Branding mistake #6 — 
setting unrealistic goals for engagement.

Part of our series “6 Mistakes You’re (Probably) Making with Your Digital Brand”

mistake falling to differentiate

Are you aiming for that one perfect creative campaign that will build your brand identity and meet all of your company’s engagement goals? If so, you might be setting yourself up for failure.

As a creative leader, it’s tempting to put all of your eggs into one campaign basket, especially when budgets are tight and the pressure for results is high. But setting unreasonable engagement expectations for a campaign can undermine your team’s hard work. A campaign that can’t meet its goals saps a creative team’s motivation and makes it hard to measure business impact.


A better way to aim high may be to set smaller, incremental goals. When you choose metrics you can reach in a short time frame, you’re able to assess as you go and pivot when necessary. Here’s how to do it.

The secrets to setting useful, realistic goals.

Setting goals is an opportunity to partner with your business team to ensure your campaign goals align with broader organizational goals and choose benchmarks that will provide meaningful feedback for everyone. And while goals are all about mapping the road ahead so you can see when you’re on the right path, instead of setting a single goal to get all the way to your final destination, go with mini goals — the milestones along your journey.


For example, you might set a momentum target for how many people your campaign will reach in a month. This kind of goal is powerful because it’s measurable and time-bound, so you can really see progress as it happens.


With mini goals, you can regularly measure the effectiveness of your campaign. At each mini-goal assessment, you have the opportunity to show ROI to your stakeholders and calibrate as necessary.

Choose your campaign goals with relationship building in mind.

As you set goals, keep in mind that most digital branding is about building customer relationships, and that’s a long-term process.


A single branding campaign can be hugely successful in building relationships, even if it doesn’t yield sales or high engagement numbers right away. So instead of asking whether a campaign is achieving everything for your brand, let mini goals help you mark the steps along the way in building stronger customer relationships.


As you choose your goals, make sure your metrics are a match for what you want to achieve with your campaign — not with all of your branding forever. Can you consider your campaign a success if it generates a certain number of likes, shares, or comments? Are you looking for click-throughs, time on site, or return visits? Or is there something else you want to accomplish that’s specific to your campaign?


It’s also important to review the data on previous campaigns to make sure the mini goals you’re setting are truly realistic and attainable. 

Don’t be afraid to pivot.

With small, time-bound goals, you’ll soon know whether your campaign is performing as planned. If you notice early on that it’s falling short, you can make small tweaks rather than getting to the end of the campaign and realizing it missed the mark.


Lee Lawrence, creative director at Brand New Day Marketing, suggests a few steps to take when you aren’t meeting goals. “First assess what’s not working and try to understand why it’s not working. Then you can make the necessary changes. In the end, the consumer is the boss. If they’re saying something’s not right, we need to find out what’s not right, go back, do that pivot, see how we can evolve.”


Keep in mind that a problem could be something small but impactful. As Lawrence explains, sometimes there’s a simple fix. “We’ve gone down a path and created a beautiful email campaign or website, and metrics show it’s not doing well. It could be as simple as a button not being in the right place, so users are not connecting because it’s not formatted properly. Once you get those analytics, go back and revisit the chalkboard.”


Making incremental changes and then following the data to make sure they are effective builds the strength of your campaign and helps educate you and your creative team about what works for your audience — which may be things as subtle as button placement. The experience can help your creative team head into the next campaign with proven strategies and confidence. 

“First, assess what’s not working and try to understand why it’s not working. Then you can make the necessary changes. In the
end, the consumer is the boss. If they’re saying something’s
not right, we need to find out what’s not right, go back, do that
pivot, see how we can evolve

Lee Lawrence

Creative Director, Brand New Day Marketing

Focus on progress, not obstacles.

Henry Ford once said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”


By setting your goals well, you can focus on progress instead of obstacles, build what works for your brand, pivot when you need to, learn from each step, and demonstrate the ROI of your creative campaigns along the way.

Adobe can help.

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives you the world’s best creative apps and services in a single, secure, integrated platform. With 20+ desktop and mobile apps, Creative Cloud Libraries for keeping assets in sync across apps and devices, and 1TB of storage per user, this complete creative software solution is designed to support your business at every stage of growth. Plus, you can count on simplified license management and total control over your software to help your team stay focused on creating great work.