The meaning of SMART objectives
Explain the meaning of SMART objectives
The Meaning of SMART Objectives
In the process of engaging in marketing, and particularly social media marketing, marketers are often required to have clear objectives. The objective must be measurable so as to ensure that the progress of the strategy that has been adopted is tracked and appropriate adjustments made where necessary. When the appropriate objectives have been outlined, an effective strategy will be adopted and the desired results will achieved. A fundamental way through which these results can be achieved is when SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic, and Time-oriented) objectives are adopted. Based on the foregoing, this paper provides an analysis of the meaning of SMART objectives.
The key to adopting the appropriate objectives is by ensuring that they have SMART characteristics. When they have these characteristics, they are then described as SMART objectives. The first characteristic/element of a SMART objective is that it is “Specific.” Objectives must be clearly defined in a definite manner so that they can be more useful to the individuals or organization that will seek to rely on it (O’Neill et al., 2006). The objective should not be generic or defined using general terms that could apply to any organization, but it should be enumerated while taking into consideration the unique circumstances prevailing, and the specific desirable outcomes.
The second characteristic of a SMART objective is that it is Measurable. The question that needs to be answered in this respect is; how will you be able to know that the set expectations are being met? A SMART objective should be measurable using assessable terms such as ‘cost’, ‘quality’, ‘frequency’ and the like.
A SMART objective should be generally appropriate. It should not be far-off and out of reach. When making reference to the individuals who are given the mandate of carrying out the stated goal, an inquiry should be made into their experiences, knowledge base, and expertise. The available human resource should practically be able to carry out the objective. Reference should also be made to the resources that will be needed, as well as, the time-frame within which the goal should be achieved. The available resources such as equipment and money should be enough to get the work done. A realistic time-frame should also be set.
A SMART objective should also be Realistic. Whereas being ambitious and visionary is desirable, it is imperative that in the process of setting goals, persons are keen on setting realistic objectives. If, for instance, a sole proprietor has never made one million dollars in one financial year, it would be unrealistic to aim at making ten million dollars within the same time period.
A SMART objective can finally be described as Time-oriented. Objectives should generally have time limits. After the conclusion of the stipulated time-limit, an evaluation is made in relation to whether the objective has been achieved. A time-limit is often placed through due dates. This often brings a sense of urgency and it ensures that all the involved parties remain focused on meeting the objectives. A SMART objective should, therefore, be time-oriented.
Conclusively, the significance of SMART objectives cannot be underestimated. It assists in the adoption of an effective strategy. A SMART objective is generally described as being; Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic, and Time-oriented.
O’Neill, J., Conzemius, A., Commodore, C., & Pulsfus, C. (2006). The power of SMART goals: Using goals to improve student learning. Solution Tree Press.