If your marketing campaign is going to be successful, it needs to start with a solid foundation and clear goals. These high-level objectives will dictate the rest of your marketing operations, from the individual strategies you incorporate to the ground-level tactics and decisions you make to turn them into a success. Comprehensive marketing planning resources can help you decide how to execute a campaign, but these will only help you if you understand what you’re trying to achieve? 

The question is, how do you know which goals are the most important to choose, or how to choose them? 

The Most Important Goals For Any Marketing Campaign 

These are some of the most important goals you’ll need to consider in any marketing campaign. Some of them will likely be more important to your brand than others, and will require more investment and attention; it’s up to you to decide these priorities. 

1. Brand Awareness/Visibility.

When most people consider marketing, they think of a strategy’s capacity to improve brand awareness and visibility. With the right combination of advertising and marketing, you can increase the number of people who have heard of your brand. Over time, as brand awareness and visibility increase, the number of people willing to buy from your brand will increase. However, awareness is usually just the first step of a customer’s journey, and it may not be the most lucrative goal to target. 

2. Traffic Generation.

If you have a website, you’ll want to attract more people to it. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want more people to walk in the door and start shopping. Either way, your motivation here is generating traffic. Traffic generation requires more directional motivation than basic efforts to improve brand visibility; accordingly, it can be considered a separate goal. 

3. Lead Generation.

Similarly, you might consider lead generation specifically for your marketing campaign. Here, the idea is to generate as many qualified leads as possible—which is especially important for B2B companies, or brands that rely on landing major sales. If lead generation is your main goal, you might use multiple traffic generation strategies to qualify and better understand your traffic, then lead those people to landing pages or other opportunities to convert.

4. Thought Leadership.

If your brand’s reputation is important to you, you might consider thought leadership as your primary marketing goal. Thought leadership is essentially your brand’s reputation in the industry; if you’re consistently coming out with new ideas, if you’re innovating in your field, and if you’re communicating effectively to your target audience, you’ll eventually be seen as a thought leader. With higher thought leadership, you’ll be able to attract and retain more customers. 

5. Customer Value.

You could also prioritize customer value as a marketing goal. The idea here is to increase the total value each customer brings to your organization. This could mean increasing customer retention, so you’re able to get more money out of each customer relationship you form. It could also mean building customer trust, so your current customers are more likely to recommend your brand to other people. 

6. Internal Value.

Though most people think about marketing campaigns as persuading or motivating external actions, they can also be used for internal purposes. With the right marketing strategy and collateral, you can better educate your salespeople and marketers so they can make better decisions for your company. It can also be used to build camaraderie and brand loyalty. 

7. Return On Investment (ROI).

Most of these marketing goals have something to do with your return on investment (ROI), or the bottom-line benefits you get from a marketing strategy compared to your initial costs. But ROI deserves consideration as its own category, and should be one of your highest goals. 

Intra-Strategy Goals

You’ll also need to set specific goals within each marketing strategy within your campaign. For example, if you’re running a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, you might set the goal to reach rank one in search engine results pages (SERPs) for a specific keyword by a certain date. However, because these tend to be limited to one strategy, they’re not as useful or as universal as high-level marketing goals. 

Setting Goals 

When setting most types of goals for a campaign, you’ll want to focus on SMART criteria; your goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related (i.e., they should have a deadline). However, some of these big-picture conceptual goals (like pursuing thought leadership) are notoriously hard to measure, and can’t be targeted with much specificity. Accordingly, for high-level goals, it’s best to rank your targets in terms of priority. From there, you can choose which strategies you want to follow and set more specific, measurable goals at that level.