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Strategic Campaign Goals: Inputs and Types

March 01, 2015

Successful lead scoring demonstrates marketing’s ability to produce sales-ready leads, increasing demand for marketing support and improving cross-functional alignment.

When setting campaign goals, many b-to-b organizations focus purely on those related to programs or individual activities. This practice focuses campaigns at a tactical rather than strategic level, and wastes marketing’s opportunity to positively impact corporate objectives. In this issue of SiriusPerspectives, we examine inputs, considerations and best practices for the creation of the most common types of campaign goals.

Inputs and Considerations

Establishing campaign goals is a deliverable of the needs assessment phase of campaign implementation and requires the following inputs and considerations:

  • Strategic inputs. Strategic campaign inputs include corporate, sales, product and services goals, as well as marketing objectives, strategy and budget allocations. Once these inputs have been collected, they should be reviewed and rationalized to ensure alignment across sales, marketing and product functions.
  • Relevance. Campaign goals must address two key areas. First, goals must be appropriate to the business objective (e.g. new revenue vs. customer retention). Second, the goals must reflect the geography, industry, target account type, buyer personas, and the demand type for the company’s product or solution offerings. For example, a campaign targeting the application performance needs of Web developers might align to a business objective of growing global revenue by 20 percent in a calendar year. In Europe, the relevant campaign goal might simply be new sales. But if the company has an established customer base in North America, it may need to achieve this growth by cross-selling its offering to application developers in IT departments. If the company has a limited presence in Asia, a relevant goal might be to establish an initial presence and win high-profile reference accounts.
  • Timing. Campaign goals should be structured to drive impact toward annual or long-term business goals. When establishing campaign goals, it is also critical to recognize the time lag of the average length of the company’s sales cycle. When extended sales cycles are a factor, attainment of revenue or new customer acquisition goals early in a campaign is not realistic. Be sure to set stakeholder expectations early in the planning process about the timing of campaign results.
  • Scope. Inputs to the strategic campaign planning process – and the campaign goal outputs – must be established at the organizational summary level – the highest level of establishing performance goals for overall business objectives across business functions. Organizational summary level goals are predominantly impact-focused and address growth (e.g. revenue attainment), position (e.g. competitive position, customer and prospect perceptions) and efficiency (e.g. profitability, resource utilization). Some organizations also set goals for strategic organizational readiness initiatives at this level (e.g. major employee initiatives or technology projects).

Campaign Growth Goals

B-to-b organizations are typically evaluated for their ability to grow. This is frequently expressed as the ability to generate revenue, but other types of growth may be considered as well. Growth goals can be stated in terms of volume or percentage and are frequently broken into segmented targets. Campaigns designed to support business growth (either through new buyers or existing customers) should have measurable goals based one or more of the following objectives:

  • New customer revenue. New customer revenue campaign objectives are stated in terms of pipeline growth (e.g. marketing influenced and marketing sourced), contract value booked or revenue collected. Goals can be stated in terms of target revenue volume or the percentage of revenue growth over a set period of time (e.g. quarterly or annually) or the lifetime of the campaign.
  • Upsell revenue. Upsell campaign objectives are related to the expansion of sales in current buying centers within existing customers. Goals can be stated in terms of the volume or percentage of upsell revenue, the percentage of existing product growth, or specific wallet share targets over a set period of time or campaign lifetime.
  • Cross-sell revenue. Campaigns can also be focused on expanding revenue from new buying centers within existing customer accounts. Goals for this type of campaign include the volume or percentage of new buying center revenue, percentage of account expansion or wallet share targets.
  • Key segment revenue. Customer revenue goals may be further defined by establishing revenue growth objectives (volume or percentage) for target geographies, industries, account types, or for specific products and solutions represented in the campaign.
  • Retention. For organizations with renewal-based business models, setting campaign retention objectives is critical. Retention goals can be set in terms of revenue (e.g. percentage of revenue retained from existing accounts, based on sales of renewed offerings) or accounts (e.g. the percentage of accounts retained) over a set period of time.
  • Customer or new customer counts. Customer counts provide non-revenue-specific growth objectives for campaigns. These objectives can include targets for new logo acquisition (overall or segmented by target geography, industry or account type) or growth targets for new users, licenses or active customer locations.

Campaign Position Goals

Position objectives pertain to the organization’s standing, relative to competitors or within the minds of potential buyers and existing customers. Campaigns designed to address position needs should be based on one or more of the following types of objective:

  • Market share. Market share campaign objectives set growth or retention goals (typically percentages) against the portion of the available market held by the company vs. the competition. Market share goals can be further defined by geography, industry, account type or product/solution segment. When looking at market share by account type, goals can include wallet share or targets for total spend within owned accounts. Market share goals are particularly relevant for campaigns that address established market buyer needs.
  • Product/solution utilization. In renewal-based businesses, usage is an indicator of the value that customers receive from the offering. Campaign goals include targets on the frequency or intensity of product/solution use, or the number of active users within existing accounts.
  • Customer loyalty or satisfaction. Campaigns aimed at existing customers are growing in importance due to the increase in software-as-a-service offerings, and the increasing focus on actively supporting long-term customer lifecycles. Goals can be based on the improvement of customer survey or Net Promoter scores, or on the number of customer references created.

The Sirius Decision

Well-defined campaign goals allow relevant supporting goals to be set for the reputation, demand creation, sales enablement and market intelligence programs for each campaign. With clear goals at the campaign and program levels, marketing can easily establish key performance indicators and metrics that effectively measure campaign performance. Finally, campaign goals that align to strategic corporate, sales and product objectives help marketing to shift perceptions of its role from an activity-driven function to a significant contributor to organizational growth.