Without clear goals, you’re wasting your marketing dollars

May 8, 2015 — Simon Kelly

Without clear goals, you're wasting your marketing dollars

Last week a good friend of mine asked me to take a look at a landing page that was being built for the company he works for. The purpose of the page is to capture leads from a marketing campaign they are running, which cost quite a lot of money in production and distribution.

With a solid budget I was hoping to see an awesome landing page!

The landing page was basic, clean and mobile friendly, which is definitely a good start, but once my eye caught the headline of the page I immediately knew they are not going to get the best results from this campaign. 

The headline read: “Welcome to [Business Name]” then what followed was a few sentences and a form. Below the form was a checklist and then a huge button that said “Submit”.

Now, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this and it goes a lot further than if they had no landing page at all. The page works, the form works and they will capture some leads.

However, they will not reach full potential with this due to the one major mistake – they hired based on the task they thought they needed done instead of the results to be achieved.

They knew they needed a landing page, but why did they need it? What was the real business goal behind creating this?

One of the goals was to maximise the number of leads captured from their marketing campaign.

So with this in mind, they hired someone with this goal: to make a website with a lead capture form.

See what happened there? The goal shifted from results orientated to task orientated and this is where many projects don’t reach their potential.

Creating a website isn’t as difficult as it used to be. You can sign up to a website builder tool in a few clicks and have a free theme running on your site in less than an hour. Then you can tweak the theme with your logo, add a form easy enough and off you go.

When the goal is to make a website with a form, then project success is easy – here’s your website, here’s your form – BOOM! Project success!

But does this achieve the real results?

Did the results tie back to the original goals of the project? Focusing on results allows you to do everything needed to achieve those results which usually means a lot more than just the website itself.

Could the copy of the website be crafted in a more convincing way? Definitely.

Could AB testing have helped this campaign? For sure.

What about a email capturing form? You bet.

Would following a formula for successful landing pages help? Most likely.

Or an exit intent popup to keep people on the page? Without a doubt!

These options would not have been considered when the goal is not clear.

Of course, the software to perform these tasks and the expertise it takes to put this together costs money, but what is the value of the additional leads that you can get?

As an example, let’s say you are already successfully converting 1 in every 10 people that send you an email through your lead form and the lifetime value of each customer is $10,000.

On average we can say that for every 10 leads you get you make $10,000.

How much would you pay to have 20 extra leads?

What about an extra 50 leads for $50,000 in sales?

What if you could show two different versions of the same page to customers and see which one converts best? What if you could completely measure your ROI and see where you could further improve this each month?

This is the beautiful thing about the online marketing world we live in right now, we have all the tools we need to capture this information, measure success and make decisions based on real data.

The issue I see all too often is that many projects don’t get to see these benefits because their goals are not clear.

Before you do anything, ask yourself what the real goals are

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals to achieve your objectives by making sure each goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.


For example: 20% increase in sales in 6 months, 30% increase in membership this year, reduce admin costs by 15% in 3 months. Write these down and make sure everyone working on your project understands these as everything you do can always be tied back to the goals.

Clear, measurable goals give you the best chance of success for any project.

When you are working on a project it’s easy to get caught up with all the little changes that will make it “perfect” like adjusting colours, changing the logo, moving something slightly to the left, etc.

When you have these urges, take a step back and look at the goals of the project. Ask yourself: will this change help achieve the project goals? Can we measure the impact of the change?

If the answer is no to either of these questions you need to either drop it and move on or measure the impact such a change will have using AB testing.

Focusing on the project goals will bring clarity to your project and ensure your team focuses delivering real project success.

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Simon Kelly

Simon started his first web agency in 2009 which he merged with the SGD team in 2023. With a strong background in digital strategy and a history of working with fast-growing Australian companies, including CyberCX, Envato and Agency Mavericks, he's passionate about using ethical digital marketing that delivers business value. Simon's experience includes coaching digital agencies, running digital marketing workshops, driving growth and excellence within the SGD team.

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