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Don’t have specific digital marketing goals? Forecast them!

Don’t have specific digital marketing goals? Forecast them! Featured Image


A lot of digital marketing software – and HawekAI is no exception – operates on the assumption that you’re trying to hit predetermined goals. You might have an annual revenue target, a number of leads to pass to a sales team, or any number of the other metrics that organizations used to determine success. But that isn’t always the case. Some companies don’t operate on predetermined targets, they may just use a year-over-year comparison to gauge whether there has been similar performance or perhaps they are in an early stage of their business where there is too much uncertainty around results, or new tactics/channels, where they don’t know ‘what to expect’.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach per se, there are a lot of reasons for working in this way – the obvious drawback though is that it’s quite an unsophisticated way of determining performance. What a year-over-year comparison won’t include is the specific nuance of your market more broadly this year vs. last. Even in a situation where you’re experiencing YoY growth, you won’t know if your growth is hitting the heights it could be or that others in your industry are hitting.

Using Year-over-Year Performance Comparison is Limited

This might read like an impassioned plea to organizations to just start putting more time and effort into planning and targeting. It isn’t, although obviously I would advocate for that wherever possible. I am aware that one of the biggest reasons businesses don’t pour time and effort into identifying sophisticated targets is because they don’t have the time or resources to do it. No, what I’m advocating for requires very little effort but will immediately elevate the sophistry of your identified monthly goals, factoring in YoY data, market trends, year-to-date performance, and industry benchmarks. I’m talking about Forecasting.

Truth be told this method was highlighted to me during a chat with one of our users recently. And if you’ll indulge a short tangent, I can say categorically that there is little more rewarding as a SaaS product than to hear new innovative ways that people are using or combining your features in ways that you had not even considered at the point of development.

Forecast Your Digital Marketing Targets

First some context: the Reporting Summary view of HawkeAI includes a Forecast functionality. If you’re using month-to-date data it will allow you to see the forecasted results for that month. That Forecast includes a number of different factors when calculating: it considers all the year-over-year data available within ad platforms, weighted, so the most recent has the greatest influence; it considers indicators from your year-to-date and month-to-date performance; it factors in the performance of others in the same industry as you, and lastly it acknowledges broader market or economic trends that could impact results.

The user in question is quite a sizable agency, it works with a great number of clients, some of whom dictate targets – others are led by a general YoY comparison. For the latter, the user in question will, at the beginning of each month, run forecasts on all the core KPIs then use those forecasts to set the monthly target. That’s it. Simple right? No giant expanded effort to estimate performance over a year, no pulling in of external data. Yet the targets being used now factor in a huge amount of sophisticated data that will give a much better idea of where performance should be.
To get access to the Forecast tool and to start tracking performance against intelligent goals start a 14 day trial here.

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