Do you have some audacious goals you’d like to reach for company growth? Without a structure in place, it may feel like you are stabbing in the dark and merely hoping your assumptions will work towards those ends.
You might not even have a clear vision for which goals should have the highest level of priority. And, if you aren’t goal-setting with marketing OKRs, you may not have a full picture of what key results are needed to support those top objectives.
SMART goals on their own are no longer enough. You need multiple Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals to accomplish large objectives.
So, let’s talk about marketing OKRs and how you can use them to do big things.
What are Marketing OKRs?
Objectives and key results (OKRs) are a method for setting overarching goals that might otherwise seem vague. The OKR spells out how a business can set, track and reach those lofty goals. Marketing teams use OKRs because it forces transparency and communication.
When you establish clear marketing OKRs, you realize where some goals simply cannot exist on the same level as others—one has to take precedence over another because the key results are conflicting.
This keeps your team from overpromising and underdelivering. Rather than making promises that might fall flat because they are unsupported and undefined, objectives are established in a clear and concise way with measurable results to show success or failure.
Spelling out objectives and how they will be accomplished with OKRs really helps your team get on the same page as other departments.
In the book Measure What Matters by John Doerr, The Chief of Pizza at Zume, Aaron Butkus, summed up the value of OKRs perfectly:
“If I’m creating a new seasonal pie, I can’t do it on the spur. Marketing needs to know at least a week ahead of time, and then photo and design have to take pictures. It affects every department—the product manager’s website, the tech team and their mobile app. The OKRs keep me centered and on track. They guarantee that I get the recipe done in time for everyone who’s waiting on it. My deadline’s built into a key result. I can see the bigger picture more clearly.”
7 Marketing OKRs Examples
So in order to really understand how this can benefit your business, let’s look at some important objectives that most companies would love to achieve.
Of course, every business is going to have different top objectives and their key results are going to look different based on their current status. So you will adjust the specifics to fit your own company and the numbers to line up with what growth looks like for you.
But here are some of our favorite marketing OKRs with examples of how they would be defined.
1. Organize marketers and strategies
First and foremost, every marketing department should have a marketing strategy to oversee every detailed part of the marketing strategy for a given amount of time (maybe the month, quarter or year). If that isn’t already in place for your team, you can use it as a top OKR to drive performance management.
2. Improve customer satisfaction
When customers are happy, they are likely to make a referral to friends and family. You want to build the kinds of post-purchase relationships that extend marketing beyond the bottom of the funnel with the conversion point.
3. Increase traffic from organic search
You can pay for ads all day, but the number of qualified leads finding you in a top search engine position (for free!) is hard to beat. These are people who are already looking for the topics, products or solutions you are covering on your pages.
4. Generate more qualified leads
Not all leads are created equal. Marketing teams shouldn’t just shoot for vanity metrics (likes, traffic or CTR), but KPIs (key performance indicators) that consider deeper meaning—like the quality of the leads they bring in. The goal isn’t to attract just anyone, but to attract those who want what you offer and have the power to buy it.
5. Create loyal customers
Retaining existing customers is much cheaper than continually bringing in new ones. Harvard Business Review reports acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere between 5-25 times more than retaining a current one.
In order to capitalize on what you’ve already done, you will want to increase the lifetime value of your customers (LVC) by both extending that timeline and increasing your remarketing strategies. Some industries will have this much easier than others, just by the nature of their product or service (especially those that require a subscription).
6. Build up local brand awareness
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is often easier to achieve than national SEO spots because the keywords are much more specific. Localized marketing also helps increase the number of competitors your customers are looking at when they are hoping to find a nearby business. After these basics are implemented, you might work to target leads by location on social media ads, sponsor local events or connect with local industry influencers (or industry experts) already in front of your audience.
7. Construct a seamless customer experience
With so many channels and content, it can start to feel disjointed. Marketing teams should keep it all together with a clear understanding of the buyer’s journey and customer’s experience. From white papers published on LinkedIn to the live phone support given by your customer service reps, the entire experience should remain consistent.
How to set and manage Marketing OKRs
So, now that you know you want to get OKRs in place, what should you do?
Start by defining the OKRs most important to your marketing and company goals. You can take this a step further and break down the OKRs for the whole company, each department and even individuals. All objectives must be clarified to see where certain points overlap or could cause conflict. If, for example, you want to target some of the younger generations in one objective, your objective to retain loyal customers from older generations could be impacted.
There is software you can get put into place to help manage these OKRs and keep them visible for your whole team. Top OKR software tools include:
To get the best OKRs in place for your company, you will want a top marketing exec. Not all businesses are ready to bring on a full-time CMO. This is where we can help. CMOx can help you hire a Fractional CMO for part-time management services or a marketing strategy consultant to kickstart your game plan. Talk to us today about how we can help you set and manage your marketing OKRs.