3 Tips for Goal Setting in Digital Marketing
If there’s anything more plentiful than buzzwords in digital marketing, it’s options for measuring success. And if there’s one way to kill a campaign quickly, it’s with unclear goals and KPIs. Responsibility for goal-setting is shared by whomever has a stake in the outcome of the campaign — corporate leadership, the marketing team, the agency, etc. I’ve worked with a lot of brands on a lot of campaigns. There are many reasons why goals might not be established at the outset, but not a single one of them is good.
What is good is this: goal-setting doesn’t have to be difficult, and I guarantee that by establishing them at the outset, your campaign will be better managed and more successful. Here are 3 basic tips for better goal setting:
1. Objectives vs. KPI’s: Know the Difference
Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist Avinash Kaushik has a great definition for objective: “The answer to the question, ‘Why does your website exist?'” A KPI, on the other hand, is a measure of progress toward that objective. Together, the KPIs tell the story, or paint “the bigger picture.” A company may say its objective is “to increase site traffic,” when site traffic is really a KPI for a broader objective, like building brand awareness or increasing qualified leads. Every digital campaign should have at least one overarching objective and, likely, several KPI’s.
2. Share Data
Data-driven marketing is here to stay (we can hope otherwise for needlessly tricky words like “Big Data”). Yes, “Don Draper has left the building,” and in order to set goals and establish reasonable expectations, it is critical that all parties involved (brand, agency, ad networks, etc.) share all relevant data. For instance, goals for a new CRM retargeting campaign cannot be reasonably established without insight into available customer data from the brand, information from the ad network and demand-side platform (DSP) on available impressions and full transparency from the executing agency.
3. Be Open to a Conversation
Digital marketing affords brands and agencies tremendously sophisticated tools and methods for analysis and reporting. Given that reality, it’s important that when a new campaign is being planned, the teams involved have an open conversation about goals – regardless of initial objectives outlined during the RFP process, etc. Keep an open mind; some of the most successful campaigns I’ve worked on were the result of candid conversations and surprising ideas suggested in the goal setting process, not creative brainstorming sessions.