How to Write Marketing OKRs (With Examples)

What Does OKR Stand For

OKR stands for ‘Objectives and Key Results‘. It is a method of collaboratively setting business, team, and personal goals. Many modern organisations use this process to measure progress against goals. The idea behind OKRs is to set clear, ambitious, and measurable objectives and then track how well they’re being met. OKRs are also a way to align people around those goals.

OKRs are a set of objectives and measurements that are further broken down into cascading OKRs for teams and individuals. The idea behind OKRs is to help teams align and focus on what they need to do to achieve their goals.

What is the Difference Between KPI and OKR

KPI stands for ‘Key Performance Indicator‘, a metric used to measure performance of objectives. KPIs are attainable and represent the output from a process or existing project. OKRs are more aggressive and ambitious. They should always be stretch goals. Ideally, you do not want to reach 100% of all OKRs. OKRs are not meant to be a box-ticking exercise but rather something that rallies the organisation to go further and climb higher.

How to Define and Write Good Marketing OKRs

The first step to writing good Marketing OKRs is to define what they mean for your organisation. To do this, you need to understand the purpose of setting OKRs. This is done by understanding why you want to set them up in the first place. What do your organisation and teams want to focus on and achieve?

1) OKRs are outcomes, not a set of tasks

It’s always tempting to write a list of tasks for OKRs. No, OKRs are not a set of tasks to be completed. They are a guide to knowing what to do. For example, you might set an objective that you want to grow your business, and the measures are a 15% increase in conversion rate and a 5% reduction in churn. You might do several tasks to achieve the above. Think of outcomes, not tasks.

2) Keep OKRs to a minimum; don’t try to do too many things

The purpose of OKRs is to get everyone to focus on what’s important for the teams’ success. It’s best to have a maximum of two OKRs per team with a max of three key results under each objective. You do not want to feel stressed that there’s too much to achieve. You should be able to focus on a couple of things and work towards achieving them efficiently.

3) Make your OKRs ambitious

You shouldn’t be hitting and achieving your OKRs all the time. If that’s the case, your OKRs are not ambitious enough. You should be able to accomplish some, get close to some, and fail at others. That’s what life in the real world looks like. The aim is to push your entire organisation to aim higher. It’s okay if they don’t reach the summit. They’ll still have had the right direction and gone in that direction.

Also, ensure that you have the resources to deliver! There is no point in making up OKRs related to website updates when you do not have a web developer to deliver them!

4) OKRs should be cascading

Define three levels of OKRs: company-wide, team-level, and individual. The Individual’s OKRs should connect with a couple of team KRs. The team’s OKRs should connect with a couple of company KRs. Every one and every team should be working towards the organisation’s goals. This might be hard to get right at first. As you go through a couple of cycles, you’ll be able to learn how to cascade them.

5) Do not connect OKRs with performance reviews

Doing so will force your team to turn OKRs into something that they can achieve and excel at. You want OKRs to be the guiding light, not something that people smash all the time. Tying up OKRs to performance reviews will send mixed signals, and the focus on the organisation’s growth will be lost.

Examples of Marketing OKRs

  1. Objective: Amplify Brand Visibility in New Markets
    • KR1: Increase website traffic from targeted new geographical regions by 25% within the next quarter.
    • KR2: Develop and launch a localised content marketing campaign, producing at least 10 region-specific blog posts and 5 videos to engage the new audience segments.
    • KR3: Secure 3 partnerships with local influencers or brands to co-create content and leverage their local market influence.
  2. Objective: Enhance Customer Engagement and Loyalty
    • KR1: Achieve a 15% improvement in customer retention rates through personalised email campaigns and loyalty programs over 6 months.
    • KR2: Increase average customer engagement on key social media platforms by 30%, measured by interactions such as likes, comments, and shares.
    • KR3: Implement a customer feedback loop to gather insights, with a target of collecting actionable feedback from at least 40% of the active user base.
  3. Objective: Optimise Conversion Rate Across All Digital Platforms
    • KR1: Increase the overall website conversion rate by 20% by refining the user experience and streamlining the checkout process.
    • KR2: Improve the lead-to-customer conversion rate by 10% through targeted A/B testing of landing pages and email marketing campaigns.
    • KR3: Reduce cart abandonment rates by 15% by implementing exit-intent pop-ups and offering time-sensitive discounts.
  4. Objective: Strengthen Thought Leadership Positioning in the Industry
    • KR1: Publish 12 in-depth, research-based articles on industry trends and challenges, gaining a minimum of 1,000 reads per article.
    • KR2: Host a quarterly webinar series with industry experts, aiming for at least 500 attendees per session and a 20% increase in subscriber base.
    • KR3: Increase mentions in industry publications and news outlets by 25%, establishing the brand as a go-to source for expert insights.
  5. Objective: Drive Product Innovation Through Market Feedback
    • KR1: Conduct monthly focus groups with a diverse set of users to collect qualitative data on product use and satisfaction, aiming for at least 10 actionable insights per month.
    • KR2: Launch a beta program for upcoming features, with a goal of 500 active participants providing feedback, leading to at least 3 significant product improvements.
    • KR3: Increase customer survey response rates by 30%, ensuring a broader and more accurate representation of the customer base for feedback-driven innovation.

Further Reading