OKRs Examples

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Marketing

Examples of OKRs for Marketing Teams

Marketing teams are mostly focused on the top of the funnel. Their job is to generate interest and make people aware of what a business has to offer.

The focus may seem narrow, but there’s no shortage of plays that a Marketing team can work on. You can launch campaigns, do paid advertising, sponsor conferences, leverage content, etc. Having a good set of OKRs will help teams converge their efforts towards specific outcomes, and it will also make it easier for them to sync with the rest of the business.

How to write OKRs for Marketing teams

Step 1. OKRs vs. Projects

Before jumping into the OKRs process, it is essential to understand the difference between Objectives, Key Results, and projects:

  • Objectives: what do we want to achieve next quarter?
  • Key Results: how are we going to measure progress?
  • Projects: what are our best bets to get there?

This matters because a common mistake is to start listing projects as KRs or Objectives.

A good Objective should be inspiring and easy to understand by anyone in your org. It has to be specific (don't write "be the best"), but it's best to keep metrics out of the picture—that'll come later in the Key Results.

A good Key Result should follow the rules of the SMART framework. In particular, it should be relevant to its parent Objective, measurable through the quarter, and time-bound. A good test is to ask, "would we do things differently if this KR goes off-track?". If the answer is negative, then you need to refine your OKR.

Finally, your projects are the bets that can move the needle on your Key Results. Some will work—double down on it. Some will fail, and it should be okay to stop and move on to the next idea.

Step 2. Pick 2-3 areas of focus

The next step is to pick the right focus. One tool that can help here is the AARRR framework. This framework divides your customer's journey into 5 stages:

  • Acquisition: how many people find out that you exist?
  • Activation: how many of them sign up for your product and become leads?
  • Retention: how many leads come back to use your product again?
  • Referral: how many users share your product with others?
  • Revenues: how many users end up paying for your product?

Marketing teams are mostly focused on the Acquisition part of the funnel.

Focus areas:

Acquisition
Activation
Retention
Referral
Revenue

Key questions:

Which channel(s) do we want to focus on this quarter?

Do we need to improve our relationship with Sales/Growth/Product?

Are we happy with our acquisition costs?

How can we mix big bets with low-hanging fruits?

It may seem like a small surface area, but it's also one of the most challenging due to the risks involved. A lot of Marketing plays involve spending cash in advance, hoping to recover it later through converted customers. This can become a disaster without a plan.

We know we need to focus on Acquisition, but we now need to define which part of the Acquisition process we want to improve this quarter:

  • Do we want to focus on specific channels?
  • Do we need to improve our relationship with Sales, Growth, Product?
  • Are we happy with our acquisition costs?
  • Are there low-hanging fruits that we can mix with bigger bets?

All these questions (and more) can help us identify our Objectives.

Step 3. Write your plan

Once you've narrowed down your focus, you can start writing your OKRs draft. Agree on 2-3 Objectives before diving into the Key Results. You'll see some examples below, and here's a guide about writing OKRs if you're just getting started.

Some of your Objectives will be hard to achieve within a quarter. This is often the case with SEO improvements for instance. So what should you do? The answer is to find leading indicators of success. You might not be able to observe progress on your core goals, but there might be ways for you to make sure that you're on the right path.

In the examples below, the Marketing team balances things by adding some KRs that can be tracked weekly (number of backlinks), and other ones that may take longer to see results (search rankings).

Examples of Marketing OKRs

OKRs to increase SEO performance

It can take weeks or months to see the impact of a great SEO effort. But while you may not be able to see a direct impact, you can still raise your confidence by using proxy measures of success like the number of backlinks.

Objective

Become the #1 online resource for the problem we solve

Key result

Secure 15 high-quality backlinks from industry influencers & publications

Key result

Rank in top 5 traffic share for top domain keyword on Google

Key result

Get 30% more organic visits to our online guides

More OKR templates →

OKRs to generate growth through content-marketing

Don't list all your action items as Key Results. Instead, you should focus on the expected outcomes at the end of the quarter.

Objective

Become the #1 online resource for the problem we solve

Key result

Secure 15 high-quality backlinks from industry influencers & publications

Key result

Rank in top 5 traffic share for top domain keyword on Google

Key result

Get 30% more organic visits to our online guides

More OKR templates →

OKRs to generate leads through event-marketing

This is an example taken from Mari Luukkainen's post 👉 Marketing OKRs: Practical examples and how to use them.

Objective

Hold the first annual user conference

Key result

Register 250 attendees

Key result

Drive $500k in upsell/cross-sell revenue

Objective

Drive outbound Marketing effort

Key result

Secure 2 keynotes speaking slots at industry events

Key result

Increase event-driven leads by 25%

More OKR templates →

OKRs to improve paid Marketing

Objective

Turn Paid Marketing in an efficient channel for leads

Key result

20% of new leads come from paid acquisition

Key result

Keep customer acquisition costs under $500/lead

Key result

Generate $10K MRR from paid acquisition channels

More OKR templates →

How to track your Marketing OKRs?

There are many options available out there but we're generally seeing 2 categories of products emerging.

For teams getting started: Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are a great way to get started with OKRs. They're flexible and familiar, and they reduce the amount of learning when you're still getting comfortable with the Objectives and Key Results process.

But, you'll probably start to feel some friction as adoption grows. The lack of check-ins workflows and trends makes it hard for spreadsheet to be a long-term solution for OKRs.

For seasoned OKRs team: OKRs-tracking software

If you're looking to simplify your OKRs process, then a dedicated goal-tracking platform is best to keep track of your OKRs at scale.

A platform like Tability will automate the check-ins reminders, provide progress charts and dashboards out of the box, and make the whole experience more collaborative.

Focus tip:

Frequent check-ins are the key to staying on track with your OKRs. Checking progress early and often will tell you what you should and shouldn't focus on. Make check-ins a part of your weekly ritual with Tability →

What other Marketing metrics can you use?

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some example of metrics that can be relevant for your Key Results.

Number of backlinks

How many sites link back to your content?

Keyword rankings

Where do you rank on specific requests?

Domain Authority Score (DA)

Indicates how likely your website is to rank high in search results.

Content shares

How often your content is shared online.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost Per Acquisition is the cost of acquiring a non-paying user.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer Acquisition Cost is the cost of acquiring a paying customer.

Traffic

How many people are visiting your website, and how often do they do it?

Engagement

How do people interact with your content (it can be anything, from visits to specific sections to conversations in Intercom…)

Click-through rate

Rate of engagement with specific actions.

Leads generated / Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

How many users end up being interested in what you have to offer (demos booked, signups)

Conversion rate

Similar to click-through, but generally associated with a tangible result (signup, purchase…)

Stop wasting your OKRs. Focus on the right work and accomplish your goals.

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