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How SMART Digital Marketing Strategies Elevate Lead Generation

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How SMART Digital Marketing Strategies Elevate Lead Generation

When businesses utilize services like pay-per-click advertising (PPC), SEO, and other forms of digital marketing, these services often lack the right tools and strategies to succeed. This is why SMART digital marketing strategies are an integral piece to the puzzle that can help you elevate your lead generation efforts when advertising online.

How Digital Marketing Works

Digital marketing refers to advertising your products and services through various digital platforms. This can include search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, or LinkedIn. Directories like Yelp, Google Business Profile, or And it can include services like email marketing, content marketing, and more. 

Based on your objectives and goals will often help you prioritize what types of digital marketing platforms you should invest in. One thing that can help you with this is understanding the basic marketing principle: Push vs. Pull marketing. 

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What is Push Marketing?

Push marketing is a style of marketing used to “push” your brand, products, or services out into the world to reach as many people as possible.

Push marketing often places you in front of a more passive audience. This means their intent to buy your products or services is much lower than someone with high intent (pull marketing).

However, the advantage of this form of marketing allows you to build branding at scale. Helping future potential customers become familiar with your brand ahead of time. This way, when their time of need arises, and they are ready to buy what you offer, the chances they buy from you are higher than a brand they may not be familiar with. 

Examples of digital push marketing are associated with services like display ads, OTT (Over the Top) ads used in digital streaming services, and more. With digital versions of push marketing, you gain more advantages than their traditional counterparts like billboards, magazines, TV, radio, and direct mail.

With greater targeting capabilities, you can do things like a target by zip codes or neighborhoods, which can also be done in traditional push marketing methods. However, you can also drill your targeting down to even greater details, including demographic granularities, and even psychographic segmentation.

What is Pull Marketing?

Pull marketing, unlike push marketing, functions differently because it focuses on placing advertisers in front of an active audience. This group has high intent because they have decided that they are ready to buy.

Therefore by placing your brand, products, or services in front of this group, your chances of generating leads that result in sales will often happen in higher frequency and volume than found with your push marketing methods and platforms.

Digital pull marketing includes services that place you in front of where your audience searches or seeks your type of products and services. This includes search engines like Google and services like PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It can also consist of directories like Yelp and places like Amazon for online retailers who sell products.

There are also hybrid platforms that can exist in both spaces at the same time (Push and Pull). Examples include social media platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

It can also consist of a variety of content marketing strategies. It can also include email marketing platforms like MailChimp or Zoho Campaigns, to name a few. 

What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing

 What is lead generation in digital marketing? Many digital marketing agencies use this term loosely when measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns. And if this isn’t defined correctly from the onset, what might be considered success may result on the contrary.

So what shouldn’t be considered a lead?

  • An impression, meaning the number of times your ad or website has appeared in front of someone
  • A click on your website
  • Page likes on social media
  • Link click-throughs on an email marketing campaign, PDF downloads, driving directions (unless you can physically prove a customer walked through your doors as a result)
  • Any activity that does not require a potential customer to give you their contact details should never be considered a lead, period.

Correctly qualified lead generation in digital marketing is explicitly expressed interest by a consumer who wishes to learn more or inquire about purchasing your products or services. They have given you their contact details through a phone call, a submitted contact form, email, or a website chat. These converted leads seek what you offer and have tried to contact or engage your business. 

While “conversions” and “leads” can be used interchangeably when working with a digital marketing agency, it is always essential to establish what is considered a lead to your business upfront. Ensuring that it also aligns with the definition of a lead in digital marketing. Setting this up correctly is paramount for your success since all your marketing objectives will focus on delivering that exact outcome in your digital marketing campaigns.

Digital Marketing Goals, Objectives, and KPIs

Now that we understand what a lead is (and isn’t), the next step is establishing goals and objectives and using KPIs to measure your performance.

Think of goals as the final result you wish to accomplish with digital marketing. Are you trying to increase your online sales by an extra $500K by the end of the year? Or are you trying to achieve an improvement in your AOV (average order value) by 20% over the next six months? Any time you invest in digital marketing, it is imperative that you set goals like this. Otherwise, neither you nor your agency will know what either side is working towards.

Conversely, objectives are the strategies you will use to help you reach your goals. This will include selecting the types of digital marketing services you will utilize, such as PPC or SEO. It will also include optimizing the intricacies of these mediums and your strategies that will lead you to desired outcomes.

By building SMART Objectives, you will create campaigns that can be forecasted, measured, and achieved through these digital marketing services. Adding predictability, cost efficiencies, and optimized results that meet or exceed the goals you set out to accomplish.

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are the units of measurement you will use to determine whether your objectives are on track to being met later up to your goal(s). If your objective is to increase traffic to your website from a PPC Campaign, you will use a KPI like CTR (Click Through Rate) to determine whether or not the total amount of times your ads are shown will produce enough clicks to help you reach your target. The same can be used when measuring leads, such as using a KPI like CVR (Conversion Rate) to indicate that if you drive X clicks, it will produce Y leads.

Understanding goals, objectives, and KPIs is another important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. It serves as a performance game plan that allows you to make calculated decisions that provide measurable and tangible outcomes.

What are SMART Digital Marketing Strategies

Understanding goals, objectives, and KPIs are the larger parts of a SMART digital marketing strategy. SMART digital marketing is the specificities that keep your digital marketing goals and objectives grounded in reality.

What are the SMART digital marketing strategies

So what is SMART in digital marketing? 

  • The S in SMART stands for “Specific,” which means exactly what it says. When building objectives in your digital marketing strategy, avoid vague outcomes. Your agency or the data you accrue in your campaigns can often provide ways to forecast your advertising results whenever you add variables to your plan. Using this experience or information can help you put numbers or percentages for improvement against your strategies to give you something to work towards achieving.
  • The M in SMART stands for “Measurable,” which means whatever your objective is in your digital marketing strategy it can be measured. Performance metrics and KPIs can be tracked and measured through programs like Google Ads or Google Analytics. While lead and sales data can be measured through the same programs, you may want to invest in a call-tracking service to measure offline activities if you wish to track phone calls.
  • The A in SMART stands for “Achievable,” which means is this a realistic objective achievable? The experience of your agency, its tracking capabilities, forecasting accuracy, and understanding of your business, industry, and consumer trends will provide greater chances of success. This will allow for greater predictability in your results, consistency in growth, and drive better efficiencies in your advertising decisions, saving you both time and money in the long run. 
  • The R in SMART stands for “Relevant,” which ensures our marketing objectives align with our goals. If we aim to increase leads that will provide a certain number of sales, we want to focus on activities that drive those results. Ensure your objectives are relevant to the goal and provide a clear path to driving you toward what you want to accomplish.
  • The T in SMART stands for “Time-Bound,” representing that we have given this digital marketing objective a deadline to accomplish. Without time-bound objectives, we would not have any end dates for our work. This can cause delays in completing objectives and reduce the sense of urgency to achieve our goals.

How to Create a SMART Digital Marketing Strategy

Creating a SMART Digital Marketing Strategy cannot always be created from the onset of your digital marketing campaigns. It is important to remember that all digital marketing agencies you work with will need to go through a learning curve first. 

For most digital marketing agencies, it can take between three to six months on average for them to accrue enough data to build a SMART Digital Marketing Strategy that can optimize your lead generation efforts as you progress. The number one rule to this concept is to exercise patience. As long as your agency shows improvement, provides feedback, and encourages engagement with you to keep you tethered to what they are doing, these are positive signs that illustrate an agency actively working on building your success.

Your digital marketing agency should always begin with a thorough questionnaire to understand your business's intricacies, especially regarding your sales numbers. Questions that you should be asked should consist of things like what are your most profitable products and services to focus on promoting, what is the average sales value of a customer, what is your closing ratio to convert a lead to a sale, gross and net profit margins, and other details that help them understand the sales cycle and value of your customers.

As data compiles from your advertising campaigns, your agency can begin forecasting and consulting with you about your goals and objectives. With their data, they should be able to articulate their SMART Digital Marketing Strategy. This will demonstrate competency in their ability to create and develop objectives that later up to achievable and relevant goals.

They will be specific and measurable so that you can ensure their trajectory toward success.  They should also be time-bound so that you know when to expect your objectives to be met, which help you reach the goals you have set. If and when done correctly, you will experience lead generation growth in your digital marketing strategies that will always keep you on the net positive side of your ROI goals.

Tools and Programs to Help You “Measure” Lead Generation in Digital Marketing

It is important to take note of the types of tracking platforms and technologies used in your digital marketing strategies.

 At a minimum, you will want to work with a digital marketing agency that can set up and implement Google Analytics 4 (GA4), setup conversion tracking within GA4, and implement a Call Tracking Solution such as CallRail or a similar system to track phone calls. Between these technologies, you can track people who visit your website, monitor their activity, and determine whether they convert into a lead or sale. 

If properly implemented, you can see what sources and mediums contribute leads, their cost effectiveness, and other insights used to help you build SMART digital marketing campaigns. Without these tracking features, you will be unable to provide complete and accurate data necessary for forecasting and building any digital marketing strategy.

SMART Digital Marketing Improves Campaign Results

Building a SMART Digital Marketing Strategy for lead generation is what can truly separate underperforming and underwhelming campaign results from the great and truly remarkable performers. Invest time in researching the right digital marketing agency and get to know its approach. This can be the difference between a year’s worth of wasted time and resources versus finding an agency that can truly elevate your lead generation in 2023 and beyond.

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