In both life and business, we all have ambitious goals we aspire to achieve. The real challenge lies in creating a solid plan and staying committed to it. That’s where OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) come in.

Distl’s overview of OKRs

OKRs provide a simple and effective framework for setting, communicating, and tracking measurable goals. This powerful system can help you reach your big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) with clarity and precision. In a nutshell, they are defined as the following:

  • Objectives: Clear, qualitative goals that are inspiring and achievable.
  • Key Results: Specific, measurable outcomes that indicate progress towards the objective.

The benefits of using OKRs

Rather than spending hours planning out your goals for an entire year, OKRs encourage you to tackle your goals in bite-sized chunks on a quarterly or monthly basis, making them much quicker and easier to set and review. While it can be difficult to adjust an annual plan according to changes in circumstances and other external factors, OKRs are far more agile and can be adapted as needed.

OKRs also encourage transparency, as to be effective the objectives and the key results have to be clearly communicated company-wide. When implemented correctly, OKRs can provide a team with a defined sense of purpose, where everyone is united in working towards the same goal.

In summary, OKRs help businesses to:

  • Align team efforts towards common goals.
  • Provide clear metrics to measure success.
  • Encourage continuous improvement and adaptability.
  • Enhance focus on strategic priorities.

Who uses OKRs?

OKRs have gradually become more and more popular among some of the most powerful companies in the world. While the concept technically originates with Peter Drucker in 1954, it’s Intel co-founder Andy Grove who generally gets more credit for the creation of the OKR model. After he introduced OKRs into his technology company, former employee turned present-day venture capitalist John Doerr took the concept and ran with it. Doerr has made a name for himself by helping to fund the likes of Google, Amazon and Twitter and is credited with successfully implementing the OKR system at Google. He’s even published a book about it all – Measure What Matters.

OKRs are embraced by businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to multi-billion dollar enterprises. Notable companies like Google, GoPro, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Samsung, Spotify, and Uber have successfully implemented OKRs. However, you don’t need to be a major organisiation to benefit from this goal-setting framework.

Whether you run a small doggy day care, lead a medium-sized business, or are an individual aiming for personal growth, OKRs can be the key to unlocking your potential and achieving your goals.

Implementing OKRs

At its core, an OKR is a simple statement:

“I will [objective] as measured by [key results].”

Your objective should be concise and inspirational, summed up in one short sentence. In a business context, examples of objectives could include improving client experience, expanding the business into new locations, or developing a company culture that fosters open communication.

Once you have defined your objective, the next step is to determine your key results, or how you will measure your progress. Aim to set between 2 and 5 quantifiable metrics for each objective.

For instance, if your objective is business expansion, plot out the necessary steps to achieve the desired growth and set specific metrics and deadlines for each milestone.

To help you implement OKRs effectively, below is how a business might use OKRs.

Example framework for putting OKRs into practice

When setting OKRs, examples can be incredibly useful for inspiration. To illustrate the practical application of OKRs in a digital marketing context, we’ve developed an example framework for a hospitality business:

Objective: Increase brand awareness for our boutique hotel in Western Australia.

#1 Key Result: Achieve a 10% increase in social media followers on Instagram and TikTok within the next quarter.

  1. Develop and implement a social media content calendar.
  2. Collaborate with two Perth influencers to promote the hotel.
  3. Launch a social media ad campaign targeting key demographics.

#2 Key Result: Gain two large media mentions in reputable travel and hospitality publications within the next quarter.

  1. Pitch unique stories to travel journalists and bloggers.
  2. Create and distribute press releases about upcoming events and promotions.

#3 Key Result: Achieve a 15% increase in customer engagement with email marketing campaigns within the next quarter.

  1. Revamp the email newsletter design and content.
  2. Segment the email list to send more personalised and relevant content.
  3. Introduce a referral program encouraging past guests to share their experiences.

Our commitment to OKRs for success

While OKRs offer a straightforward method for setting goals, effectively implementing them within a business and integrating them into the team culture is a more intricate process. At Distl, we’ve committed to this journey, both internally and for our clients. By adopting the OKR approach, we ensure a clear, strategic direction in our relationships. Everyone knows exactly what we aim to achieve and why, with an actionable plan detailing how we’ll get there.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency with a clear and strategic approach, give us a call today.

Ryan Wilson

Marketing Team Lead