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Setting the right digital marketing objectives

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 30 Apr, 2018
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: Which objectives should be in your digital marketing plans?

"Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.”

So said, Kenichi Ohmae, who shared the Japanese approach to business planning with its idea of “long-term planning horizons”. It's useful to be clear on the difference between vision vs goals vs objectives vs KPIs as the measurement pyramid relating them shows.

With long-term digital marketing initiatives and transformation projects, the same is true, so it's essential that your digital marketing strategy features clear, SMART marketing objectives so that you have targets you can review performance against. Broader goals and vision can be useful too, to evangelize the benefits of digital marketing to the team.

A recent report from Adestra highlights the importance of choosing the right objectives to include within a digital marketing plan structure.

According to the research, the most important goals relate to lead generation (relevant to companies who don't sell online who are focused on lead generation) and online sales revenue (for those that do). This makes good sense since these are the main commercial outputs of a digital marketing plan. The other objectives are around critical success factors that support these goals, i.e. increasing traffic and user experience should achieve more outcomes. It makes sense to have specific objectives for these, for example increasing visits defined in a conversion funnel spreadsheet or increasing net promoter score. For Ecommerce businesses, breaking down sales into those from new and existing customers is needed.

In my books, I also recommend putting online channel delivered leads and sales in the context of overall sales, so showing the percentage contribution of digital sales is useful for multichannel businesses.

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.

This blog post has been tagged with:

Multichannel marketing plan

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