Is this the most important question in marketing?

What is the objective?

The most important question in our business, and maybe yours too, is often the question that’s most overlooked for its simplicity and because the answer is so commonly assumed. Here it is:

What is the objective?

Companies, businesses and individuals without an objective are like Twitter – there’s noise, activity and some level of assumed intention: but who knows what’s really happening, or why.

Because that’s the thing with objective; it’s easy to skim over or get wrong entirely.

Finding your objective

Usually the overall business goal is obvious – become a highly profitable company.

But it’s from here that businesses skip the objective and get stuck into the strategies and tactics – run an ad campaign, hire more staff, launch new product lines – without asking why, and how these tactics pair with the goal.

Examples of this are all around us: businesses with highly-qualified target markets that are advertising in widely-circulated newspapers or magazines, sites launching apps with no actual function, or businesses that rebuild websites that don’t communicate their own offering.

Getting the objective right

In some cases it’s not just about not knowing the objective, but that there’s congruency above (with your business goal) and below (with your strategy and tactics).

In the past I had a client through an agency that wanted to bid on iPad through Paid Search because that was a trending keyword at the time. They sold corporate software, but they thought that their objective was to get in front of as many eyes as possible, instead of selling their corporate software.

As an agency usually tasked with achieving an objective, not defining it, this sort of scenario can be tricky. Our own objective, though, is to deliver great value to our clients – so we work with this sort of client to understand their business and help direct them towards an objective that’s likely to be profitable and in line with their business goal.

Sticking to your objective

Another business I’ve worked with couldn’t commit to their objective. The wanted leads, in which case the Cost Per Lead and conversion of leads to sales should have been their most important metrics.

However, they couldn’t commit to their leads and continued to misalign their perception of the campaigns and their success based on other metrics. They would hold weekly meetings about small changes in impression levels or click-through rates; even when the leads themselves had increased or were above their target.

Get your objective right and commit. While the details matter, stick to the output. If you want apples, count the apples – not the number of apple trees and keep your eye off the weather forecast. Leave that to the guy that’s been charged with getting you as many apples as possible.

Morris Bryant

More by Morris Bryant

May 26, 2016
5 Key AdWords Announcements from Google’s Performance Summit

1. You will be able to bid separately for mobile, tablet and desktop (again) Advertiers will soon be able to set bid adjustments for all three device types. Enhanced Campaigns ended this function when they launched in 2013 and grouped desktop and tablet bidding, and it’s a welcome change. For Advertisers, this means far greater […]

Continue reading b
May 19, 2016
Why you should be using Facebook’s Lead Ads now

Facebook have been fairly aggressive in claiming a greater share of ad spend over the last few years; particularly reinventing their ad units for Mobile and to be more native to their platform. One of the most interesting ad units they’ve released in some time are the new Lead Ads. These ads allow users to enter […]

Continue reading b
March 3, 2016
Sparro signs four new clients

Bringing in 2016 with some fresh faces, Sparro have won four new digital accounts with SurfStitch, GUESS Australia, National Hearing Care and Bay Audiology (NZ). Working across digital marketing, partner outreach and paid search accounts, Sparro is looking forward to establishing great working relationship with the four exciting brands and helping them further cement their online […]

Continue reading b
February 1, 2016
5 things I learnt about business working at Appliances Online

When my brother and I started our digital marketing agency, Sparro, in 2013, we were very confident in the direction we wanted to take in our business and our work. We wanted to take on the best qualities of all of the businesses we’d worked with, while avoiding the worst aspects of agencies that we’d […]

Continue reading b
August 6, 2014
Things I learnt starting and ending a Daily Deals aggregator site

Today I pulled down our site TheDealer.com.au – a daily deals aggregator that Cameron, Ruben and myself built way back in 2011. As a challenge, we designed, coded and had the site live sending daily deals emails within 6 weeks; integrated with a dozen or so of the largest deals sites at the time – […]

Continue reading b
June 16, 2014
5 childhood lessons from my Father, the businessman

Park outside the door Our Father would get you a park right outside the door of any busy event. He’d drive past crowds of people walking to the Easter Show from where they’d parked, streets away, and he’d tell us – they all think there’s no parking right outside, but you watch this. His theory […]

Continue reading b
June 4, 2014
5 reasons your business doesn’t need an app

Mobile’s been a hot topic for a few years now, and it always seems to be ‘just about’ to take over. There’s no doubt it’s not going away and presents huge opportunities for any business, but is an app the right way to get in front of mobile users? In most cases, we don’t think so.

Continue reading b