplish by six weeks out?
  • What do I hope to accomplish six months out?
  • When do we expect to complete the proposed objective?

Evaluate these timelines regularly to determine if your team is on track to meet your goals and if changes need to be made in either workload or expectations.


In the digital space in which we operate, marketing is everything. Understanding how to develop marketing objectives empowers you to succeed, whatever your goals. Project 320 leans on decades of digital marketing experience to help our clients succeed.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you develop marketing objectives and partner with you to achieve them.