Digital marketing has shaped and changed the way that we approach our marketing, therefore, it’s no surprise that the traditional way of setting marketing objectives has needed some modification. If you are setting goals for your digital marketing campaigns, then make sure you use the 5Ss.

The 5 what?

The 5Ss help organisations set clear, comprehensive and relevant objectives for their digital marketing campaigns.

Devised by digital marketing thought leader, Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights (do check them out and sign up to their free services for loads of useful tips on digital marketing), in conjunction with Dr Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, the 5Ss are:

  • Sell
  • Serve
  • Speak
  • Save
  • Sizzle


Like all marketing objectives, these answer the question, “where do we want to get to?” (for marketing theory geeks like me, this is the O of SOSTAC) and provide the basis of a sound marketing plan. How can you deliver effective marketing if you don’t know what you want it to achieve?

So, let’s look at the 5Ss in detail and how you can use them.

Sell objectives

As well as increasing sales, this can be a marketing objective around how many leads your digital marketing needs to provide or, even better, leads which convert to sales (or donations / service uptake if you are in the not for profit sector).

Serve objectives

Setting a goal for how well you serve your customers on-line can add value to your offering. To set this goal, think about where your prospects and customers go to find out more information about your services or to complain about you. Then set objectives to make sure you are delivering to the level you want to. For example, your customer satisfaction levels, complaint levels.

Speak objectives 

Do you know how meaningful your on-line communication is with your audience? You could be wasting a lot of valuable resource if your goals are set around the number of interactions rather than the quality of them. Speak goals can be broken down by each digital channel your organisation is using for example, email open rates, blog click through rates. Chaffey, in an article on his website, also makes the point that, “Since digital channels work best when joined with other channels, the goals here should also include online visits prompted by traditional offline media.”

Save objectives

Set goals which shoDigital marketing can deliver considerable cost-savings compared to off-line marketing. You may need to set Save goals to prove the case for digital in your organisation.

Save goals might include the cost of online live chat versus the cost of having someone man a phone, the cost of maintaining a regular blog versus the cost of printing factsheets. Chaffey notes that Save goals are, “most relevant for a multichannel retailer or service company who can set goals for number of catalogues downloaded or number of service transactions compared to other channels.”

Sizzle objectives

Sizzle objectives help your organisation build a positive, online brand experience for your audiences; put the Sizzle into your marketing sausage. But, like most Brand objectives, how do you set measurable goals for people having a positive experience? Sizzle objectives can be around brand awareness, recommendations, and engagement with your channels.

Find out more

If you want to read more about the 5Ss from Dave Chaffey, then I recommend you signing up to SmartInsights (there is a free option) and reading his article about Goals for Digital Marketing.

Just one part…

Objective setting is just one part of effective marketing. If you want help setting your on and off line marketing objectives and determining your Marketing Plans, then contact me and let’s talk.

Kara Stanford, Strategic Marketing Consultant, KMS Marketing




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