As a result of the work I do, I have been in a position to review some digital strategies developed by various people over time. I am writing this article as a response to a digital strategy that was sent to me by a friend for assessment, recently.

What is becoming increasingly obvious in the documents I get to see is that “digital strategist” are become more “generalised” in coming up with their digital objectives. There are two reasons these could be happening in my opinion.

One is that they truly don’t know they need to be specific in their objectives, second is that they don’t believe in their ability to deliver on a very clear objective, so they choose to hide under vague objectives. This becomes more apparent when the document is being developed for a 3rd party who will expect you to deliver on the objectives. Clear objectives come with clear KPIs.

When coming up with a digital strategy, the number one thing you want to get out-of-the-way is the objective of the strategy itself; what do you want to achieve at the end of the day ? What is the purpose of you doing what you are about to do ? When you are not clear about this you really shouldn’t even get started.

Setting objectives is essential to any marketing endeavour regardless of whether it is digital or “traditional”, without them, your strategy would be all over the place, when you aim for everything at the same time, you stand a very good chance of missing out on everything.

Objectives need to be SMART.

Specific – crystal clear, no vagueness, make it easy for everyone to know what success will look like.

Measurable – This will help you determine if you attained your desired outcome.

Attainable – Make the objectives practical based on your available resources

Realistic – Don’t try to impress by going over the top

Time-bound – There must always be a time frame for any objectives you set out, you should never leave your objectives open-ended.

An example of a bad digital marketing objectives would be “To grow Facebook likes” another would be “To increase traffic to website”.

In reality these look like good objectives as they actually show what you intend to do; they however are not SMART. Imagine setting the above objectives and working with a digital marketing budget of ten million naira. After the campaign is completed, you successfully grew Facebook likes by 10 new likes or increased traffic to website from 2,000 unique visitors per day to 2,010 unique visitors per day? Would you say the campaign been successful ? I think not.

To save both you and your client a lot of headache in the end, agree on SMART objectives before the campaign commences. SMART objectives are practical objectives based on the resources at hand.

A good SMART objective would be “To grow Facebook likes by 20,000 new likes in 6 months” or “To increase monthly unique visitors to our website by 30% in 2014”

Set objectives that are specific, that are measurable, that are attainable, that are realistic and that are time-bound and you are well on your way to campaign success.


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