You’re probably tired of hearing about how much the digital world, online media, and ecommerce continue to grow. Any marketer worth their salt will emphasize the importance of a digital presence, but if they’re really good, they’ll focus on what’s actually important: How do you become and stay relevant in such a competitive market?
Millions of companies have some degree of online sales platform and digital marketing strategy, and competition is only getting tougher. For that reason, rather than discuss the opportunities that digital marketing hold for your business, we’re going to show you how to capitalize on those opportunities!
Creating a media plan that focuses on both the interests of your company and your customers might seem complicated, but it’s a fundamental part of building brand recognition and a positive brand opinion, which you need to see returns in the vast and versatile digital world.
Where should you invest? What will have the best returns? What should you avoid? All of these are extremely important questions that need to be answered eventually, but to answer these questions, you have to first answer the question that is at the core of each of them: What are your digital marketing objectives?
How to Define Your Digital Marketing Objectives
Defining digital marketing objectives for your business can get messy, especially if the decision process involves multiple people, all of whom may not be completely familiar with how digital marketing works.
You might have heard of “thin air objectives” before. For example, imagine that you own a life insurance company and you sell 200 new plans every month. Like every business owner, you want what’s best for your company and you define your company’s new objective for the next six months as an increase to 1,000 new plans sold every month.
An outside observer might think, “Wow, this guy is hungry for growth!” And a “thin air objective” might actually work for your business, but if it did it wouldn’t be because of you, but rather your employees who pushed themselves to reach a completely arbitrary goal.
You need a better method than just defining objectives out of thin air. Your definition model should be logically sound, giving you a better understanding of your business’s situation before you define your objectives.
Defining Attainable Objectives
Continuing with our example of a life insurance company from earlier, imagine that to achieve 200 new plans every month your team has to answer 2500 inquiries (making your conversion rate about 8%).
Now imagine that every inquiry takes 10 minutes to handle and that you have 5 employees working 40 hours a week in your new business department.
Not all of their time will be used to answer inquiries, let’s say they spend a generous 75% percent of their time actually sitting down and interacting with potential customers.
Using these numbers, your inquiry response capacity is:
5 (employees) x 40 (hours per week) x 6 (inquiries per hour) x .75 (time spent on inquiries)
That equals 3,600 inquiries per month. If we multiply that by the 8% conversion rate, the absolute maximum number of new plans you could sell in a month is 288. That is way off of your 1000 plan goal.
Basically, it doesn’t make sense to define objectives without knowing what is attainable under your current circumstances. For that reason you have to know your business’s current situation before you define your marketing objectives.
Finding Bottlenecks in Your Process
When you go to define your objectives, analyze and understand the current bottlenecks in your process, identifying where you need to allocate more resources. That’s the only way to set objectives that aren’t “thin air objectives”.
Here’s a list of common bottlenecks that you should consider before defining objectives:
- Target Market: Your company should already have a well defined target market, and an effective way of impacting them with products that are of interest to them. Also, you should have a good understanding of the size of this market so you can calculate your potential market size.
- Buyer Personas: Along with your target market, you need to define your business’s buyer personas. It’s the only way to personalize your conversion process in order to increase your strategies effectiveness. Your target market lets you understand the demands of the market at large, but buyer personas, when properly defined, let you uncover buyers’ expectations, pain-points and needs.
- Leads Qualifying: Another important point is knowing how qualified your leads are. Remember that equation from earlier, where the conversion rate was eight percent? Well that number depends heavily on the quality of your leads. You have to understand the leads qualification and treatment process before you define your digital marketing objectives.
- Digital Marketing Plan: Do you already have a digital marketing plan? If not, you have to create one. It’s at the core of increasing your brands visibility online, informing all of your digital marketing actions. Is your company going to to work with inbound marketing? If so, what channels? Are you going to use a strategy that integrates online and offline, like omnichannel? Know how to answer all of these questions before you define your digital marketing objectives. Without a plan, your objectives are just dreams without any way of being achieved.
- Team: Understand the size and capacity of your team before setting objectives. Growth is always the goal, but it’s more important to ensure continued growth, setting attainable goals, than setting goals that are unachievable even after your team puts in all of its effort and time.
- Budget: Finally, you must also consider the budget allocation for each of your new objectives, especially if they depend on investment in new tools or employees to increase capacity. If you don’t have the budget necessary for increased spending on workflow optimization, take that into account, and set a more reasonable budget.
Perfecting Your Marketing Objectives
Define your objectives assertively and efficiently. It’s the key to obtain the results you want. Also, as part of your digital marketing objectives definition process, keep in mind your previous objectives. Everything you learned while in pursuit of these objectives, whether or not you attained them, will inform your objectives going forward.
With your marketing objectives defined, evaluate how much work and budget is necessary for each one, but that is a topic for another blog post.
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