Measure Twice, Market Once – Best Ways to Set Marketing Objectives

Too many campaigns are launched without setting clear marketing objectives upfront. In 6 months when you look back, how will you know you were successful if you don’t have clarity on what you were looking to accomplish from the beginning?

Recently, I was asked to be one of the judges for the American Marketing Association-Houston Chapter’s 28th Annual Crystal Awards. The Crystal Awards are Houston’s premier marketing event that honors the vision and strategic direction of the city’s best marketing work. The awards are about results and marketing objectives as much as they are about creativity.

I was impressed with many of the entries and their smart approaches to solving real problems for their organizations. Unfortunately, I was also left scratching my head by others that didn’t have clear marketing objectives or solid analytics to measure whether the campaign had actually delivered on it’s stated goals.

“Build greater visibility in the market” is nice, but it isn’t a measurable goal that is tied to an outcome that will drive bottom line results for the company.

4 questions to ask when building your marketing objectives that will put the campaign on the path to success.

1. What is the problem we are trying to solve?

This one seems obvious but it is the first place many people go wrong. Be very clear about exactly what you are trying to accomplish. For example:

  • Generate 20% more new sales in the 3rd quarter
  • Increase average revenue per sale by 30% over prior year
  • Deliver a 40% increase in repeat sales within the healthcare sector clients

A measurable and quantifiable target in the very beginning will make all the difference in the success of your program, as it will keep you focused on what matters most.

2. How have we tried to solve this challenge in the past?

Everyone wants the breakthrough revolutionary idea that will make all the difference. Truth is most of what we do is more about evolution rather than revolution. In your planning, think about what can you learn from prior mistakes or improve on earlier successes.

3. How will we measure if it was a success?

If you want to build ongoing success you need to have clarity on how you will measure that success. The tools you need are dependent on your activities and objectives.

  • Web analytics like Google Analytics will help measure overall traffic
  • Tracking URL’s can compare effectiveness of different activities
  • Webmaster tools will provide insight into keyword impact and SEO
  • Landing page metrics provides the ability to convert traffic to leads
  • Marketing automation measures conversion of leads to sales conversations

Just be sure you work out the reporting requirements you will need before you start your campaign so everything is in place and ready when you launch.

4. Can it be turned into a repeatable, sustainable program?

It’s awesome if you can deliver a successful results oriented campaign once. But the real trick is to do it again and again. Part of your marketing objectives should include how you scale the program into the future.

Answering these simple questions for your campaign will help ensure it is developed in a way that gives you the best opportunity for success.

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