Business Performance Digital Marketer+ Personal Development

Know your Objective

This article is the first in a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers already working in the digital marketplace, but also to others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. It will include tips, best practice, case studies and a fair amount of opinion. Not just my own, I’d love your input too. If you have any great ideas or experience, please do share it, as I’m keen to become a better digital marketer too.


Know your objective

There are probably far more exciting things to talk about to kick-off this series, but it’s important we start here, with Objectives. We need to know where we’re going, before we can work out how to get there.

Ask yourself this – do you know why you’re crafting that email newsletter today? Or why your display adverts are using that creative? Why that particular wording in the press release? Or why you’re monitoring mentions of your brand in Twitter?

If you don’t knowwhy are you doing it?

How much of what you’re doing today, is because you did it yesterday, and last week and because the person who trained you said you should do it that way?

The key to being a better digital marketer – or any marketer or business person for that matter – is to know what you’re trying to achieve and why. Only then can you unleash the creative beast inside you and deliver the outstanding results you want.

Tip: As toddlers we drive our parents mad, asking them “Why? Why? Why?” to everything. It’s a habit we grow out of as we get older. Try it again today, question others, and question yourself. But don’t just blunder on regardless.

There are three areas I’d recommend you consider:

Business Objectives

What are the objectives of your business? This is crucial to know. Each employee, each department, will have their own objectives, but they should all serve the objectives of the business.

Jim Sterne, in his book ‘Social Media Metrics’, says there are only three true business goals:

  1. Raise Revenue
  2. Lower Costs
  3. Increase Customer Satisfaction

According to Sterne, “If the work you do does not result in an improvement to one or more of these Big Three Goals, then you are wasting your time, wasting money, spinning your wheels, alienating your customers and not helping the organization”.

If you’re not sure of your company’s goals go ask your boss. If he/she is not sure either, maybe you need to go find a new boss too.

Project Objectives

Moving to a more tactical level, let’s look at what you’re trying to achieve from your own work, using a few examples:

  • Customer email newsletter: what is its purpose? It’s notoriously difficult to achieve high open rates on B2B newsletters, mainly because most are full of promotions to get the customer to spend more money. But is that your objective? Should it be? Or should it be about providing additional value to the customer and developing a longer term, more profitable relationship?
  • Campaign landing page: You have all your campaign ducks in a row…display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), email, facebook ads, video pre-rolls…all pushing potential customers through to your landing page(s). What do you want them to do when they get there? Purchase? Register? Vote? Follow? If you have a clear objective in mind, you’ll know what goes on the landing page – and what doesn’t. Just getting traffic to come in and dumping them on your homepage, hoping they’ll do something positive is not really a viable – or successful – strategy.
  • Social media monitoring: you’re ahead of the curve; you’re monitoring mentions of your brand in social media. Great. Why are you doing it? Watching out for negative comments is the most likely answer; protecting your company’s reputation. There are so many opportunities here, its important to be clear on what you want to get out of it. Yes, there is reputation management, but consider customer service, ideas for new product development, relationship building, sentiment on advertising campaigns and yes, in the right situation, a revenue opportunity.

Whatever the project, start by asking what do I want to achieve, swiftly followed by how will I measure it. Key to your objectives will be knowing when you’ve achieved them.

Personal Objectives

It’s not all about the company (unless you happen to own it). Think about your own objectives too. What do you want to get out of your work? Is this the best company and the right position for you to achieve what you want to do?

I consider myself fortunate that I work for company that has a culture of innovation and experimentation. It enables me to be creative, to test new products and ideas and recognises there is no harm in failing a few times along the path to success.

This works nicely for me. I deliver results for the company, while building my skills and experiencee, which in turn makes me more valuable to my current employer (and those in the future).

Have a think and write down what it is you want to be doing now in your role and again the same for 5 years time. Then think about how you’re going to get there. Will working for your current employer enable you to do that? If so, what do you need to learn and what experience do you want to gain?

And if its not the right company, well, even in this climate there are other jobs available that may suit you better. Follow this series and hopefully you’ll pick up some ideas that will boost your current performance and give you something to help you stand out from the crowd at your next interview.

So there you go, the beginning of your journey to becoming a better digital marketer. It all starts with the objectives. You have some thinking to do now. You’re at Point A and need to work out what Point B looks like. Then comes the fun part of making the journey.

Other posts in this series:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *