Timescales for objective setting

Smith and Chaffey (2005) refer to the relevance of timing for traffic building. They say:

Some e-marketers may consider traffic building to be a continuous process, but others may view it as a specific campaign, perhaps to launch a site or a major enhancement. Some methods tend to work best continuously; others are short term. Short-term campaigns will be for a site launch or an event such as an online trade show.

Accordingly, online marketers can develop communications objectives for different timescales:

• Annual marketing communications objectives. For example, achieving new site visitors or gaining qualified leads could be measured across an entire year using models like Figure 8.10 since this will be a continuous activity based on visitor building through search engines and other campaigns. Annual budgets are set to help achieve these objectives.

• Campaign-specific communications objectives. Internet marketing campaigns such as to support a product launch through online advertising and viral marketing. Specific objectives can be stated for each in terms of gaining new visitors, converting visitors to customers and encouraging repeat purchases. Campaign objectives should build on traditional marketing objectives, have a specific target audience and have measurable outcomes which can be attributed to the specific campaign.

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