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Lucas Hamon Apr 29, 2022 11:02:59 AM 7 min read

A CEO’s Guide to Growth Marketing Objectives

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As a CEO and growth marketer, I know firsthand that business success hinges on so much more than random KPIs. When developing sales and growth marketing strategies, it’s important to go beyond arbitrary industry benchmarks to identify: 

  • Where you want to be
  • What obstacles are in your way
  • How you’ll get your company to the finish line 

Put simply: It’s not enough to chase KPIs and smaller marketing goals just because everyone else is doing it. To optimize program success, business owners must be able to identify big-picture growth marketing objectives and understand how they relate to their operations — this article will help you know how. 

Sales Enablement and Infrastructure Is The First Step Towards Successful Growth

I get it. Running a business, means wearing a lot (or all) of the hats. It can be tempting to simultaneously launch multiple components in your growth program to get things moving. But, there is definitely a sequence to growth success, and it begins with sales enablement and infrastructure. Why? Because sales infrastructure and enablement offer the lowest hanging opportunities for growth. 

Sales enablement and infrastructure seal up your leaky pipeline while helping you knock out quick wins, and they're the first stop for anybody who is just getting started with making serious investments in sales or marketing. If you haven't addressed those yet, I suggest putting a pin in your marketing objectives for now, and focusing your attention there.

You Already Have A Sales Enablement Strategy — Now What?

If you're looking good in the infrastructure and enablement departments, you can improve the overall effectiveness of your sales teams by investing in several key areas of digital growth marketing. Specifically, we're going to explore examples of marketing objectives related to the following:

  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Email
  • Website
  • Content

Many of these are likely on your radar, or you're investing in them to some capacity. Maybe you’ve even attached a few random KPIs to these tools, but aren’t sure if they are actually adding value — to your business or your customers. This article will help you draw value from each one on the list by stacking them in such a way that they help you identify the big picture objective, achieve your ultimate growth goals, and create a path to sales success. 

Big-Picture Growth Marketing Objective #1: Generate Website Leads

Smaller goals include:

  • Increase website traffic with SEO
  • Get more followers
  • Become a “thought leader”

It’s easy to assign multiple goals and objectives to your business website, such as boosting traffic, getting more followers, and establishing your street cred within the industry. And ,it’s important to note, there is nothing wrong with any of these goals. However, these are milestones and impossible/improbable-to-measure/quantify in a silo. But, at the end of the day, they just aren’t what I would consider to be strong examples of digital growth marketing objectives. 

Now, if you make lead generation the goal post, you officially have something tangible to strategize around, beginning with your blogs. Yes, blogging can (and should) be a place to establish thought leadership, but it’s also one of the best platforms for driving site traffic. When done right (helping by educating), your blogs can have tremendous impact, informing visitors and clearly directing them to next steps in the website leads process. 

Big-Picture Growth Marketing Strategy #2: Increase Conversion Rates

Smaller goals include:

  • Improve branding
  • Enhance content engagement

 Increased engagement is tough to quantify, and there are a lot of ways to measure it: 

  • Bounce rate
  • TOP (Time on Page)
  • Link Clicks

However, identifying these stats are just merely fragments of a greater whole. Maybe a page only keeps people there for 30 seconds, but maybe it's because they immediately find what they need, which is great. 

Or, maybe the page is a mess and it’s driving visitors away in droves, which is not so great. 

Let’s go back to our lead generation engine to identify conversion rates. What is the percentage of people visiting your website who submit a form and hand you their contact information? Whether 1% or 10%, a strong marketing objective example is to increase that number month-over-month and year-over-year.

As a bonus, increased conversions also improve branding in the following ways: 

  • When we convert visitors into leads, we have permission to email them
  • They will know all about your company before you call
  • They're going to create parity between your business and good advice
  • People expect your company to communicate to them in a consistent manner.

So, if you're obtaining leads through educational content, a good next step would be to offer to help.

Big-Picture Growth Marketing Objective #3: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

Smaller goals include:

  • Get more leads
  • Increase email Open Rate

As the head of a digital growth marketing company, I get asked for access to lead lists all the time. In fact, some agencies develop entire growth marketing strategies around building a lead list as soon as possible without paying much attention to quality and engagement. When that happens, it's not about helping you close more deals; it's about hitting easy-to-understand marketing objectives.

But what I don't often hear is how "more leads" is going to generate more value.

And, for the record, there’s a big difference between these arbitrary leads and the website leads we outlined above. A "website lead" (or "inbound lead") is a contact who gives your company permission to market to them.

Sometimes it's through the "contact us" or assessment forms, but more often, they come from exchanging their contact information with you in order to gain access to something you gated online.

These leads are probably not ready to buy or make contact with live human beings yet. They may get there eventually. But by elongating the sales funnel, you'll end up with a much deeper, more predictable pipeline.

So, an effective, big-picture digital growth marketing objective example is one that focuses on generating MQLs:

Methods for achieving this goal:

  • More bottom of funnel content conversions
  • Higher email engagement (opens, clicks, website actions)

The MQL doesn't just have potential to buy, they are in the mood to buy. I like to look at generating website leads as a great starting objective. Generating MQLs is step two.

Big-Picture Growth Marketing Objective #4: Build Sales Predictability

Smaller goals include:

  • More clients
  • More $
  • Get the phones to ring

Every business owner should have goals about getting more clients and generating more revenue (I know I do!). But "more clients" by itself only solves today's problems, and it's likely not something you can rely on marketing alone to achieve.

Marketing is a cog in the machine. It serves a highly functional and critical purpose, but marketing cannot close the deal by itself. So, as you work backwards from your revenue goals, be sure to consider how sales and marketing work together, and how they are responsible for different aspects of the overall process.

If you're thinking that this objective is better suited after making significant progress with MQ's, you are correct. This is the optimization phase.

So, the hierarchy goes like this:

  • Generate leads
  • Generate MQLs
  • Create sales predictability

By installing an inbound lead generation mechanism, you can create predictability for many reasons:

You will have leads coming in ALL the time. Your content offers never turn off, after all.

You will see seasonal patterns emerge. With year over year data, you can make stronger projections.

You will uncover market trends. Some things are going to grow in popularity, while others sink. You'll also see how people's understanding of your services evolve over time.

Inbound doesn't magically create reasons for people to buy when they're not ready, but it does help you capture their attention when they're still vulnerable to new ideas... this is quite helpful as they go through their buyer's journey.

After a couple of seasons of this, you'll be able to see into the future — at least a certain piece of it.

Important milestones to include in your growth marketing strategy:

  • Increase visitors-to-contacts conversions to at least 3%. That means for every 1,000 visitors, you'll end up with 30 potential leads, or for every 10,000 visitors, we get 300 potential leads
  • Increase leads-to-customers ratio to 2 - 10%

CONCLUSION:

By stacking your digital growth marketing investments and readjusting your big-picture goals, you can grow your business in a manner that is controlled, sustainable, and very exciting.

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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