Main Objectives of Internet Marketing - Setting Up A Strategy
Creating a goal-oriented marketing strategy is essential for your company’s long-term success. Without it, all your efforts will be futile, and your budget will suffer.
But how can you best determine which goals to prioritize? With all the potential focus points, you will need to know what your company needs at a particular point in time.
In this article we explore the main objectives of internet marketing and help you set goals by looking at your company needs. After reading this post, you should know how to set data-driven targets, and build systems to achieve them.
Main objectives of internet marketing strategies
The goal of any marketing strategy is to help a company make more money. But this target is rather complex, since it depends on achieving smaller, more specific subgoals. Let’s have a look at the most common objectives of digital marketing, and how these lead to business growth.
1. Improve conversion rates
One of the most popular objectives of internet marketing is the growth of conversion rates. In short, the main focus lies on turning a higher percentage of visitors into paid customers.
In order to measure progress, companies will need to understand where they currently stand. This can be done by measuring the conversion rate of their physical and/or ecommerce stores:
- Physical retail stores may need to install a counter and the stores entrance to get an approximate count of the customers that visit the store. Then, they can divide the total with the amount of sales that were made.
- E-commerce stores will usually have an analytics section in the backend to keep track of your store’s process. Shopify, for example, has a very handy overview.
For reference, the average conversion rates in the retail industry are:
- ±2% for e-commerce stores
- ±22,5% for brick-and-mortar stores
If your numbers score below this , you might want to explore what is causing the issues and adjust your efforts to address the issue. Here are some common ways companies use to achieve this:
- Improving the customer experience through personalized offers.
- Adding elements of scarcity (e.g. limited-time discount codes).
- Improving their SERP presentation (Improve META data through SEO efforts).
- Minimizing the amount of effort a customer needs to take in order to find and purchase an item.
Overall, increasing conversion rates requires you to continuously remove obstacles and increase incentives.
2. Increase repeat purchases
Many marketing strategies focus on increasing their customers’ lifetime value, by growing their purchase frequency. Not only are customer retention strategies 5 times cheaper than acquisition plans, they are also more efficient when it comes to long term loyalty.
This is especially true for companies with high acquisition costs. An increase in repeat purchases grows the total value of a customer, making the high costs of acquisition acceptable.
To determine whether your company should pursue this objective, start by defining your customers’ lifetime value (CLV). This can easily be done on Excel, and the following video explains the process in detail:
Once the number is established, you can take the necessary steps to adjust your offer. This is done through a number of different ways, the most popular of which are:
- Introducing loyalty programs. These do not only lead to repeat purchases but also lead to improved engagement with your audience.
- Adding subscription-based purchases. A trend that became popular through digital services is slowly expanding into the world of retail.
- Cross-selling and/or up-selling relevant products at checkout to increase total cart value.
- Increasing the potential applications of a single product (e.g. 2-in-1 body wash for men). When you give consumers more reasons to buy a product, they will most likely do so.
3. Increase qualified traffic
Newer brands will often focus on growing traffic numbers. This is done to increase awareness and introduce the target audience to your product(s). It is also a great way to test demand for a particular offer, and grow your email marketing list.
Generally speaking, there are three segments of traffic you can focus on:
- Paid traffic - This is usually bottom funnel traffic that is generated through advertisements on social media channels and Google. While the visitors are highly qualified, companies will need to keep paying money if they wish to maintain a consistent stream of traffic. It is an excellent way to start getting leads instantly, but comes at a higher cost.
- Organic traffic - All visitors that find your website in a non-paid manner. This is highly related to your SEO efforts, social media and email marketing traffic, referral traffic, etc. Overall, organic traffic is more diverse and long-term oriented compared to its paid alternative.
- Foot traffic - Real-life visitors that visit your store as a result of internet marketing. Here, some tools work better than others, with email marketing and social media taking the first place.
Even though these traffic sources are not the same, they are often interrelated. For example, in your efforts to increase organic traffic, you could focus on Local SEO. Apart from driving more people to your website, this could also lead to increased foot traffic in your physical store.
To start the process of attracting qualified traffic, a company should focus on understanding their audience and target all their segments through personalized offers, written content, and community building.
4. Increase revenue
The fourth objective in this list is the one that indirectly includes all the above. Increasing sales is the underlying, long-term goal of every growth strategy. All the previously-mentioned objectives can be seen as subgoals.
Increasing revenue is a “high-level” objective, meaning that it derives from achieving smaller marketing objectives over a longer period of time (e.g. annual).
- A revenue target is set by looking at historical patterns and their effectiveness in the past. For example, you may have data suggesting that a particular type of marketing campaign led to an increase of 15% in MoM revenue over a 12-month period.
- You can use this information to set a more ambitious goal (e.g. 20% revenue increase in 12 months).
- Having set your goal, you will then list all the smaller objectives and measure results in smaller timeframes (e.g. monthly or quarterly).
- Based on the results of smaller timeframes, you will be able to tweak the strategy, stay on track with your long-term goals, and improve upon the previous marketing efforts.
How to define and measure marketing objectives
Now that you have a better idea of the most common digital marketing objectives, it’s time to define your own unique goals.
Define objectives in a SMART way
To avoid sounding too abstract and generic, you will need to create a “SMART” goal. The acronym stands for:
- Specific - Make sure that the goal is well-defined
- Measurable - Include numbers and benchmarks to track progress
- Achievable (or Attainable) - Ensure that the goal is realistic
- Relevant - Include the main benefit(s) of reaching the goal
- Time-bound - Set a deadline or appoint a specific timeframe
Here is an example of a SMART objective when it comes to traffic growth:
Grow organic inbound traffic of XYZ store (Specific) to 2000 visitors month-over-month (Measurable) by Q2 of 2021 (Time-Bound) through SEO optimization (Achievable), in order to increase subscriber count (Relevant).
To get a better understanding of what constitutes SMART goals, make sure you check the video below:
Measuring progress and results
Once the goal is clarified, assign relevant KPIs and benchmarks to evaluate progress and assess results. Examples of metrics you can track include the following:
- Conversion rates
- Cost per lead/customer
- Increase in revenue/profit
- Sales growth
- Market share
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Average Customer Spend (ACS)
- SEO metrics (Impressions, clicks, CTR)
- Google ads metrics
- Social media metrics
Following the goal we set previously, you would need to assign KPIs that track organic inbound traffic over longer periods of time. In this case, the least you would need to track is:
- Impressions, clicks and click-through rates through Google Search Console.
- Organic traffic sources (by utilizing UTM parameters) and user-related metrics through Google Analytics.
Putting it all together
You should now have a better idea of goal setting and all the different areas you can focus on. When it comes to the main objectives of internet marketing discussed in this article, here are the options you can choose from:
- Growing conversion rates
- Increasing repeat purchases
- Increasing qualified traffic
- Growing revenue numbers (can include the above as sub-goals)
Choosing the objective you want to focus on is highly individual, and you will need to decide what you company could most benefit from. As soon as you establish an objective, define your goal in a SMART way, and structure the plan accordingly. When everything is ready, you can proceed to the execution phase and measure results.