How do you track the progress of a marketing objective?

By Kelly Oldham | March 13, 2020

We’ve previously discussed how effective goal setting can really help you create a focused campaign for your business that drives progress towards your targets. Now you’ll need to select some marketing objectives and decide how to deliver and track them – but how do you do this?

Carrying out the evaluation process suggested in Goal 1 of our goal setting blog should arm you with the data you need to work from. What you choose to focus on is entirely dependent on what you feel requires the most attention at this time. Is one product not selling as well as others? Do people often associate your products with that of a competitor’s? Feel like you’re sending great content out into the void where it appears to make no impact?

In this blog, we will be drawing together the advice from our goal setting and measurement posts to help you take the next steps in refining those crucial marketing objectives. Below you will find an overview of desires (which form the basis of marketing objectives); potential activity or content you might use in pursuit of these desires; the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that could be used within your marketing strategy; and the tools the team here at Smith Goodfellow find useful to measure performance and progress.

Most of the objectives we find ourselves and our clients working towards fall into four broad categories: brand awareness, financial, customer and operational. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should hopefully help get you started setting up a marketing plan specific to your business’ requirements and give you a better understanding of how to track performance throughout the year.

Please note: the tools and websites we list below are ones we’ve used and found helpful. We have not been paid to promote them and links supplied are not affiliate links.

Brand awareness

We explored this within the goal setting blog, but this is perhaps one of the hardest objectives to track accurately, so do bear this in mind when you come to set your KPIs.

Desire

  • I want to grow my digital presence
  • I want us to be seen as an authority in our industry
  • We want to be seen as a trusted brand
  • We want our brand to be associated with specific products or industry solutions
  • We want to add value to the industry/for our stakeholders

Potential delivery

  • Thought leadership pieces (eg. articles, blogs)
  • Instructional content (eg. white papers, guides)
  • Videos (eg. ‘how to’, interviews)
  • Events/exhibitions/seminars
  • CPDs

Potential KPIs

  • Target market surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Brand name searches (or product names that are associated with your brand)
  • Brand mentions on social (social listening – brand name/tagged/hashtag)
  • Website traffic (direct)
  • Reach/impressions
  • Coverage (print and digital eg. articles, interviews)

Example tracking tools

Financial

Financial objectives are a common and important aspect of driving and measuring business development. Identifying specific areas for financial growth and keeping track of relevant data streams is vital for fulfilling these objectives.

Desire

  • I want to increase revenue/profits
  • I want to grow revenue streams/expand into a new market
  • We need to promote a particular product/service
  • We want to be able to cross-sell/upsell more effectively when we attract a customer

Potential delivery

  • Update website (eg. e-commerce, landing pages)
  • Improve SEO/ranking
  • Advertising (Eg. Adwords, social, industry magazines/digital, newsletter)
  • Content (address FAQ; highlight benefits and solutions eg. articles, blogs, videos)
  • Events/exhibitions

Potential KPIs

  • Conversions
  • Enquiries
  • Quote requests
  • Website traffic (landing pages, goal completions)
  • Social engagement
  • Average spend per customer
  • Cost per lead (cost to attract vs average spend in given period)

Example tracking tools

  • Internal reports (eg. financial, database)
  • Website analytics
  • Email
  • URL tracking
  • Social media monitoring/analytics

Customer

Prioritising customers within your business objectives is a great way to build community, positive reputation and growth.

Desire

  • I want to improve customer satisfaction
  • I want to encourage brand advocacy
  • I want to increase referrals to us
  • I want to increase brand loyalty (lifetime value)
  • I want to receive more leads (lead generation)
  • I want to increase engagement with our brand/content

Potential delivery

  • Content (eg. articles, blogs, videos, case studies, guides)
  • Social media campaigns (eg. customer stories, case studies, testimonials, support services, guides)
  • Customer service (eg. promote warranties/support/guarantees available)
  • Newsletters/follow up

Potential KPIs

  • Sentiment
  • Survey
  • New leads
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Shares on social
  • Referrals (eg. backlinks, word of mouth)
  • Database growth
  • Customer engagement on social
  • Returning customers (quantity/percentage)
  • Lifetime spend
  • Newsletter signups

Example tracking tools

  • Media monitoring
  • Website analytics
  • Forms (eg. ‘How did you hear about us?’)
  • Database stats (eg. MailChimp, Zoho CRM)
  • Review service (eg. social platform, Google My Business, TrustPilot)
  • Social analytics
  • Financial reports

Operational

Operational objectives are important but can sometimes be overlooked. Prioritising key aspects of your business’s day-to-day processes within your objectives can improve efficiency, enhance your team’s sense of ownership, community and wellbeing, and ultimately drive business growth.

Desire

  • I want to improve our sustainability messaging/corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • I want to improve health and safety
  • I want to improve our processes
  • I want to improve internal relations
  • I want to increase our community engagement/initiatives

Potential delivery

  • Literature (eg. policies, guides)
  • Comms (eg. internal newsletter)
  • Social media campaigns
  • Content (address issues, schemes and solutions eg. articles, blogs, videos)
  • Media (eg. editors, local/industry press, chambers/local bodies)
  • Award entries

Potential KPIs

  • Quantity/weight/cost of waste collection and/or recycling
  • Implementation/employee update of new schemes (eg. energy use, recycling, cycling, plastic use)
  • Newsletter (output/contributions)
  • Employee engagement on social

Example tracking tools

  • Waste/recycling centre (eg. invoices, reports)
  • Internal reports
  • Internal comms (eg. surveys)
  • Newsletter analytics
  • Social media analytics
  • Alerts/mentions
  • Awards (entries/shortlist/wins)

If you’d like to recap how to turn your desire into a SMART marketing objective, you can learn about this here. In this blog, we used the example of brand awareness for goal setting:

“Feedback from an industry survey we circulated revealed that only 30% of respondents had heard of us. Over the next 12 months, we aim to increase this by taking the following actions: [INSERT ACTIONS RELEVANT TO YOU]. [I/NAMED DELEGATE] will create the plans for these by [DEADLINE].”

You may choose to spend the next 12 months publishing thought-leadership articles in relevant publications and blogs on your website/guest blog on other websites. Using tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Google Alerts and media monitoring, the potential KPIs over the year could include:

  • Brand mentions
  • Website traffic (direct & referrals eg. backlinks)
  • Reach/impressions
  • Coverage (print and digital eg. articles, interviews)

At the end of the 12 months, you’d create another survey to see if the percentage of respondents has increased. With increased exposure, brand awareness should have increased. If it hasn’t, were stats over the year good? If so, you will need to assess why brand awareness hasn’t improved. This should inform your analysis and strategy going forwards: Are your pieces reaching the right audience? Is your branding clear? Have more people responded to the survey, which has affected the percentage?

 

We hope you’ve found this useful. If you’re looking for a PR and marketing consultancy who specialises in construction to support you in creating your plan or delivering key pieces of work, we’d love to hear from you.