Like other marketing strategies, digital marketing must have a set of objectives which will keep you on track and guide you. Digital marketing objectives are in some ways unique but somehow show some similarities with offline or traditional marketing objectives.
Why is it necessary to set your digital marketing objectives?
Some marketers would say these are the beacons or guiding light that keep you oriented and guided toward where you want to take your business within a certain period of time.
For other marketers who have a shorter span of time to deal with, it is like the bullseye which when hit represents a significant achievement.
Whatever the way you look at it, a guide or a target, objectives pull you toward a goal that identifies and quantifies your digital marketing success.
Putting it another way, without objectives your digital marketing efforts will go nowhere or bound to fail.
How do you set your objectives?
Digital marketing objectives are a subset and a function of your business’ strategic, finance, marketing, and operations objectives.
Your digital marketing objectives are dictated by the various wider functions of your business.
These objectives are guided by your business’ short- and medium- term goals like being one of the top five companies in your industry five years from now.
You have to factor in your financial objectives as well. This could be something like a return on investment of 12% for the current fiscal year.
The digital marketing objectives are, of course, largely determined by your overall marketing objectives. Most of your digital marketing objectives would likely be a subset of the overarching marketing objectives.
These can be a percentage share of digital marketing to the total number of customers acquired, total leads generated, total customer engagement, total sales by product category, total sales by channel, total promotions cost, total advertising cost, total marketing costs, or returns on marketing costs or returns on ad spend for the current year.
Your operations objectives are also taken into consideration when you list your digital marketing objectives like improving specific efficiency or productivity level next year by at least 10%.
How do you present your objectives?
As you already know, the most popular approach to setting business objectives is to follow the SMART mnemonic – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Let us identify some of the more common objectives used for digital marketing and state these following SMART:
- 35% share of total sales generated until December 2019;
- 1,000 leads generated for the next 6 months ending June 2019;
- 100 customers engaged monthly;
- 1,000 average number of website visits monthly;
- 20% share of total marketing cost for the year ending December 2019;
- 40% share of total advertising cost for the year;
- 15% return on marketing spend for the year.
There are more digital marketing objectives you can choose but all of it depend not only on the type of industry or business category you are in but also on your specific business needs and requirements.
A business engaged in the marketing of physical products may have a different set of objectives from those involved in services marketing. Businesses catering to the B2C sector have different objectives from those in the B2B sector.
How important is identifying and assessing your digital marketing objectives?
You manage the performance of your business by looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) for each major functional area such as finance, marketing, operations, and others.
These are targets and measures you set when you make the annual plan and budget for your business. These are reviewed periodically to monitor progress as you move toward your annual performance targets.
Your digital marketing objectives are part of these periodic reviews. As subsets of the major functions, you must monitor on a more frequent basis how actual performance is doing versus your various digital marketing objectives.
At this more specific level of performance, you will know in advance whether or not you will attain your bigger KPIs for the month. You will then have enough time to change tactics to mitigate the situation and improve periodic results.
It is also advisable to know the digital marketing objectives of your major competitors. Pursuing a more relevant and more crucial objective than your competitors can give you a competitive edge. You may consider some objectives as more critical than those being pursued by your competitors.
Your objectives keep you on track with your digital marketing efforts. You go nowhere without SMART objectives. It is important to keep in mind that your digital marketing objectives are largely derived from the overall strategic, finance, marketing, and operations objectives of your business.
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