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Setting goals for your digital marketing

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 31 Oct, 2023
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Set the right goals for digital marketing using the 5Ss

Digital Marketing GoalsDo your set of goals for online marketing cover all the bases? A good set of digital marketing goals covers a range of different measures to help set, review, and control performance across all digital marketing activities. In this article, we cover the 5S framework which are a simple method to gain more focus on how digital marketing can support a business.

The 5Ss are a great simple framework, as the examples show. It's worth bearing in mind that goals are broader than objectives which we recommend as essential for setting targets and reviewing performance using digital marketing dashboards. If you need to use a more data-driven approach to digital marketing, see these primers or our free template for more examples:

Digital marketing goals through the 5 Ss

PR Smith, my co-author on Digital Marketing Excellence developed the 5Ss of digital marketing around 2000, and although basic, it's still used by many planning their digital marketing strategy. So I thought I'd share it here by showing how it applies today to ASOS.com, a dynamic online business.

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1. Sell - Grow sales

ASOS digital shopping cart

Start with your most important transactions that lead to revenue and profit! That's sales, or if you don't sell online, the leads that your online marketing will deliver will convert through to sales or donations if you're a not-for-profit.

Notice how ASOS aims to increase sales by boosting trust in the online purchase process and offering free delivery.

Tip. Using a conversion model helps set quantitative targets to hit. Use this Excel digital marketing budgeting spreadsheet we have developed to help set the right goals.

2. Speak - Get closer to customers through dialogue and participation

ASOS inspiration ASOS digital magazine

Digital channels are not only great sales channels, they excel as communications channels to engage your audience through the 6 main digital marketing tools. We recommend creating detailed conversion or budget models that allow you to set goals by channel for reaching and influencing your audience.

Since digital channels work best when joined with other channels, the goals here should also include online visits prompted by traditional offline media.

Although ASOS.com is a pureplay, its customer magazine is important in building the brand and influencing sales.

3. Serve - Add value

ASOS twitter marketing

The company website and social customer service are a natural place for customers to go to get their questions answered or to complain... Paying attention to the quality of service you offer is also key to support your capability to Sell, Speak, Save, and Sizzle.

So you need customer satisfaction goals to assess how good you are at customer service and then improve it further.

ASOS has invested in a choice of customer service channels as this example shows.

4. Save - Save costs

Less glamorous than the sizzle of building your brand and social media engagement, but you should show the value you gain through using online cost savings to reduce service costs and save on traditional media like print and post.

This is most relevant for a multichannel retailer or service company that can set goals for a number of catalogues downloaded or number of service transactions compared to other channels.

If you're fighting for budget for online channels, the savings you can demonstrate to your finance director or budget holder will help your cause.

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5. Sizzle - Extending your brand online

ASOS facebook marketing

Putting the Sizzle into your digital marketing will really help your sales and speak goals, but it's not too easy to set goals for and then to track. So what is the "Sizzle in your Sausage"?

Sizzle is about building your brand online. Think about what makes for a positive online brand experience is for your audience and you.

If the experience you create is effective, the benefits of engaging with your digital presence will be clear; the interactions within the site and with other channels will be smooth and the visitor will want to use your online services again and tell their friends and colleagues about it.

So key sizzle goals are levels of satisfaction and recommendations or advocacy. ASOS has invested heavily in community platforms and social media to deliver the sizzle!

Digital Marketing goals across the whole of the 5Ss

The 5Ss of digital marketing is a good, simple starting point to help check you're covering the whole of digital marketing, not just sales!

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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