SMART Goals and KPIs – Definitions and Differences


What are SMART Goals?

It is simpler to meet your target objectives when you have well-defined goals that are grounded in truth. Businesses sometimes miss the mark of their objectives owing to a lack of agreement on what constitutes success. SMART goals employ a set of criteria to help guarantee that objectives are clearly stated and achievable within a specific timeframe. Working through the steps of setting a SMART goal will indicate areas where values and funds are out of sync.

SMART is a mnemonic acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, all in one goal.

How to Create a SMART Goal

Coming up with a SMART goal isn’t always easy, but fret not. The following steps will make your life easier:

S: Specific

A goal must be specific for it to be effective. A defined objective provides solutions to questions including:

  • What tasks must be completed?
  • Who’s concerned with them?
  • What measures must be made to accomplish this?

Working through these concerns will help you get through to the core of your goal. Here’s an illustration of a specific objective you could set:

Increase the number of people asking for our legal guidance by investing in targeted awareness campaigns on social media and an inbound marketing strategy.

M: Measurable

Specificity is a good place to start, but measuring your objectives (making sure they’re quantifiable) makes it a lot easier to monitor performance and determine when you’ve succeeded.

You and your team would like to increase the number of individuals who seek legal advice from you – but how many more? If you merely get one new person to go about it, it’s theoretically good development – does that imply you’ve met your goal? The same is true for your awareness marketing strategy; on what platforms will you push your campaign?

To make this SMART goal more powerful, include quantifiable, trackable criteria, as such:

Increase the number of people asking for our legal guidance by 15 people a month through investing in targeted awareness campaigns on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as investing in an inbound marketing strategy to create more relevant content and boost SEO.

A: Achievable

This is the stage at which you grant yourself a critical taste of reality. Realistic goals, not pedestals from which you could probably fall. Consider whether your goal is one that your team can realistically achieve.

You may look at your ambition and conclude that, considering your team’s size and busy schedule, generating ad campaigns for 3 social media platforms may be too much for you. You opt to limit your efforts to the 2 social networking sites where you are most likely to attract clients.

Moreover, you might decide that tackling awareness campaigns on your own in addition to a separate inbound marketing strategy serves no real purpose given that inbound marketing strategies include working on your social media media platforms. Thus, your goal could become as such:

Increase the number of people asking for our legal guidance by 15 people a month through investing in an inbound marketing strategy to create more relevant content and boost SEO, which includes working on social media.

R: Relevant

This is when you must consider the larger picture. Why are you attempting to set the objective that you’re determining?

You understand that proper marketing and relevant, engaging content are huge boosters for customer loyalty. You realize that a surge in the proportion of new clients you attract will represent a significant increase in your firm’s bottom-line ROI. As a result, you change your goal statement to suit this frame of reference:

Increase the number of people asking for our legal guidance by 15 people a month through investing in an inbound marketing strategy to create more relevant content and boost SEO, which includes working on social media. Because the website is our main source of information, we will use social media to attract more people to it based on the content created for it.

T: Time-bound

To accurately assess success, you and your team must agree on when your goal should be attained. What is your time frame? When will the team begin developing and executing the tasks you’ve identified? When are you going to finish? SMART goals should include time-related constraints so that everyone understands how to remain focused on said tasks within a certain timeframe.

When such dates are included, your SMART goal would be fulfilled. As a result, your time-bound modified goal will look something like this:

Since the inbound marketing process’ results don’t take effect overnight, we expect to see an increase of 15 new clients a month within the coming 4 months.


What are KPIs?

A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator,  is a quantifiable statistic that shows how well a firm is meeting important business objectives. Businesses use KPIs to measure progress in reaching objectives. 

High-level KPIs focus on overall organizational effectiveness, whereas low-level KPIs focus on procedures across departments such as sales, marketing, HR, or maintenance.

Types of KPIs

  • Quantitative (numbers)
  • Qualitative (“opinions”)
  • Leading (future performance)
  • Input (assets, time, and resources needed to complete a certain action)
  • Process (efficiency and productivity)

How to Determine KPIs

Begin by understanding your organizational goals, how you want to achieve them, and who will be able to follow the directions before developing a strategy for defining your KPIs.

You will get a detailed understanding of which business operations can be included on a KPI dashboard as you adapt and grow, as well as with whom you should distribute this certain dashboard. This is a similar process to that of determining your SMART goal. 

  • Select KPIs that are closely connected to your company objectives. What are your company’s objectives? Have you found any significant areas for enhancement or optimization? What are your executive team’s primary goals?
  • Instead of a flood of data, concentrate on a select number of key metrics. It is tricky to specify an exact number of KPIs you should include. A decent number to shoot for, though, would be between two to four KPIs for each target.
  • Take into account your company’s level of development. Certain indicators will be more significant than others based on the stage of your firm — startups vs. enterprises.
  • Determine which performance metrics are lagging and which are leading. Lagging indicators assess the outcome of behavior that has already unfolded. Lagging indicators are suitable for monitoring results; focus on leading ones to improve efficiency and performance.

So, What is the difference between SMART goals and KPIs?

SMART goals and KPIs are frequently used interchangeably to indicate what has to be measured to determine if a desired outcome has been achieved, but they are not the same thing. Goals are the desired end; KPIs are a tool that indicates how well you’re progressing toward that goal.

In today’s big data environment, you can collect data on almost everything, but the challenge is identifying the key metrics that can truly assess progress toward a certain goal. KPIs must help you make more informed decisions and provide insight into how efficiently your company is performing. When it pertains to goal setting, these SMART criteria are quite helpful. However, when it comes to KPIs, this is not the case.

Final Word

Now that you’ve read more about what SMART goals and KPIs are, you’re ready to develop them or modify them to adequately and efficiently apply them for your company. These elements are the backbone of all your strategies and can thus make or break your development and growth, so be sure to conduct proper research first. 

Our inbound marketing strategy is divided into 3 phases, the first of which is all about studying the market in terms of competitors and their rankings, content, and overall success rates. These can be quite beneficial for establishing a SMART goal and KPIs, so if you need help with the groundwork prior to determining them, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Table of Contents

Subscribe to our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.