• Purpose-Driven Marketing Tips /

How to Set SMART Goals in Cause Marketing

Your company is working to make the world better. But how do you know the initiatives and campaigns you’re undertaking are having a tangible impact? And how close are you, really, to reaching your business and mission-driven goals? Here’s our guide on how to set SMART goals in cause marketing.

/ 5 mins / SparxTeam

Your company is doing amazing things to make the world better. Whether you’re creating a more environmentally-conscious and sustainable product, raising awareness for an important and impactful cause, or organizing volunteers to contribute to a local initiative, it’s important to be able to see the impact of your work.

Regardless of the positive mark your company is making, it can be challenging to measure the tangible impact of your good works and to visualize how each separate initiative contributes to your organization’s overall business goals and mission. It’s time to get SMART with the way you set goals! 

What are SMART Goals?

The SMART system, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, is a method of goal setting that includes clear, realistic, easy to measure targets. SMART goals increase the likelihood of success by encouraging you to determine which measurable metrics define success, and to verify that your goals are actually achievable. Plus, you can clearly see how close you are to achieving a milestone. They can also be used holistically to map out steps towards a long-term goal. 

Here’s a breakdown of the SMART system and how to apply it to cause marketing.

Specific – Get specific with your goal. For example, “I want to reach more people” is too vague. Think about the why and how. “I want to increase subscriptions to our email newsletter to boost awareness of upcoming sustainable product launches by running paid ads on Facebook, where we typically see the most engagement” is much more specific. (But still contributes to an overarching goal of reaching more people.)

Measurable – “More” isn’t a measurement: percentage and quantity increases are. Using the example above, you could set a goal of a 25% increase in the number of subscribers. Or, if you’re setting a numerical target, 50 or 150 (or more) new subscribers might be reasonable.

Achievable – While it’s good to shoot for the stars, make sure your goal is realistically achievable based on your current performance and resources. Use your past numbers as baseline data, and if you don’t have any, now’s the time to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and track them. 

For example, if you’ve got 1,500 email newsletter subscribers and typically see an increase in subscribers of between 10 and 20% after a social media push, trying to get an increase of 100% in a relatively short period of time may not be realistic.

Relevant – Ensure that your goal is value-aligned. Does it contribute towards your overall values and mission? In the example above, if your company’s mission is creating more ethical and sustainable products to help save the environment, getting more people to subscribe to your email newsletter to let them know about your upcoming product launches increases the likelihood that more people will choose your environmentally-friendly product, thus contributing to your sustainability mission.

Timely – There needs to be a deadline, so you know when you’ve achieved your goal, or how close you are to achieving it. Monthly, quarterly, and/or annual goals are a great place to start. Remember, 1,500 new subscribers in a month may be unrealistic. 1,500 new subscribers over the course of a quarter or a year might be more achievable. Adjust timelines based on your KPIs.

SMART Goal Examples 

Scenario 1: Sustainable product marketing to increase sales

Specific – We want to increase sales of our biodegradable soap product by running an “always on” sales campaign on social media and paid channels. 

Measurable – Our goal is to increase our current sales by 10% to sell 5,000 units. 

Achievable – The last time we ran a two-week sales campaign on those channels, sales increased by 5%.

Relevant – By selling more units, it means more people are using sustainable soap products, which contributes to our mission to protect the Earth’s fresh water sources. 

Timely – We will achieve this by the end of the quarter. 

Scenario 2: Building awareness for a cause

Specific – We want to raise awareness of the harm caused by tourist elephant riding by circulating a petition across all our social media channels to stop the practice.

Measurable – Our goal is to get 1,000 people to sign the petition.

Achievable – Last year when we circulated a petition on social media, we got 750 signatures over the course of six weeks from our audience of 5,000. Our audience has since grown to 11,000.

Relevant – As an ethical clothing retailer whose branding prominently features elephants, our mission is to end harmful practices against elephants worldwide. Raising awareness of the harm caused to elephants is the first step to ending these practices.

Timely – We will get 1,000 signatures over the next six weeks, before peak tourist season begins. 

How to Take SMART Goals Even Further 

You can also use the SMART system to break down larger impact marketing goals into specific channels and campaigns. For example, in Scenario 1 above, you could set a SMART goal for your sales campaign on Instagram. How many impressions are you aiming for? How many people would you like to see click through to your website? Smaller SMART goals can support larger SMART goals.

If you’re still new to marketing your impact organization, we recommend checking out our How to Create an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Impact Organization blog first.

Let Sparx Help You Reach Your Cause Marketing Goals

You’re making the world better and we want to help you do it. 

If you’re looking to get your world-changing message out there, the experts at Sparx Publishing Group are always available to chat. We help purpose driven organizations secure their website, create great content, build experiences to delight their customers, and help grow their business. You can reach us here.

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