Understanding Objectives | Digital Marketing for Digital Dinosaurs.

Digital objectives refer to what we want to achieve with our online activities. Because of its nature, digital can be used in a number of different ways therefore there’s a big variety of possible objectives. Amongst the most frequent:

  • Create awareness of new products / services

  • Create engagement through digital activation or social media campaigns

  • Build credibility and authority

Will discuss this in a great detail later on, but for the moment I would like to spend some words on the big picture, why are we so fixated with setting objectives?


Behaviour changes

At each moment of its life, brands are either facing problems to solve or opportunities to grab.

Those represent the starting point for each marketing and communication activity and as consequence the starting point for each brief, whether for the development of a new TV commercial or digital communication.

For example, brand x might face a strong sales decline because of competitors’ activities (a problem) or brand y might have developed a new service to cater the needs of a specific target group that no competitor is currently addressing (opportunity).

In order to address this problem or opportunity, we use marketing activities, one of which is digital communication.

Communication in general, and by implication digital communication, is a game of stimulus and response. Here how it works


Digital communication aims at doing a specific job: affecting our behaviour. If it succeeds at this, communication activities might help solve the problem or grab the opportunity we started from.

Digital communication does this through a specific stimulus: a message, a video, an advertising, a FB post… you name it.

This stimulus will provoke a response in the hearts and minds of people who are exposed to it.

If the response is powerful enough to put us into action, then our campaign will achieve its objectives.


Let’s look at a real case to understand this; let’s say we look at Listerine, the popular mouthwash. Let’s say that Listerine is entering in a new market where people are not used to this category of products, then Listerine might have to create a new behaviour – the action of using mouthwash every time people brush their teeth.

To do this Listerine will have to educate people through some form of stimulus (in this case a digital short VDO ad that links usage of mouthash to beauty regime)

They expect people to be surprised by this information and think about…well, I should use this myself if I want white teeth.

If this reaction is powerful enough to stick in our head when we go for grocery shopping, then we might remember to buy Listerine.

Check out this digital ad from Listerine so you can see the example for real.


It is clear now that, whether a problem or an opportunity, it is crucial to be crystal clear on what we are trying to do with our digital communication.

In order to clarify this for us and the stakeholders we use 3 main tools: Brand Task, marketing objectives and communication objectives.

Brand Task > Marketing Objectives > Communication Objectives

Brand task is a tool helps us frame our objectives. It’s a simple and powerful tool used by companies all over the world/

It is a simple activity: with this exercise you want to complete the phrase:…get WHO to DO WHAT ... BY …(using communication in a specific way)

This is a popular tool that is expressed in many different ways like Get To By or Job To Be Done. Whichever name you want to give it, it doesn't change much the main idea of this framework.

As you can see, the brand task formalises what the brand needs to do by forcing marketers think about:

  1. Who is the most relevant target: “get who” – who’s the target?

  2. What actions we want the target to take: “to do” – what behaviour we want to create or change?

  3. What the communication will need to do: “by” convincing them about something or overcoming a barrier – how will our communication provoke the change in the behaviour that we want to provoke?

Let's relook at the Listerine video above. How would you write the Brand Task that inspired that ad? My take at the end of this post, don't cheat :-)


Another example, let's look at this ad below, what do you think is the Brand Task?

I would formulate it like this:

“Get business owners and CEO’s to choose A1 Digital by surprising and shocking them with the consequences of not digitalising their assets.”



Key Take outs


Brand Task contains 2 key information:

1. Marketing Objectives

A measurement of the behaviour we want to address (example: we want people to buy more of brand x or to buy brand y instead of brand z, or we want them to buy more often) Please note, this is a statement of what the brand wants to achieve with some specific element of its marketing mix (pack, price, promotion, place) Most of the times it is related to a behaviour change

2. Communication Objectives

A measurement of how our communication activities will help convince the target to behave the way we defined in the marketing objectives.


Please note, this is a statement of what the brand wants to achieve with the communication (i.e. how communication will influence a specific behaviour). Communication here is intended in all channels: offline, online and on-ground.

Usually we use the hierarchy of effects to inform the brand task; communication objectives are defined in the second section of it (by doing xxx)

Refers to what can be influenced by communication: awareness, knowledge, attitudes

Has to be measurable


Hope this is useful for you, please get in touch.

P.S. My take on the Listerine Brand Task: Get young adults to use Listerine mouthwash every time they brush their teeth by surprising (or educating) them with the fact that they do half of the job if they don't use it.

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