Getting SMART With Your B2B Digital Marketing Goals

04.20.18 // Leisa Hall

As a digital marketer, some days it feels as if “goal” is the word I say more frequently than any other.

“What’s the goal here?”
“Do we know their goal?”
“How are we measuring that goal?”
“What are your company goals?”
“What is your goal for this campaign?”
“What goals are you goaling to goal for your goal?”


Goaling can be hard! But setting specific and measurable goals for B2B digital marketing campaigns – and all digital marketing campaigns, for that matter – is not only essential but decidedly beneficial to performance.

What makes a goal “good”?

At Obility, we use a SMART goal framework to define goals for our demand generation and SEO campaigns. If you’re new to SMART, you can read more about it until your eyes go cross, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes on this handy acronym:

SMART Goals by Shibaram Mishra


So what does it look like to create SMART goals for your B2B marketing efforts?

Specific: What do you want to do?

Grow traffic? Get more specific.

Get more leads? Nope, that’s still not specific.

Get more revenue?? I like where this is heading, but let’s keep going!

Get 10% more leads at a $250 CPL to drive $100,000 in net new revenue? Now we’re cooking with gas! So, how are we going to measure this fabulously specific goal?

Measurable: How will you know you’ve reached it?

Each business is going to be different in this respect, depending on the web analytics, marketing automation platform, or CRM in place. But the important thing to know is that having those technologies in place, talking to each other, and giving you measureable insights into your goals is absolutely doable! You CAN know that your Paid and SEO efforts (yes, even SEO!) supporting your new, big product launch have driven leads, MQL’s, SAL’s, and revenue.

Achievable: Is it in your power to accomplish it?

This is where it starts to get real: honest conversations are necessary to make sure that the answer is “YES, it is in our power to achieve this!” This may take clearing up bottlenecks with a development team, finding contractors to outsource content creation, or simply affirming that yes – your campaign is capable of driving new customers and revenue. If you can influence or control all of the contributing factors, then it is likely in your power to accomplish. If you are striving for an outcome with drivers that you cannot control or, minimally, influence, you are likely setting yourself up to miss your goal.

Realistic: Can you realistically achieve it?

We aren’t scared of big, hairy, audacious goals. But while we’re talking about getting real, we need to be sure all of the stakeholders believe the goal is, in fact, realistic. We’ve affirmed that the pieces are in place and in our control to make it achievable. Realistic means that, given we have the means, we have an informed and sane expectation of the actual outcome.

10% more leads at a $250 CPL to drive $100k in net new revenue is realistic.

10% more leads at a $250 CPL to drive $1,000,000 in net new revenue is not realistic because there is no driver to support 10x higher revenue.

Timely: When exactly do you want to accomplish it?

“We can totally hit that goal! It’s going to take us three years to get there, but we can do it!” Three years to achieve the goal may be a non-starter. So, how long are you willing to wait to accomplish it?

Awhile? Get more specific.

More than a month but less than a year? Nope, that’s still not specific.

By 11:59PM GMT on December 31st, 2018?  

Bring it on.

Want to see how we’ve helped our clients hit some big goals? You can! Take a look at these case studies to see what our team has accomplished for some of our clients:

About Leisa Hall

Leisa Hall began at Obility as our Director of Customer Success in January of 2018. She has been a leader in digital marketing strategy and consulting, and a strong member of the Portland marketing community, for over 13 years. We're excited to have her join the team with her bountiful expertise in client service and growth. View all Leisa Hall’s posts >