When thinking about the correct objectives for your organisation’s digital strategy, you might find yourself falling into a bit of rut in your thinking. You might default to objectives such as

  • Increase new sales by X%

  • Improve retention rates by X%

  • Increase average transaction value by X%

All of these goals are sales-focused objectives, and while selling is important, it is only one of several possible objectives that you should consider when creating your digital strategy.

Download The 5S Objective Setting Template

A useful framework for thinking about objectives within your organisation's digital strategy is The 5S Framework, devised by Dr Dave Chaffey. In this framework, there are five different objective types, each of which can act a lens through which to view the potential use of digital technologies for your business.

The five objectives types include: Sell - Serve - Speak - Sizzle - Save

To learn more about The 5S Framework, and see how Disney have hit upon each of the objectives in their theme park experiences, watch The Digital Strategy Newsletter - The Video Bit, below:


Setting clear, achievable goals is crucial to the success of any digital marketing strategy. But with so many options and so much data to analyse, determining the right objectives can feel overwhelming. That's where the 5S goal-setting framework comes in handy. Created by renowned digital strategists PR Smith and Dr Dave Chaffey, the 5S model provides a simple yet comprehensive approach for defining impactful digital goals.

In this post, we’ll break down what each of the 5S’s represents and look at a real-world example of how one company leveraged the framework. Read on to learn how you can apply the 5S methodology to set focused objectives that deliver results.

Explain the 5S's

The 5 S’s are:

Sell - Digital platforms provide new avenues to sell products and services. This can involve launching e-commerce channels, using social media for sales, creating lead gen campaigns, and more.

Serve - Going beyond sales, digital channels allow brands to better serve customers. Examples include enhancing self-service options, providing faster customer support, and enabling channel-shift to cheaper service channels.

Save - Digital transformation can also save businesses money through greater efficiency. Some examples are automating tasks to reduce labour costs, digitising records to eliminate storage/paper costs, and using data to optimise operations.

Speak - Digital opens up two-way conversations between brands and audiences. Goals here relate to improving communications through personalised, relevant, and timely content and messaging.

Sizzle - This is where brands can get creative. The sizzle focuses on using digital to excite customers, spur engagement, and generate buzz through innovative campaigns, experiences, and initiatives.

Case Study: Disney’s Magic Band

A prime example of the 5S framework in action is Disney’s Magic Band programme. Launched in 2013 across the Disney theme parks, Magic Band is a wearable RFID wristband that transformed the customer experience. Here's a look at how it hit each of the 5S goal areas:

Sell - By integrating with customer accounts and payment information, Magic Band enabled frictionless spending across the parks, increasing revenue.

Serve - The bands allow for streamlined park experiences like virtual queueing and cashless transactions with minimal waiting.

Save - Real-time data from the bands helped Disney optimise staffing and operations, driving efficiency.

Speak - Personalised interactions like ride messages and character greetings created a tailored, engaging experience.

Sizzle - Magic Band delivered that signature Disney magic, wowing guests with the experience. The wearable tech integrated seamlessly with classic Disney storytelling and theming.

Key Takeaways

The 5S model provides a straightforward yet comprehensive framework for defining digital objectives that go beyond just sales. It pushes teams to think bigger on how digital can transform customer experiences, brand interactions, and business operations. The Disney case reveals how even one initiative can check multiple goal boxes across the 5 S's.

As you plan your next digital marketing strategy, apply the 5S methodology. Identify opportunities to sell more, serve better, save money, speak clearly, and sizzle with excitement. Keeping all five goal areas in mind will lead to high-impact objectives that create value across the board. Focus your efforts on the initiatives that tackle multiple S's for maximum results.

Resources to help explain The 5S Objectives Framework for Digital Strategy

The 5S Goals of Digital Marketing, Dr Dave Chaffey

Set the right goals for digital marketing using the 5Ss, Smart Insights

SOSTAC Plan: How to Develop a Killer Digital Marketing Plan

CTA: Digital Marketing Objective Setting Template - Free Download