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Marketing OKR Examples: How to Boost Marketing Efforts With Marketing OKRs

Working in marketing without measuring its success is like walking through a dark forest without a GPS. You are surely moving, but are you actually heading in the right direction?

Both OKR and GPS are acronyms, but that’s not the only thing they have in common.
They both guide your steps.

Today, we’ll show you why and how to choose and track your marketing OKRs.

What are marketing OKRs?

Marketing OKRs are strategic tools used by marketing teams to set, communicate, and monitor goals and results in a specific time frame.

They help in aligning marketing efforts with the overall objectives of the company, so that every action taken contributes to the broader vision. They often serve as a roadmap for marketing teams to follow so that their efforts are not just tasks and activities but strategic steps leading to tangible outcomes.

What is the marketing OKR structure?

The marketing OKR structure consists of three key components:

  1. β€˜O’ stands for Objective: This represents the specific, clear, and inspiring goal that the marketing team aims to achieve. It should be qualitative and provide a directional focus for the team’s efforts. You start withthis part, as it sets the stage for what is to be accomplished, and should align with broader business goals.
  2. β€˜K’ stands for Key Results: These measurable outcomes indicate progress towards achieving the objective. Key Results should be quantifiable, time-bound, and actionable. They provide a way to track the success of the objective, often using specific metrics or milestones.
  3. β€˜R’ stands for Results: While often included as part of the Key Results, it’s important to emphasize that these results should be even more tangible and measurable. They are the evidence of achievement or progress, providing a clear indication of how well the team is doing in reaching the set objective.

Who should use marketing OKRs?

#1 Startups and SMEs

Startups and SMEs can benefit from implementing marketing OKRs, at any stage of their operations. Even the simplest set of OKRs can help in focusing limited resources on high-impact marketing strategies. Every marketing effort contributes directly to the growth and visibility of the business, and marketing OKRs help each company stay on top of it.

For instance, a startup can set OKRs about increasing brand awareness through social media engagement or driving customer acquisition via targeted digital marketing campaigns. Usually, these kinds of objectives are easily measurable.

#2 Large corporations with multiple marketing teams

In large corporations, where multiple marketing teams may work on different aspects like content marketing, social media marketing, or search engine optimization, marketing OKRs help align these diverse efforts with the company’s overall marketing objectives. With clear OKRs, large companies can make sure that all teams are working towards common goals – no matter where they are and what their time zone is.

#3 E-commerce companies

In e-commerce, where competition is fierce and customer behavior is constantly evolving, companies can use their own marketing OKRs to stay ahead. Objectives can be centered around increasing monthly active users, enhancing website conversion rates, or driving new inbound sales – just to name a few examples. Key results could include measurable metrics like a specific increase in new paid customers or a reduction in cost per lead. Since e-commerce is packed with metrics, there are many marketing OKR examples that these companies can follow.

#4 B2B companies focused on lead generation

For B2B companies where lead generation is bread and butter, marketing OKRs should be centered around generating a higher number of sales-qualified leads or improving the efficiency of inbound marketing strategies.

Objectives might include increasing referral traffic from leading industry online publications, adding new implementations to improve on-page SEO, or boosting engagement with industry influencers.

#5 Agencies offering digital marketing services

Marketing agencies, especially those offering 360 digital marketing services, set marketing OKRs to track and improve their performance for clients. This could involve setting objectives around improving clients’ organic search results, launching successful PPC campaigns, or creating effective content strategies. With OKRs, agencies can demonstrate measurable outcomes to clients – but also take care of their internal processes and be on the same page with everyone on the team.

Marketing OKR Examples

Types of OKRs for marketing

When it comes to setting company OKRs, there are quite a few to choose from!

This might be a blessing (such a selection!) or a curse (overwhelming selection).

Each type serves a different purpose and can be a game-changer in achieving diverse marketing goals.

Aspirational OKRs

These are high-level, ambitious objectives that aim to push the boundaries of what’s possible. They are not always fully achievable but serve to inspire and drive significant progress.

For example, an aspirational marketing OKR could be to “Establish our brand as a top thought leader in the SaaS industry,” with key results like securing features in 10 relevant publications or speaking engagements at major industry events.

Committed OKRs

These OKRs are more grounded than aspirational ones. Usually, these are commitments the team is expected to deliver fully.

For instance, a committed OKR in marketing might be to “Boost social media engagement by 50%,” with key results such as increasing weekly posts, engaging in daily community interactions, or implementing a new content strategy. While aspirational OKRs are often “wishes”, committed OKRs are more like plans set in stone.

Personal OKRs

Individual team members set and track OKRs that should go hand in hand with the broader marketing objectives. They focus on personal development first, and contribution to team goals second.

An example could be improving on-page SEO skills, with key results like completing a specific training program and increasing the SEO score of the company blog by a certain percentage.

Marketing OKR examples

Some examples of marketing OKRs include:

  • Content marketing OKRs: “Increase engagement on the company blog by 40%,” with key results like enhancing content quality and promoting posts through social media channels.
  • Product marketing OKRs: “Achieve a 25% increase in product trials by the end of Q4,” with key results involving targeted advertising campaigns and collaboration with influencers.
  • Branding agency OKRs: “Improve brand recognition in the SaaS sector,” with key results such as developing a new visual identity and launching a rebranding campaign.
  • Revenue targets: “Increase quarterly revenue from marketing leads by 15%,” with key results like optimizing conversion funnels and enhancing lead nurturing processes.

Let’s now break these OKRs down into smaller pieces..

1. Enhance brand awareness

Objective: Significantly increase brand visibility and recognition.

Key results:

  • Achieve a 30% increase in mentions across leading industry online publications.
  • Boost social media followers by 25% across all platforms.

2. Improve social media engagement

Objective: Deepen engagement with our audience on social media platforms.

Key results

  • Increase the average engagement rate per post by 20%.
  • Grow the number of shares and comments by 30%.

3. Drive customer acquisition

Objective: Accelerate the acquisition of new customers.

Key results:

  • Increase the number of new customers by 15% quarter-over-quarter.
  • Boost the conversion rate from marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads by 10%.

4. Optimize search engine performance

Objective: Enhance visibility and ranking on search engines.

Key results:

  • Achieve a top 3 ranking for five targeted keywords.
  • Increase organic search traffic to the website by 20%.

5. Increase content marketing effectiveness

Objective: Strengthen the impact of content marketing efforts.

Key results:

  • Publish 12 high-quality blog posts per quarter, each generating at least 500 new visitors.
  • Increase inbound leads from blog content by 15%.

6. Launch successful new ad campaigns

Objective: Create and execute impactful advertising campaigns.

Key results:

  • Achieve a 25% increase in click-through rates for new ad campaigns.
  • Generate a 20% increase in leads from these campaigns.

7. Boost website conversion rate

Objective: Improve the effectiveness of the company website in converting visitors.

Key results:

  • Increase the website conversion rate by 10%.
  • Reduce the bounce rate on key landing pages by 15%.

8. Expand inbound marketing reach

Objective: Grow the scope and effectiveness of inbound marketing strategies.

Key results:

  • Increase the number of inbound leads by 20%.
  • Improve the lead-to-customer conversion rate by 5%.

9. Elevate customer success and satisfaction

Objective: Enhance the satisfaction and success of our customers.

Key results:

  • Achieve a 10% increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Reduce customer churn rate by 5%.

What's the difference between marketing OKR and marketing KPI?

The difference between Marketing OKR (Objectives and Key Results) and Marketing KPI (Key Performance Indicators) lies in their purpose and application. Let us guide you though throughΒ  a few technicalities – before you choose one or the other.

Marketing OKR

This is a goal-setting framework used to define specific marketing objectives and track the outcomes through measurable key results. OKRs are typically set on a quarterly or annual basis and are designed to drive strategic progress in marketing efforts.

They are aspirational and often challenge the team to stretch beyond their current capabilities.

For example, an OKR for marketing might be to “Increase social media engagement by 30%” with key results like “Grow the number of followers on each platform by 20%” and “Boost customer acquisition through social media campaigns by 15%.”

Marketing KPI

KPIs are metrics used to evaluate the success of an organization or a particular activity in achieving key business objectives. They are ongoing, operational measurements that monitor performance and ensure that day-to-day processes align with business goals.

KPIs in marketing might include metrics like conversion rates, website traffic, or the number of new leads generated.

They are more about tracking performance and less about setting ambitious goals.

So, while Marketing OKRs focus on setting and achieving specific strategic goals with measurable results, Marketing KPIs are ongoing metrics used to gauge the performance and success of marketing activities in relation to the overall business objectives.

How to set good marketing OKRs in your team

Set clear objectives

These are the overarching goals you want to achieve. For instance, increasing brand awareness and boosting media engagement. Objectives should be ambitious yet achievable, providing a clear direction for the marketing team.

So, while OKRs should be challenging, they also need to be realistic. Setting overly ambitious goals can be demotivating if they’re perceived as unattainable.

Find a balance between pushing your team to excel and setting achievable targets, especially when it comes to increasing numbers like website visitors or social media engagement.

Set measurable key results, too

These are specific metrics used to track the progress towards the objectives. Key results should be quantifiable and time-bound. Examples include increasing monthly website visitors by 20%, boosting social media engagement by 30%, or generating a 15% rise in inbound leads – but you’ll find more of them earlier on in this article.

Ensure alignment with company goals

Marketing OKRs should not exist in isolation but rather be in sync with the broader company goals. Whether it’s about increasing overall revenue, enhancing customer satisfaction, or expanding into new markets, your marketing OKRs should contribute directly to these company-wide objectives.

Also, when creating marketing OKRs, you should consider both internal and external usage.

  • Internally, OKRs help align team efforts and track progress.
  • Externally, they can guide interactions with clients or stakeholders.

For instance, an OKR focused on “Improving client acquisition metrics by 20%” can drive internal strategies and external client communications.

Get employee involvement and buy-in

Engage your marketing team in the OKR setting process. Such involvement increases commitment and understanding. When team members contribute to creating OKRs, they are more likely to be motivated to achieve them, especially in areas like social media marketing or content strategy.

Provide flexibility and adaptability

Marketing environments are dynamic, so you need to maintain flexibility in your OKRs. Be prepared to adjust your objectives and key results as market conditions and business priorities change. All for your marketing efforts remaining relevant and effective.

Keep it simple

Writing marketing OKRs involves clarity and specificity. For example, a well-written OKR for inbound marketing might be to “Increase website traffic from organic search by 30%,” with key results like developing a robust keyword strategy and publishing a certain number of blog posts monthly.

Double-check integration with other departments

Ensure that marketing OKRs are not developed in isolation. They should be integrated with the objectives of other departments, such as sales or product development. This integration allows you to oversee cohesive strategy across the company, and ensures that marketing efforts support overall business objectives.

Use data for decision making

Base your OKRs on data-driven insights. Use historical data, market research, and analytics to inform your objectives and key results. With all that data, your OKRs are grounded in reality and help you track progress effectively, especially when it comes to metrics like lead generation, SEO improvements, or tracking the success of new marketing campaigns.

How to track marketing OKRs?

OKRs are not set-and-forget goals. They require regular monitoring and review. This could mean regular check-ins to assess progress and make adjustments as needed – but that’s not all you can do here.

Regular progress reviews

Schedule frequent review sessions, such as on a weekly or monthly basis, to assess the progress of your marketing OKRs. During these sessions, evaluate each key result to determine how close – or far away – you are to achieving your objectives. Such a regular review helps identify any areas needing more focus or adjustment.

Use of OKR tracking tools

Leverage software that can help you monitor progress in real-time. For example, MARMIND provides dashboards and analytics that make it easier to track key results and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. It can be particularly useful for tracking complex objectives, but will be extremely helpful with your everyday tasks as well.

Data-driven analysis

Numbers don’t lie. Rely on quantitative data to evaluate your progress. You can focus on tracking acquisition metrics, monitoring website traffic, conversion rates, social media analytics, and other relevant data points. A data-driven approach assures that your assessment is objective and actually based on measurable outcomes.

Aligning team meetings with OKR progress

Incorporate OKR progress updates into regular marketing team meetings. When you do so, everyone is aware of how their work contributes to the wider marketing goals and objectives of their department or company as a whole. It also builds a special sense of accountability and encourages team members to share insights and strategies for improving key results.

Adjusting strategies based on OKR performance

Even if your OKRs weren’t overly ambitious, chances are that you might not meet them.

Be prepared to adjust your marketing strategies if your OKRs are not being met.

This might involve:

  • reallocating resources,
  • shifting focus to different target groups,
  • revising your awareness or SEO strategies,
  • auditing internal processes.

Adjustments are helpful even if OKRs are being met, as they can refresh the whole marketing strategy or help refocus.

Over to you

Do you have to set marketing OKRs in your marketing department? No. You can run your operations without any OKR framework. However, relying on something more than assumptions is extremely beneficial for marketers.

Getting ready for 2024, or simply reviewing 2023 achievements? Think about how to incorporate OKRs!Β