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How to align your marketing strategy with your objectives

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 01 Nov, 2023
Advanced Advanced topic

An integrated marketing strategy means every element of your marketing plan must contribute towards your vision for the business, or be cut out of the day-to-day workload

Lack of integration between strategic vision and the tactics needed to get there is a problem I often find when reviewing marketing strategies. That's why I created the RACE Growth System as a simple structure to unify your marketing strategy through goals, objectives, and KPIs.

This is true whether I'm reviewing student assignments or mentoring marketers creating real-world marketing strategies. More often than not, I find myself reading about different aspects of marketing objectives and tactics that just don't line up with each other - and leave you questioning why.

These issues can be magnified by marketing strategy structure - the way the document is split up into separate sections. Without a unifying framework, it's not clear how each strategy is supporting a goal or the analysis on which the objective is based. If this sounds familiar, keep reading to see our recommended approach to overcome these common challenges.

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Marketing strategy definitions:

Investopedia defines marketing strategy as: Referring to a business's overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.

Market Business News defines marketing strategy as: A company’s marketing goals and objectives combined into a single comprehensive plan.

Pestle Analysis defines marketing strategy as: An analysis of all aspects of your sales activity and combines it in a way so that all departments know what is going on.

These 3 definitions highlight the strengths of a concise marketing strategy to align your objectives with your vision, and the benefits for your team. That's why we recommend the RACE Framework.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, also called online marketing or internet marketing, is defined by Dr. Dave Chaffey as:

"Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital media, data and technology".

The RACE Growth System

RACE is a practical framework to help manage and improve results from your digital marketing strategy. Ultimately, it’s about using a data-driven approach, applying web analytics and recommended best practices to get more commercial value from your investments in digital marketing.

RACE Growth System

Notice how we have defined five steps of engagement across the customer lifecycle since in online marketing there is a major challenge in gaining initial interaction and creating those all-important leads after the initial customer touchpoint which can then be nurtured.

Integrating your omnichannel strategy will support your goals of channeling customers through the funnel of PLAN, REACH to ENGAGE, by measuring and tracking the most important touchpoints for your business right now.

If you're looking for a new marketing plan structure that helps you integrate your marketing activities and prioritize channels that generate growth, why not download our free RACE Growth System template?

Create your 90-day plan with the RACE Growth System

Download your free RACE Growth System guide today and unlock our three-step plan of Opportunity, Strategy and Action to grow your business.

Download guide

Marketing strategy example

The chart below is an example marketing strategy using the RACE Growth System to integrate objectives, substantiation, strategies, and KPIs.

1. SMARTER objectives are not a new concept in marketing. This means committing to quantified objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Likely, grouped around customer acquisition, conversion, or retention. You can use our set digital marketing goals and objectives module to improve your goal/objective setting technique.

2. Substantiation i.e. Evidence proving your goals are realistic based on situational analysis or creating conversion models.

3. Strategies to achieve objectives. Outline the main ways you will reach your objectives. It's also worth thinking about the full range of goals indicated by the 5Ss.

4. KPIs and CSFs. The Critical Success Factors are the detailed measures, for example, those collected within Google Analytics which will help you review to prove you're on track or make adjustments. You can use our opportunities to improve usage of Google Analytics module to review and improve your internal Google Analytics capabilities.

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I recommend this grid layout from our digital marketing plan workbook for aligning your strategies with your objectives since it provides a simple one to two-page summary of your marketing strategy. Much more effective than a long report your colleagues or clients won't read...

A tool to align strategy and objectives

If you're ready to start aligning or optimizing your marketing strategy, don't miss our free downloadable RACE 90-day planning template and interactive planning grid. Unlock these and more when you become a Smart Insights Free Member.

Create your 90-day plan with the RACE Growth System

Download your free RACE Growth System guide today and unlock our three-step plan of Opportunity, Strategy and Action to grow your business.

Download guide

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,, 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,, 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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