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By: John Bonini on December 18th, 2012

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Inbound Marketing Goal Setting: Preparing for 2013

Inbound Marketing

inbound marketing goal settingIt’s that time of year again!

Holiday plans are the primary focus, as hosts and guests alike are planning for a week of "who's bringing what? What time? and isn't she bringing ANYTHING?"

Hopefully, you have some time leftover to do some planning and goal setting for the coming year as it relates to your business and marketing campaign. Many business owners and marketers feel as if they're already working with firm goals set in place. However, we're talking SMART goals here.

Now, we can't take credit for the idea of SMART goals, as HubSpot so brilliantly laid out the template for what this means. I can however, lay out the principles of SMART goals here and how it should relate to your inbound marketing goal setting for the coming year.

If you're interested in learning more about the basics for implementing a more successful inbound marketing campaign, be sure to check out our free ebook, "The Beginner's Guide to Inbound Marketing."

Inbound Marketing Goal Setting

What are SMART Goals?

If you haven't figured it out already, SMART is simply an acronym for giving your goals a little more direction. However, in this case it also holds double meaning, as it much smarter to set goals that are both realistic, but also firm in their design in order to give you and your company a clear direction and objectives to get there.

More specifically, here' what SMART means:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timebound

This should be the blueprint for all of your marketing goals moving forward. Below I've detailed how to ensure your inbound marketing goal setting is in line with SMART goals.


We get it. You want to drive more traffic and generate more leads to your website. But simply having this as a goal is like driving through fog. Sure you can forecast what's directly in front of you, but beyond that you're blind.

Instead, get specific. How many visitors do you want each month? 20,000? Set a tangible number, this way you can set smaller goals, such as how much traffic you need per day, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of 20,000.

The same goes for leads. Generally, you should know how many leads and customers you need to be profitable. Set a specific number of leads you want generated month by month, and start executing the initiatives you need to make it happen.


Once you have set specific goals, you need to have the software in place to be able to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Goals don't mean anything if you simply "set it and forget it."

Using software like HubSpot, you have the ability to track and measure the effectiveness of all marketing initiatives. From email opens and clicks, to the amount of traffic and leads you're generating from Facebook and Twitter.

Knowing and understanding the data as it relates to your campaign enables you to more effectively make the necessary adjustments to stay on track for achieving your goals.


Not having specific goals can be debilitating to your company. Just as debilitating, however, is setting unrealistic ones.

Not only will unrealistic goals discourage your team and negatively impact the morale of your company, but it will also result in an increase in stress and frustration with business owners, marketers, and CEOs. Why? Because you'll always feel like you're failing. Not the best of business models.

Know your business. Know your industry. Set realistic goals. Goals that are attainable in a reasonable amount of time. Remember, each time a goal is hit and surpassed, a spike in confidence and office morale soon follows. Nothing will get you to your goals quicker than a confident, happy group of employees.


Closely related to the previous thought, setting realistic goals means understanding the capabilities of your team. If you're setting unrealistic goals and expecting too much from them, well....when benchmarks aren't hit, it's not really their fault now is it?


Goals don't mean anything unless there's some sort of deadline set. And more importantly, that deadline is actually respected and stuck to.

If you keep pushing your goals further and further, all you're doing is procrastinating. As a result, you can also expect delayed results. Set strict deadlines for yourself, and focus on making any adjustments on the fly in order to ensure that you'll nail it.

2013 Will be Your Year

Now is the time to prepare for 2013. The first step is always setting your goals for the coming year. Follow these steps and make sure they're SMART goals.

The Marketers Buyer Persona Kit

About John Bonini

As the Marketing Director of IMPACT from 2013-May 2015, John lead the IMPACT marketing team. He also wrote for the HubSpot Blog, Social Media Examiner, and Convince & Convert among others. In his free time, John enjoys playing guitar, high-fives, and anything with marinara sauce.

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