“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
Taken from Marketing Interactive’s “Ridiculous things clients in Singapore say”:
“We need a SG50 campaign. Because it is SG50.”
"We don't know what we want. But we'll tell you what we don't like when we see it."
“Can we create a festive campaign that can be used for Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year?”
What these hilarious campaign requests have in common is the absence of objectives. You don’t need to be Benjamin Franklin to see that a campaign without objectives is a surefire “plan to fail”.
However, while you may have campaign objectives that are not as ludicrous, are you doing them right?
We come across many B2B clients who want to establish “thought leadership” in their markets, but such an objective is still too nebulous to be workable or actioned on.
Are you asking the right questions such as, “What is your current market share? Do you have the capabilities to attain your ideal position in the market? How are you performing vis-à-vis your competitors?” Without considering these questions, thought leadership is more an aspiration than a proper actionable objective.
Think SMART About Your Campaign Objectives
A clearly defined and informed set of objectives is the backbone of an effective marketing campaign. To get that, we recommend thinking S.M.A.R.T (or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely):
|Element||What is it?||Instead of saying...||...Say this instead|
|Specific||Your objectives should be as targeted as possible to keep your campaign focused||“We want to be more profitable”||“We want to increase our share of the B2B technology market in Singapore by 25% next year”|
|Measurable||Your objectives should be trackable and quantifiable||“We want greater social influence/ brand engagement/ thought leadership/ (insert whatever buzzword that is all the rage)”||
“We want to double our Marketing Originated Customer % by the end of 2016”
|Achievable||Your objectives can be challenging, just make sure they are possible and realistic to reach||“We want to be the next Salesforce”||“We can go from being currently #10 in the Singapore market for enterprise cloud computing to # 9 if we commit to the following over the next 2 years”|
|Relevant||Your objectives should be aligned with your company’s corporate objectives||“We want to grow the number of likes we receive on our social media platforms”|
|Timely||Your objectives need deadlines||“We are going to target the Southeast Asian market… when we are ready”||“We will start with the Malaysian and Thai markets in the second quarter of 2016, and expand to the Indonesian market by the fourth quarter”|
Making Marketing Objectives SMART(er)
Let’s return to the earlier thought leadership example ("We want to be thought leaders") and refine this nebulous objective by applying the SMART principles.
If your marketing team is tasked with planning a thought leadership campaign, how do you craft useful and ground marketing objectives for raising your company’s profile as a thought leader?
After some research, you might come up with the following objectives:
- The company currently stands at number 10 in its market, but it can progress to number 9 (measureable) and raise its profile as a thought leader (specific), in 2 years’ time (timely)
- A major component of the campaign will be dedicated to content marketing and distribution. This will establish the company as an expert and authority on the challenges customers face and improve lead generation (relevant and achievable)
- Campaign budget allocation over the next 2 years is as follows: 60% for content marketing and distribution, 20% for advertising, and 20% for media training of subject-matter experts (measureable and achievable)
Let This be The North Star That Guides Your Marketing Campaigns
To get started with planning your marketing campaign, we’ve dedicated the first section of our 4-Step B2B Inbound Marketing Campaign template to defining your objectives. Remember that SMART objectives are essentially grounded in knowing where your company stands in the market and what it takes to get to where you want to be. Numbers are also your best friends as incorporating them into your objectives lets you track your progress and measure your marketing ROI.
Remember: Let your marketing objectives be your North Star!
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