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Eye on the Prize: Smart Marketing Goals

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  • Some gimmicks are useful. SMART is a useful gimmick.

  • Learn to set smart SMART goals.

Remember Digital Origami?

Digital Origami is a digital marketing strategy company specializing in enabling startups to create their own bespoke digital marketing plans. Apollo is the Lead Educator in this case study . The plans he lays out incorporate the tools for clients to take control of their own digital marketing.

Their tribe mainly consists of startups and entrepreneurs; really creatively-minded small business owners.

Well, Apollo, the owner of Digital Origami, recently embarked on discourse with Hades. Hades has been a known innovator in the jungle that is Amazon for many years. First, Hades wanted to tackle Sports, then it was Beauty, and today: Kitchen products!

Next Quarter;

He wants to expand their business into making it easy for businesses to use marketing budget to sponsor art events. To do it, Apollo has mapped out marketing plans to help Hades on sponsoring a few art show openings as a proof-of-concept.

But which product set must be aligned with the new goals?

Is it ALL about MORE inventory? More ASINs, more SKUs?

After the many years and correlation across millions of customers and data sets...this is something Apollo knows, above all:

"DON'T GET DISTRACTED BY THE SHINY NEW THING THAT HITS YOUR PERIPHERY....Smart goals sit near the top of the DIGITAL toolbox of FUNDAMENTALLY effective tools in A SUCCESSFUL marketing strategy."

Why is it important to set goals?

I’ve always been enthralled and have perpetually been learning about Japanese history. One remarkable facet of Japanese history teaching ME is that it has-- on many occasions-- made an attempt to explain the ENTIRE Zen Buddhist mindset with this metaphor:

  • In sports, they talk about “Swinging through the ball.” Although this counterfactual is ridiculous when overanalyzed, it does serve as an effective hint at the mindset of Zen Buddhism: sometimes thinking gets in the way of doing.

  • In times of (inevitable) setbacks, the parable of the second arrow comes in handy. Any pain or suffering in business or personal life hurts. We sometimes have no control over these, the "first arrow" (covid / lockdowns / downsizing and redundancies). The second arrow, well that is our re4action to the first---that we have control over.

Zen Buddhism is living your whole life with this mindset.

Here’s the lesson: defined goals tell you where to aim, but not where to stop. Whatever setbacks and challenges you encounter, there are perspectives by which to view these. Back to our case study guy (this, by the way, is a REAL guy-- anonymized. In our one-on-one interactive workshops, we will cite case studies like these and more.



The Future:

Apollo plans to raise awareness in his tribe of this new idea of sponsoring events. Specific goals will arm him to do it.

So what’s this SMART gimmick?

Over here at Think Digital, we see gimmicks as what they are: useful starting points. Expertise doesn’t come with an ability to rattle of buzzwords, so we don’t focus on them much.

We kind of like SMART, though. It’s an acronym that isn’t just silly. It’s also useful.


If you can state your goal in one sentence, that’s gold. Attention is currency, so if you can say your goal in ten words or less, you’ve started well.

Improving awareness of culture. Not specific.

Sponsoring three events. Specific.


Ideally, you need definite metrics to judge when you achieve your goal.

Warm fuzzies are nice, but you can’t explain them to your accountant.

A hundred fifty tickets sold. You can measure that.


Assess your wishes in light of your resources, your team, your reach. Ambition is great, but ambitiously setting yourself up to fall noticeably short can hurt you.

It ought to be noted that doesn’t mean to be pessimistic. Just be honest about what you have at your disposal and set goals that you can achieve.

Three art openings during the next quarter. That’s achievable.

Discovering the next Andy Warhol and filling an opera house. Not achievable.


Set goals that fit into the strategy driving your brand.

Sponsoring local artists suits Digital Origami’s brand—it was decided after Apollo and his marketing team met about it. Relevant.

Bringing some out-of-town insurance salespeople to run a table at a job fair has nothing to do with Digital Origami’s overall goals. Forget it.


A timeline gives your goals a relationship to reality. “Somewhen between the backend of tomorrow and the last gasp of foreverish,” will fail to motivate you to accomplish anything.

This quarter! That’s a good amount of time for Apollo to aim for.

Final Thoughts

  • A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.


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We now avoid the term "digital hacks". It's a long story as to why; but in a previous incarnation of our Think Digital Blog, this is what Persephone writes about: The deep dark secrets of digital marketing that they don't teach in Uni Classes or books. Expect Think Tank Tactics and how to Spring-Clean your content anytime of the year.

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Have you heard the saying that "When Mercury is in Retrograde, everything descends into chaos"? This applies to calendars not syncing, Dropbox folders discombobulating and Logins not working. Mercury writes about Productivity Tactics and automation. He writes for Think Tank Tactics (aka "Knowledge Library") also.

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In Greek Mythology, Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom and War. A wildly beloved guardian of knowledge, Athena is our #ThinkDigital Editor in Chief for Think Tank Tactics. She also writes about her decades of experience in Beauty and Global Strategy while Battling challenges in the deeper meaning of Diversity & Multiculuralism.

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