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How to Set the Right Objectives for Digital Marketing Channels

A key frustration for the modern Marketing Manager is the sheer number of available channels at their disposal. In the world of digital, more channels emerge on a regular basis that are vying for attention and it’s up to the modern marketer to evaluate the benefits of each before testing as part of their wider campaign.

But what do you look for during that evaluation process for both new and existing channels? What does success look like on Twitter? What should the results of your PPC campaign be? What are the expectations of your email strategy?

Let’s look at how you can start planning for success and setting the right expectations for each of your digital channels.

Setting Objectives

The objectives that you set for your channels will depend where on the sales funnel you are using each channel:

Fresh Source Lead Funnel (1)

You should already have a plan in place for how you are going to bring relevant prospects in and how you are going to move them through the funnel, and your channel objectives should be in line with your objectives for each of these stages.

They can be broken down as follows:


You need to get people into the top of the funnel in order to start the buying journey, and there are a number of objectives you can set for monitoring the quality of these visits. Look beyond the pure number traffic number and set objectives around:

  1. Location – are the visits from the right country or city?

  2. Engagement – what is the bounce rate for this traffic? Are they moving around the site? Are they downloading content?

  3. Are they taking a follow-up action, such as following you on Twitter or sharing one of your posts on LinkedIn?

These softer objectives are often quite hard to quantify, especially at board level. The channels used at this stage will normally be social channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn and they might not be the best at driving the business objectives that the board demands.

Set objectives based on their role in the sales funnel and demonstrate how this funnel works as a process to generate qualified leads to make life easier with the board.

Contacts & Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Once people are in at the top of the funnel, you need them to take an action to enable you to bring personalisation into your marketing and begin nurturing them into leads. Objectives to apply here are:

  1. Filling in a form and giving you their information – the number of raw contacts generated

  2. Where are the contacts from? Is it an area where you operate?

  3. What is their job description? Is it someone you can sell to?

If you can collect enough data to show that the contact is in line with your target persona, these can be categorised as an MQL. MQLs generated can be an objective for channels such as email and LinkedIn advertising.

Sales Qualified Leads

Once you have a list of MQLs, you need to start to establish their buying intent. This can be through: –

  1. Interaction with an offer, such as a free trial

  2. An increased level of engagement with sales sections of the website, such as case studies or pricing pages

This will be an objective of your lead nurturing channels, which could include remarketing and email.


Sales will ultimately be what your channels are judged on. You need to look at:

  1. Assisted attribution. Chances are someone didn’t come from Twitter and buy from you straight away, so ensure you can track a user’s journey from first contact right the way through to sale

  2. What has each channel’s role in the road to a sale been? Have they used the resources section on your website for research? Have they read everything you’ve put on LinkedIn? Have they followed you on Twitter? Every touch point will have influenced the sale

Setting channel objectives becomes simpler once you apply it to the sales funnel process and it enables you to apply a tangible relationship between softer metrics such as visits and business goals such as sales.

The key to this is tracking, every channel will play a role in ultimately converting into a sale. Understand the different touchpoints involved in the sales process, understand the role each channel plays in this and set objectives designed to understand and improve performance in their role.

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