11.03.2024 - Digital Marketing

A Guide to Setting Digital Marketing Objectives

Vague goals mean vague marketing activities – both of which translate to lacklustre results. Not to start this blog post on such a downer, but it’s kind of the truth. Without a lighthouse of solid, achievable goals guiding the way, you’re bound to be lost at sea.  

If you want to achieve what you’re setting out to, then you’ll need the right digital marketing objectives. Below, we’ll guide you through how to set marketing aims and objectives, why they matter, and what goals you can start planning your team’s activity around.

Why you need digital marketing objectives

There are lots of different reasons why you need digital marketing objectives. But let’s just cut to the chase. We can’t think of any more important reason than digital marketing objectives are what give your team and the business direction. When you don’t know what you’re working towards, you won’t know which marketing activities to pursue, or which of them are even working.

In a goalless marketing team, you run the risk of pursuing vanity metrics – surface-level stats that don’t provide you with any real value to make use of. Stocking up your digital strategy with valuable objectives means every decision you make is backed up by detailed, in-depth reasons. So, let’s see the kind of objectives you should be focusing on…

Things to consider when setting your objectives

Business objectives

One way to create better digital marketing goals: align them with the goals of your business. If the two are out of sync, then you’ll be pursuing different things. At the planning stage, make sure your marketing team is involved with broader operations so you know what you need to do to make the pieces fit.

Short-term objectives

While the bigger picture is what’s most important, some quick gains will definitely help you along the way to your destination. Things like increased web traffic, more leads and greater numbers of conversions will all give you smaller wins that keep the momentum up as you pursue longer-term goals.

Long-term objectives

These are the real meat of your digital strategy – the things you want to achieve in the months or years to come. They won’t happen quickly, but they’ll be what drives you onwards. Destination goals like these usually consist of things like building brand awareness, becoming a brand authority or fostering a loyal base of customers.


Of course, setting goals doesn’t mean they’re in place forever. The best marketers are the ones who are constantly monitoring and then adapting things based on results, business goals, team resources and changes to the overall strategy.

SMART Objectives

If you’ve been making goals at random or going after vanity metrics, then try getting SMART with them instead. Here’s how you can go about creating SMART digital marketing objectives…

  • Specific: Don’t be wishy-washy here. Your goals should be specific. What are you setting out to do? Who’s responsible for doing it? And what do you need to do to achieve it? The more specific you can be here, the better.
  • Measurable: When your goals can be measured, you’ll be able to track their progress. This lets you know whether things are working, or if you need to change your approach instead. 
  • Achievable: Are you biting off more than you can chew? Before you put your digital activity into motion, ask yourself whether your goals are realistic. The last thing you want to do is put the work in, only to find that you can’t actually achieve them.
  • Relevant: Touching on what we said earlier, make sure you’re weighing up whether your digital marketing goals align with those of the wider business.
  • Time-bound: Deadlines are important. They let everyone know when a goal has been reached, let your team understand how long a campaign is to run for, and maintain focus over the course of its completion.

Planning activity around your objectives

Now that you have your objectives, where do you go from here? The next step will be to align your chosen goals with activity that’ll set them in motion. Here’s a few pointers for doing that…

  • Keep your goals in mind

Always having your goals front and centre goes a long way towards staying focused on what you want to achieve – and lets you course correct if your activity is beginning to stray.

  • Know what your audience likes

Investigating your audience’s online behaviour will give you a better idea of what kind of shape your activity should take. Data around the channels they prefer and the ways they like to get their information helps with your decisions: will you use emails to target them? Will paid social ads resonate with their preferences? Or will long-form blog posts speak to them more, for example?

  • Combine short-term with long-term

Think about how short-term goals can speed up getting to your long-term ones – and vice versa. For example, will insights from your paid ads help with your SEO strategy? Or will your social media drive your users to the site? The data you glean from certain activity can help fine-tune your efforts elsewhere, so it’s always worth having the bigger picture in mind.

  • Don’t forget about your budget

The budget at your disposal will be a big factor, too. Without the right amount of money, the activity you want to carry out might struggle to get off the ground. Make sure the budget, resource and expertise are available to you before you get stuck in on implementing your strategy.

Elevate your digital marketing

Need an extra steer to really give your digital marketing objectives a boost? Here’s what’s available from us to help you out with…

Download our Digital Marketing Maturity Matrix Template

You can plot your level of digital marketing maturity using our free, downloadable template. It’s an effective way of knowing where your activity is right now, and where you want to get to in the future. You can grab it below:

We hope you’ve found everything above super useful when it comes to setting digital marketing objectives that work for you. Still need help? Get in touch with our team here and we’ll work together on creating effective goals to boost your business’ digital performance.