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Good vs. Bad Marketing Objectives

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Marketing Essays

marketing objectives

In the B2B software industry, the higher-ups will create marketing objectives based on website traffic and free trial conversion rates. Then, they assume correlations so that an X% increase in traffic will result in Y% increase in sales.

In this mindset, it always comes down to visitors and conversions. But it’s based on many flawed assumptions.

First, analytics dashboards are not accurate. If a visitor’s browser uses an ad blocker, it stops Google Analytics from loading. Same thing if they click the button to reject cookies. But higher-ups love GA because it’s FREE.

Second, analytics dashboards tell what a website visitor does, not what they think. And that’s important in proper objective setting. (See below.)

Third, it is difficult to increase conversion rates significantly in B2B software with high prices and long sales cycles. People will rarely start a free trial or schedule a demo the first time that they visit. They typically do a lot of research for a long time – meaning they will likely visit the website numerous times before doing a free trial or booking a demo.

Fourth, not all traffic is equal. You don’t know from which market segment a visitor came because you likely have not done proper research and segmentation at all.

Fifth, it leads to having no strategy and poor tactical planning. Everyone just thinks about traffic. “How can we get more traffic from LinkedIn?” “How can we get more traffic from Google Ads?” “How can we get more traffic from SEO?” And so on.

So, what’s the alternative? Creating strategic objectives based on the actual people or companies in the market.

First, commission proper market research to get (in part) the numbers for each stage of the customized end-to-end funnel for your specific company.

Second, segment the total market based on the research. You’ll see (among other things) that each segment will have different numbers for each stage of the funnel. (And the total market will have numbers too.)

One segment might not be aware of you at all. One segment might be completely aware but will not consider you at all. One segment might have a strong preference for you but has not started a free trial (for some reason). And so on down the funnel.

Third, you can decide which segments to target and then create financial objectives based on proper numbers rather than faulty analytics dashboards. For example, if the GOAL to increase revenue from $1m to $5m, you can calculate which percentages at which funnel stages in each targeted segment will need to increase and by how much. Raising one percentage figure by X% in the next period is one STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE. You’ll have a set of them. Then, you can create a tactical plan to achieve each objective.

This is how to create proper marketing objectives long before thinking about tactics. But it all depends on getting market research at the beginning and not relying only highly inaccurate analytics dashboards. And it’s hard to convince tech CEOs to pay for that.

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