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This chapter is from the book

Goals Become Objectives

Your senior management (or perhaps you) has overall goals for the organization. Often the goals of an organization are an extension of the mission and are statements defining the outcome that the organization is trying to accomplish. For example, your marketing goal may be to become recognized as a leader in the online search engine marketing industry. Or the goal for We-Care.com might be to empower as many nonprofit causes as possible to supplement their donation revenue using passive, no-cost donation revenue.

Unlike goals, objectives are precise and measurable outcomes and always have a deadline associated with them. Essentially, objectives are the targets for actions taken to support the completion of a goal.

Converting goals into marketing objectives for a search engine marketing campaign may seem simple, but there are often many measurable metrics, all of which contribute in some way to the achievement of the overall goal you have set. Therefore, the best way to accomplish this conversion is to break the goals down into quantifiable stages and steps while also assigning a time period to the stage or step.

So, assume that We-Care.com will have paid search ad campaigns running both to attract and acquire nonprofit causes to sign up for its free online marketplace, while also advertising for new users to select a cause from the listed nonprofits and either register or make a purchase. In this case, several objectives could be created for different segments of the campaign, or the objectives could even be used in tandem on the same campaign. Consider the following objectives:

  • Acquire 300 new nonprofit partners at a cost of $30 or less per new registered cause during 2009.
  • Maintain a cost-per registered new shopper/supporter of $2 or less for the entire month of December.

Both of these objectives are tangible, measurable, and time-limited. The first has a fixed cost associated with its achievement; the second, although open-ended in terms of its final cost, is a concrete objective that can serve as a benchmark against which the health of the search campaign can be measured.

Chapter 9, “Campaign Setup: Conversion Pages, Bids, and Budgets,” will cover more about how technology analytics and campaign management platforms can both measure objectives and (using more sophisticated technology) maintain your campaign within your stated objectives.

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