How to set goals and objectives for digital marketing?

Marketing has seen a plethora of different business models that have been utilised by marketers to achieve what they set out to do. Examples include the 4P’s of the marketing mix and the SWOT analysis. These present to the marketer a clear plan and understanding of a part of the business model. One other helpful matrix for marketers to set goals and objectives is the 5S’s – Sell, Speak, Serve, Save and Sizzle. The 5Ss developed by Dave Chaffey and PR Smith was developed in their book “E-marketing Excellence”. It creates a framework to make sure that your digital marketing strategy is planned and implemented properly. Without further ado, lets dive in!

  1. Sell

When creating an online retail store or similar businesses, the first thing a marketer should do is focus on generating revenue. Generally, marketers would limit the amount of products to their predicted best-sellers and focus on them. Selling is the first stage as it is the most important step in creating a successful business – if it generates revenue.

Selling can be tracked through several methods. Most digital marketers will opt for Google Analytics or similar software in tracking their conversion goals and revenue targets.


  1. Speak

After sell, we have speak. In its essence it is beginning to build a stronger relationship with consumers. This can be done through several ways. Many marketers have used their own website to do so by encouraging consumers that visit the website to sign up to their newsletters for special deals and discounts. Now, the marketer and the brand will have a direct connection to their customer base. Another method is through social media. Creating social media accounts on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and frequently updating them with brand-related advertising or information that is relevant to your brand.


  1. Serve

The serve phase is linked to building value for your customer base. One of the most essential things a digital marketer should do is to open up a support channel. Higher quality support channels would include 24/7 online support through web chat or open a phone line dedicated to customer support. At the bare minimum an online store should have a ‘Contact Us’ page or an email address.  This indicates to the customer that you are trying to provide value to them and that your brand is not only interested in their wallets. It is important to answer support questions with respect and aim to provide excellent customer service as not doing so will drive customers away right under your nose without you even realising it!


  1. Save

At this stage, we know that our business is profitable, we are building a relationship with our customer base and we have created support channels. Our brand is now up and going and now it’s time to save money through cutting costs.

There are many ways to cut costs in the business. First, you must identify the areas that you are spending money. Second, do your research on different alternatives to what you already have that may be cheaper and perhaps even more helpful.

They say ‘time is money’. If a business spends more time on things that could be done through automation software, this is time that could be saved doing other more important things for the business. Examples may include an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) software. Other marketers choose to remove traditional advertising entirely and focus on online marketing in order to save money. Generally, advertising online is much cheaper and nowadays it is not a bad idea considering that more than 3 billion people are now using the internet.


  1. Sizzle

The final step is sizzle which is to develop your brand on many different platforms. Consumers want a positive online experience and they will have it with your brand or with someone else’s. This can be done through many different ways. ASOS invested into their magazine which continued to build their brand image of a popular online fashion store despite it being in print format. Nike developed a Nike+ running application for smartphones where it tracks their runs and gives the customer statistics relating to their run. They key here is consistency and remaining uniform in the message of your brand. It would not make sense for Qantas to create a ‘to-do’ list application as it has nothing to do with aviation travel.brand-building

A successful ‘sizzle’ will make sure that the interaction between brand and customer is a positive experience. In turn, consumers will recommend your brand to their friends and family and your brand will enjoy a healthy growing customer base.





Abdullahi, S 2011, 5 Broad E-Marketing Objectives to Always Note, Proedice, viewed 5 September 2016, <;

Chaffey, D 2010, Setting goals for your digital marketing, Smart Insights, viewed 5 September 2016, <;

Prideaux, J 2014, Implementing the 5Ss Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy, My Social Agency, viewed 5 September 2016, <;


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