Growth Objectives: Why they are important and how to set them

Why set objectives?

Setting the right objectives is a powerful way to keep your team motivated, accountable and focused on the highest leverage opportunities for growth in your business.

Think of it this way, your job as a Growth Master is to rotate a spotlight on the biggest problems/opportunities to improve marketing funnel throughput and turn those into achievable objectives. Once you finish one, move the spotlight to the next objective with the next biggest impact. You can break down the problems/opportunities by the different stages of the marketing lifecycle (AARRR) and into achievable objectives with an end date in sight.

For example, if you have a SaaS product and 90% of your trial signups never use the product, it makes more sense to focus on doubling the activation rate of trials than doubling new trial signups.  While both are valuable, it is probably easier to solve your activation problem first.  Also, once you double your trial usage rate, you will significantly increase the amount of money you can spend on new trial acquisition.

How many objectives should you have?

We recommend that you have between 1 and 5 simultaneous objectives that you are pursuing at a given time. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t have more objectives than fully dedicated people in growth and marketing roles. Ideally each objective should have a single owner and no one should own more than one objective.

Who should own objectives?

Achieving objectives is a team effort and everyone should contribute relevant ideas to objectives. However, the owner of the objective should be the one deciding HOW to achieve the problem/opportunity identified (this owner may be the Growth Master if your company is small or just getting started) and managing the throughput of ideas in the experimentation process. This person should be close to the data and has expertise that correspond to the objective set, making them the best for contributing, prioritizing and keeping track of which ideas are being tested.

What timeframe should objectives have?

While you can set an objective for any period of time, we recommend setting objectives in Projects to be 2-6 weeks. Short-term objectives should map to quarterly or annual goals and your overall company mission. This allows you to move with agility so that you can quickly respond to market changes, adjust when new learnings arise and adapt to customer needs.

What are some good examples of objectives?

  1. Increase trial signup activation rate to 20%
  2. Grow monthly average users (MAUs) to 500,000
  3. Reduce paying customer churn by 15%

How should we specifically use objectives in Projects?

Each objective should be used as a container for relevant ideas for achieving said objective. Once you add ideas to objectives, you can sort all ideas in your backlog, active tests, and ideas that have been moved into the knowledge base. This gives complete context around current and past objectives. Your team should set expectations internally on how frequently you update the progress of the objective.

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