What Are SMART Goals and How Can They Help Your Home Building Business?
If you’re ready to expand your home building business, you need a marketing strategy that’s designed to increase both leads and sales.
Traditional marketing strategy saw businesses spending big bucks on radio and TV advertising, direct mail, and telephone book ad placement. These methods are significantly less effective these days.
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Instead, you need to approach potential customers from a different angle, and creating goals for your online marketing can make a big difference.
Getting SMART About Your Marketing
There’s a good chance you've heard about setting SMART goals before. The concept is popular in both the business and personal growth arenas, and it reminds us of what we need to do to set good goals. They should be:
What does this really mean, though, and why does it matter?
Let’s say that you’re thinking about goals for the new year, and you come up with a goal like, “We’re going to grow our business.”
It sounds great in theory, but there are a lot of holes with this goal.
What exactly do you mean by “grow”?
That could mean you want to increase revenue. Again, how? You could do that in a variety of ways: increasing the number of customers you serve, charging higher prices, or even reducing your staff.
However, “grow” could also mean that you want to physically expand your business. Maybe you want to start building homes in new communities within Edmonton or branch out to other cities in Alberta or Canada.
And if you gain one additional customer this year or your profits are $1 more than they were last year, you technically met your goal. You probably wouldn’t be jumping for joy over that small of an increase, right?
This goal doesn’t work because it doesn’t follow the SMART principles. It doesn’t specifically define “grow". It doesn’t say by how much you want to grow. It’s not measurable. It could possibly be attainable and realistic, but only because it’s so vague that you could interpret just about anything as a success! And, it’s also not time-bound, so there’s no pressure to make things happen.
We’re here to help you create SMART goals for your home building business so you can see more success.
Types of SMART Marketing Goals for a Home Builder
Most home builders have the same three goals when it comes to their online marketing. They want to get more visitors to their site. They want more of those visitors to convert to leads. And they want more of those leads converting to sales.
Fortunately, you can easily create a SMART goal to address any of those types of goals.
A SMART goal for increasing site visitors might be “Double the number of monthly site visitors over the next six months.” It’s specific (double the number of monthly site visitors). It’s measurable (simply by looking at site traffic statistics). It's attainable (if you know what you're doing with site traffic). It's relevant (more visitors = more leads = more customers), and it’s time-bound (over the next six months).
Now, whether or not it’s relevant or attainable does depend on what your current website traffic looks like. These two aspects tend to be the trickier parts of SMART goals.
For our example above, look at averages from previous months and years to get a benchmark. If the numbers are fairly low, this might be a good goal. If you’re already getting a lot of consistent traffic from month to month, it might be more realistic to set a lower goal, such as “Increase monthly site visitors by 2% over the next six months.”
When it comes to converting site visitors to leads, you might look at how many of the site visitors sign up to receive more information from you or how many of them are repeat visitors. Then set some SMART goals relating to these activities.
Setting a SMART Goal
There are some key components to setting a SMART goal, according to our wonderful friends at HubSpot.
Look at your KPIs and find specific ones you want to improve on - visitors, leads, etc. Then, assign that goal to a team member, or members as the case may be.
"Casey will increase leads from social channels..."
Now you know who and what.
Do not be vague here, it will only hinder you.
This is where you use the numbers. You need to be able to track and monitor the progress. Set the percentage/number/etc.
"Casey will increase leads from social channels by 40% per month..."
Now you know who, what, and how much.
Use the data! You need to be sure you have a quantifiable KPI here.
This is where a lot of marketers get tripped up. You have to take into account the people who are assigned to this goal and their ability to make it happen. Looking at our example - if social leads only account for 10% of your numbers, how attainable is it for Casey to hit 40%?
Goals need to be based on YOUR numbers. Not the competition. Not the industry average. Yours.
"Casey will increase leads from social channels by 15% per month..."
Now you know who, what, and how much REALISTICALLY. And poor Casey doesn't have to feel horrible when he doesn't hit that 40%...
We aren't saying that you shouldn't aim for impressive goals, but make it reasonable.
Relevant and Relatable
Running with our example - social doesn't seem to be a major contributor for leads for this particular home builder. So... is it relevant?
Perhaps your company has noticed that your blog accounts for a lot more traffic and leads. It might be a better idea to focus on that.
"Casey will increase leads from blog post traffic by 15% per month..."
Disclaimer: if you're trying to increase your social presence and audience, then the earlier example can still be relevant ;)
Include Timeframes and Deadline Information
This is the best way to keep you and your team on track. Deadlines help you continually make progress on your goal in the long term.
"Casey will increase leads from blog post traffic by 15% per month, which will give us a total of 200 additional new leads from our blog by June 30."
Without a timeline - or even a vague one - it's a) easier for people to reprioritize and b) harder to see the progress of your team.
SMART Goals Driving Your Actions
Most importantly, you have to be sure that you’re making decisions with your SMART goals in mind.
Once you’ve set your goal of increasing site traffic, how are you going to attain that goal? Are you going to pay for advertising in the search results or on Facebook? Are you going to improve your search engine optimization so that your website comes up in the search results more often? Are you going to build a blog that people might regularly follow?
Any of these actions could increase your website traffic, but you need to remember to stay focused on the goal.
When you hear about some new marketing technique, ask yourself, “If we incorporate this technique into our plan, is it going to help us meet our SMART goals?” And if it doesn’t seem like it will help you meet your goals, you need to say no.
It’s not hard to create SMART goals for your home building business, but it can be challenging to know which marketing techniques you need to use to meet those goals.
That’s where the professionals at Marketing Ninjas come in. We specialize in marketing for home builders, and you can take advantage of our expertise. Call today to see how we can help.
Originally published Feb 4, 2020