CMOs, and indeed the rest of the C-Suite, are obsessed with growth. They’re setting aggressive OKRs with ambitious numbers to hit. This laser focus is putting a lot of pressure on customer acquisition teams to deliver quantifiable results.

Having specific targets—generate 2,000 leads, increase conversions by 2%, etc.—should increase clarity and make it easier for teams to take action, right? Wrong! Lofty goals with clear success metrics can actually have the opposite effect, paralyzing teams and making it difficult to know where to start.

The pressure to hit these high numbers can feel overwhelming, making it difficult to set concrete tasks to reach desired outcomes. Teams waste cycles second-guessing themselves and struggling to take the first step in any direction.

Wrike’s own customer acquisition team has faced this struggle and found a few tactics to break campaigns down into manageable tasks. Here are our four biggest insights that help us to consistently meet and exceed our organizational goals.

1. Start With Questions, Not Answers

The minute you receive your OKRs, you’re subject to intense pressure to come up with answers. But in reality, the opposite is necessary—start with questions. Learning to ask the right questions quickly can help focus your team on the areas that will have the most impact. The minute our OKRs are set, we can start thinking about which channels we can leverage and what optimizations we can make. This helps us to identify the “levers” we can pull that will generate results, and how we can refine those strategies to be even more effective in reaching the specific goal.

Some of the questions we ask ourselves to get started include:

  • Expansion
    • Can we expand our marketing to new languages and regions?
    • Are there new ways to increase traffic that we aren’t taking advantage of?
    • Are there new ways to target our ideal customer profiles or the audiences of our competitors?
  • Bid Management
    • How can we improve our bidding?
    • Are the networks we’re using still generating acceptable ROI?
    • Do we need to rebalance the channels we’re using?
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
    • How can we best optimize our landing pages?
    • Do we have new tests we’d like to run, and are there any new ways to capture feedback?
  • Remarketing and Retargeting
    • Are there new networks we can start using for our retargeting campaigns?
    • What kinds of emails should we use in our remarketing campaigns?
  • Analytics
    • What marketing KPIs should we pay attention to that relate to our OKR?
    • Do we have all the data points we need?
    • How can we best visualize the data?

All too often, teams get into a rut of doing the same things they’ve always done despite diminishing returns. We try to take a fresh approach each quarter, following the Theory of the 3 Whys to really get at the meat of a problem. By constantly course correcting, we fine-tune our efforts to ensure we get results.

2. Take It One Week at a Time

Working back from our quarterly goals, our customer acquisition team creates five or six specific projects and begins brainstorming ideas. We then create tasks from the best ideas and start mapping those tasks against our timeline, which is divided up into weekly sprints. While a schedule helps keep us on track, we aren’t overly concerned with how long each task takes. At this point, it’s more important to focus on the right work and incremental progress. Tasks we don’t accomplish each week simply get moved into the next week’s sprint.


At our daily scrum, we pick which tasks are most critical to accomplish that day and get to work. Project management tools like Wrike can be a single source of truth, helping everyone organize their work and collaborate most effectively. We use the folders in Wrike to group and organize our tasks.

A pretty nifty feature is the ability to assign a single task to multiple folders in Wrike, almost like using tags, making it easy to find and label groups of tasks. Breaking our goals down into concrete weekly and daily assignments help us make consistent, measurable progress.

3. Build Confidence Through Visibility and Transparency

Structuring our work into projects, broken up into weeks, marries actionable steps and the larger business goal. We have a bird’s-eye view of what our team is doing to contribute to our organization’s objectives. In just a glance, we can answer very specific questions like, “What kind of retargeting are we doing?” or “How is our bid management?”

Everyone tied into the system can easily see what the goals are, what steps are being taken towards them, and why. And because we know what exactly was done each week, we can quickly identify what worked and what didn’t. If we see a sharp decline in performance, we can zero in on the week in question and know exactly what happened or what changed.

Campaigns can easily number into the hundreds, spread across dozens of industries and networks. It’s critical to keep track of all changes in an organized way, and this is where Wrike really shines. Being able to instantly apply project insights to specific changes would be nearly impossible in spreadsheets or email. And Wrike’s time tracking features adds yet another dimension, allowing us to report on our efforts down to the hour.

4. Pass On Organizational Knowledge To Keep Your Team Moving Forward

The most effective organizations are able to quickly and efficiently store and transfer knowledge. This grows more and more difficult as companies scale and cross geographical, language, and cultural barriers. Our team uses Wrike as a knowledge management system, storing processes, procedures, and instructions right along with the work itself.

Customer acquisition efforts can consist of hundreds of settings and thousands of individual campaigns. Forgetting even just one step can skew results. For example, in Adwords, we maintain exclusion lists of offensive keywords we don’t want to trigger our ads. These need to be manually added. By building checklists into our process through Wrike, we’re able to ensure none of these details are missed.

Storing and sharing organizational knowledge ensures your team isn’t dependent on any one person. Less time is spent making the same mistakes. Instead your team is free to keep optimizing and moving forward.

An Efficient Team Is an Effective Team

As even loftier goals are put on their plates, it’s critical for customer acquisition teams to optimize their efforts. Forward momentum is essential, and the best way to achieve it is through visible progress. Breaking down campaigns into concrete tasks, and organizing those tasks by months, weeks, and days can give you competitive visibility into your efforts. Work management and collaboration tools like Wrike can help you achieve that balance between providing at-a-glance data while storing and archiving deep learnings.

Customer acquisition teams using tools like Wrike are able to run thousands of very complex, international campaigns that provide visibility into how even a single change impacted the results. This type of transparency can win over the C-Suite and help your team focus on how to tackle even the biggest goals.