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How To Establish SMART Objectives For Digital Marketing

smart objectives for digital marketing

How To Establish SMART Objectives For Digital Marketing

 

I discussed objectives already as key to your planning in order to set direction and make decisions on your media strategy, such as what channels to invest in, which audiences to target, how to measure impact and also report on success.

I mentioned it that the objectives set up by marketing should match the business objective, so let’s look at what they should do so:

  • The business will have set goals that marketers should translate into marketing goals. Business goals, like increasing sales or market share growth, cannot be evaluated by marketing metrics. How does market share growth tie into marketing tactics? How does it look in terms of media, creative and PR for instance?
  • Marketing is not directly about ROI and accountability, it is an industry of influencing decision making and leading consumers in a set direction, but how do you measure influence? That is why marketing objectives should tie into the business objectives but not copied onto them. They should be translatable, enabling the ability to report to the business org, but they should be specific to the marketing department.
  • The goal must resonate with business qualities by incorporating measurability but also needs to lead the execution of the strategy for marketing stakeholders by giving relevant directions.
  • Some tips to achieve this balance: break down the business goals into specifics, identify how and where the media can help, quantify what success will look like and prioritize and socialize the goal.

A widespread convention for writing down efficient objectives that will satisfy business and marketing stakeholders is to use the SMART model that we are going to develop over the next few slides. When defining your objectives, they should have the following qualities:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Before starting work on your goals, it is useful to discuss business objectives with the relevant stakeholders and understand how and where these are achieved on the business side.
If the business goal is to increase sales by 5%, you want to understand:

What sales look like? Where do they happen? On what media and channels? What usually closes the sale? What is the average amount of sales in order to pinpoint where marketing is leveraged and what metrics will help report on the marketing strategy success in achieving the sales goals? For example, traffic to the e-commerce site, conversion in a retargeting campaign, expected engagement on chosen channels

smart objectives for digital marketing

Now let’s focus on the first quality of your marketing objective

Having a specific objective means having a well-defined and clear goal stating exactly what you aim to achieve. The objective needs to be crystal clear, and anyone that reads it, even outside the marketing department, should understand what it is aiming at.

Some tips to get your objectives specific:

1. Think simple, sensible and significant.

2. When defining your goals think about the following questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is it important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • What resources or limits are involved?

3. Write down a summary of your goal and reshape it to be as specific and clear as possible.

4. The goal should describe an action that involves the customer.

5. Sometimes a unique objective is clearer and more realistic than too many that will dilute your impact and focus.

Here is an example to simplify how a specific goal compares to a non-specific one:

“Get in shape’ is one goal. This is too broad and could be actioned in many different ways. A more specific goal would say ‘Join a health club and workout 3 days a week’. It is actionable, specific and easy to take direction from.

Here are some examples of specific goals set up by marketing departments:

  • Increase the annual banquet dinner attendance by emailing out additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP.
  • Increase website traffic using owned content optimization to drive customers to our site organically by increasing our website authority, delivering new customers each month.

Once you have specified the aim of your objective, the second step is to make the objective measurable. This means that you need to have an obtainable goal that can be quantifiably described. You can identify the quantitative aspect of your objective from the following questions:

  • What are the current KPIs for the business?
  • What digital data can you leverage? Traffic, cost per click (CPC), lead generation, social media tracking, etc.
  • What is the current situation and what evolution do you expect to see?
  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

At the end of the campaign, you should be able to look back and precisely quantify your impact and be able to translate the numbers in a business target. For instance, if your goal was to generate X new leads, how much revenue does each lead bring and how does this translate in terms of profit for the business?

Building on the previous examples, let’s review them with the added measurability factor:

  • Increase the annual banquet dinner attendance by 150% by emailing out 300 additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having ten local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP.
  • Increase website traffic by 21% using owned content optimization to drive customers to our site organically by increasing our website authority, delivering 13 new customers per month.

 

Now you need to think about the execution of this objective. Is it too ambitious? Do they have the resources necessary to achieve this goal? It’s the reality check. Crafting an achievable objectives means that it is reachable within the currently available skills, budget, time, and takes into account the potential constraints/limits that exist.

In order to define the achievability of your objective, think about the following points:

  • How can I accomplish this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
  • What is the allocated budget that I currently have for this?
  • How many hours a week can the teamwork on this? Who will be the point of contact responsible for achieving the goal?
  • What things may stop the team from reaching their goals?

These were some examples that give you an idea of how you need to think about your goal to make sure it achievable. If we look back at the previous examples, can you think about the potential limits and how the objectives can be achieved? Let’s expand upon the previous example:

  • Increase the annual banquet dinner attendance by 150% by emailing out 300 additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having ten local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP

-Limits: potential overlap with other industry events, lack of staff on the day, low emailing opens or clicks.

-Work in collaboration with the event planning and PR team to co-own the project, in view of the percentage of invitations ignored, send X amount of extra invitations to ensure you’re meeting the target and appoint a designer to create an engagement email.

  • Increase website traffic by 21% using owned content optimization to drive customers to our site organically by increasing our website authority, delivering 13 new customers per month

-Limits: content optimization can be influenced by competition and their own SEO strategy. Is there an event that could drive lots of traffic away? Is it the right period for consumers to spend money on our product?

-Appoint responsibility for measuring traffic on a regular basis, do we have a process in place to nurture the potential 13 new customers for retention, taking into account the time necessary for building SEO authority? Is the time frame realistic? Do you have the headcount to develop the content? Will it be internal or external?

 

At this stage you need to ask yourself is this objective relevant in the bigger picture? Remembering what we said at the beginning of this section, the marketing objectives should tie in nicely with the business objectives. Even if you started by studying the business objective to develop the marketing one, once it is crafted, take a step back and look to see if it is still relevant. Some tips to check your objective against the overall goals and business priority include:

  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
  • Are we the right team/am I the right person to reach this goal?
  • Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?

Once again have a look at our examples and think about what could make them not relevant in the bigger picture.

  • Increase the annual banquet dinner attendance by 150% by emailing out 300 additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having ten local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP

-Are sponsors and volunteers a good fit for the event attendees?

-Are local businesses busy at this time of the year?

-How will this event attendance solve for the business goal of increasing sales?

-What value will the event bring in the buyers’ journey?

  • Increase website traffic by 21% using owned content optimization to drive customers to our site organically by increasing our website authority, delivering 13 new customers per month

-Is website traffic usually stable at this period?

-How much profit do 13 customers bring and is that relevant compared to the current sales goals?

-Is the website optimized for higher traffic?

-Is the promoted content aligned with our core brand value proposition?

 

Finally, your objective needs to be Time-bound in order to set limits to the time spent on this particular objective and to fit the business timeframe in terms of target, product development, and other major time-bound events. A time-bound goal can be identified by answering these questions:

  • When?
  • What can I do today?
  • What can I do six weeks from now?
  • What can I do six months from now?
  • Based on research, what is the appropriate timeframe that should be given to achieve this goal?

Selecting the length of time you think it will take to reach your goal will help you figure out how aggressive you need to be with your marketing efforts.

Let’s take another look at our example, once completed with the time quality:

  • Increase the annual banquet dinner (March 28th) attendance by 150% by emailing out 300 additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having ten local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP by January 15th.
  • By September 21st, 2018, increase website traffic by 21% using owned content optimization to drive customers to our site organically by increasing our website authority, delivering 13 new customers per month

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2 thoughts on “http://How%20To%20Establish%20SMART%20Objectives%20For%20Digital%20Marketing

  1. Reply
    Business Networking Site
    March 31, 2020 at 10:59 am

    very helpful discussion! mostly a great article other than some disagreements. all praise for the author.
    Business Networking Site recently posted…How to Start a Business ConversationMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Adeniyi Salau
      April 5, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Thanks.

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