Marketing Objectives: Smart Ways to Define your Marketing Goals
Marketing is important for any company that wants to create awareness for itself and its products and/or services. Pivotal in marketing is having established and clear marketing objectives that help increase company awareness and consumer loyalty.
Generally, marketing objectives are the strategies to achieve organizational objectives. For example, marketing objectives could be raising brand awareness for targeted customers, offering information on product characteristics, and decreasing customer resistance towards purchasing a product or a service.
Marketing objectives are significant because they guide the actions of your marketing. These objectives are also used to measure how well a marketing plan is working.
This article will discuss how to come up with good marketing objectives and how to link them with your business’s objectives. The article would also discuss a couple of these marketing objectives including examples. Finally, the article will underscore the typical errors encountered whenever companies set their marketing goals.
LINKING MARKETING OBJECTIVES WITH ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES
Before you start creating your marketing objectives, know your organizational objectives first. Organizations can have different objectives, whether it may be raising profit levels, improving the leadership in management levels, enhancing training of employees, smoothening out operational issues, and the like.
Whether your organization may be for-profit, non-profit, government, or educational, organizational objectives can receive a big boost through marketing. For example, a for-profit can have the objective of raising revenues by increasing customer quality; a non-profit might want to raise the donation sizes coming from a couple of patrons; or a local government may have the objective of increasing citizen self-service. Knowing these, marketing needs to indicate its objectives to address these organizational objectives. The marketer would also need to pick the marketing objective that can create the largest impact. Thus, to address the for-profit’s need for higher revenues, the marketing objective could be to attain new leads.
Once you have more or less an idea of your business objectives, set out your marketing objectives. The order of the setting of objectives is always this way because marketing objectives lay out what businesses want to attain from its marketing and marketing activities. Overall, marketing objectives must be in accord with the general objectives of a business. They also serve as a significant focus for a marketing team.
IDENTIFYING SMART MARKETING OBJECTIVES
When you are trying to zero in on particular marketing objectives that help your company’s long-term objectives, it is common to remember the mnemonic: SMART. SMART can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of marketing objectives to drive various strategies or even improve the complete range of a business process. A good marketing objective incorporates the SMART criteria.
Specific – The objective is focused on a particular area.
By making use of particular marketing objectives, you are able to concentrate on one objective per marketing plan in order to optimize efficiency. Companies usually want to attain many marketing objectives at the same time.
However, every objective has to have its own plan for the purpose of effectiveness. Case in point, if a shoe manufacturer would like to introduce a new shoe line and would like to increase its product coverage towards a new target market, then there has to be a distinct plan for the release of the product and for the market expansion.
Measurable – The progression of the objective is quantifiable somehow.
In order to gauge whether a marketing plan has been successful, your company has to have marketing objectives that are measurable. The marketing plan, of course, needs to be measureable based on total profits, revenue generation, or quantity sold. The marketing objectives should also be measurable in the sense that it has to be really detailed so it can be effective.
Simply stating a marketing objective where you hope to sell more quantity of a product than last year is not something usable to measure success. If you set your marketing objective to selling 30% more in nits from last year can be helpful.
Achievable – The objective must be attainable given your level of expertise and skill.
Keep in mind that business growth is planned and gradual. Whenever you create a marketing plan, you use achievable objectives.
If, for example, your profit growth for the past how many years has been 20%, then setting a marketing objective of 50% without any previous historical data to support the rise in growth is not good objective setting.
Realistic marketing objectives inspire employees to want to attain the success indicated in marketing plans. By setting objectives that appear impossible will decrease morale. Moreover, it can make it challenging to plan for budgets for the next fiscal year.
Realistic – The objective can be reached with your resources.
You have to be realistic about your marketing objectives. For example, you may have some product momentum, thus, you may be thinking that you can significantly increase your sales.
However, you do not have the distribution or manufacturing processes in place for this increase in sales. Make sure that your expectations in manufacturing and the like do not exceed your historical averages; or that your expectations in increased sales can be covered by your sales staff; etc.
Time-Bound – The objective states a particular amount of time wherein the results can be achieved.
You have to ensure that your marketing objective is bound by time. This would help you analyze whether your marketing strategies worked to achieve the intended results. Case in point, if you have a marketing objective that you want to attain in 6 months, assess the actual outcomes against the projected outcomes for each month. From there, see if you need to make adjustments in order to attain the overall objective of the marketing plan.
Generally, SMART marketing objectives clear up where you want your company to be, providing for a measurable goal that could be monitored, and plans could be developed to satisfy business objectives.
SETTING MARKETING OBJECTIVES AND EXAMPLES
Here are some common marketing objectives used in any industry. To give more meat to the objective, we also give a few examples per marketing objective.
Perhaps one of the most relevant objectives of marketing, especially for organizations that are for profit, is increasing sales and driving business. Marketing has to earn a return on investment.
This means that the rise in sales must substantially be greater than the marketing costs. To accomplish this, the marketing objective must be specific, as previously mentioned. Usually, it is insufficient to merely state that the marketing objective is to increase sales for a percentage. The more detailed you are on your marketing objective, the better.
For example, you can indicate as a marketing objective: “increase shoe sales for women ages 15-30” or “increase the number of individuals who buy from our online store to 15%.”
Improving Product Awareness
A marketing objective can concentrate on revitalizing or stimulating the interest in a product or service that has been in the market for a while or which people already have preconceived notions or attitudes about. Case in point is the California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk?” campaign that started in the middle of the 1990s but is still being used all over the U.S. The effort boosted the industry, creating a 91% awareness rating after it was used for 2 years.
Definitely, every brand wants to increase their market share and to have people always talk about them. Although this might seem too lofty an ideal that cannot be measured easily, there are actually quantitative and qualitative approaches to enhancing product awareness.
For example, thought leadership appears to be an objective that is solely qualitative. This is because you cannot really seem to measure if an audience perceives you as an expert. However, you can measure related variables that are connected to being a thought leader. You can look at the shares of industry influencers, the number of social mentions, and the amount of citations of individuals.
Nowadays, higher engagement due to improved product awareness can be quantified through the measurement of individual metrics such as time spent on a website, the number of pages viewed for each session, the number of clicks, the bounce rate, and the number of shares on social networking sites.
Establishing Yourself in the Industry
If you are a new business, you might find it really challenging to stand out in an already crowded market, especially with the public always being so distracted. Such an example of this marketing objective for organizations who want to establish themselves in the industry yet have small public awareness could be: “Be one of the top 3 brands in the industry, as named by our customers.”
Such a successful marketing campaign was that of GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy.com hosts websites and it made a name for itself by showing stimulating advertisements in high profile areas like in the much-awaited and -watched Super Bowl.
Managing the Brand
It takes much effort to take a place in the public’s mind and psyche. There are actually many marketing activities that are aimed at keeping a permanent spot in the public space. Big corporations in the world, like Nike and McDonalds, for example, run advertisements using particular tones and images to remind its customers of their product or service. In this case, they are not promoting their offerings.
The marketing objective in this case could be: “To have our brand recognized anywhere in the world, sans explanation.” Starbucks actually garnered free publicity in the year 2011 when it removed its name from its logo. The company merely relied on its popular siren logo to remind its consumers of their company.
TYPICAL ERRORS IN SETTING MARKETING GOALS
Some companies do make mistakes whenever they set marketing goals or objectives. Oftentimes, companies would write a particular marketing objective under each SMART heading. Of course, this does not work well. Marketing objectives must be grouped in a logical manner.
Besides grouping the marketing objectives logically, make sure that you do not have too many marketing objectives. By focusing your efforts on a few objectives, you get to accomplish them in a targeted manner and in less time.
In order to verify whether your objectives are the right ones for your company, take the following tests, which incorporates the concept of SMART marketing objectives:
- The Access Test – Is the data produced as a result of the objective easy to capture and locate?
- The Clarity Test – Could there be any ambiguity in interpreting the results of the marketing objective?
- The Consistency Test – Is the data collected from the objective always the same whoever may measure it?
- The Cost Test – Is the objective worth the cost of measuring its results?
- The Focus Test – Is objective only measuring what the company wants to measure?
- The Gaming Test – Is the objective probably going to result in inappropriate or undesirable behavior?
- The Relevancy Test – Is the objective talking about a correct measure?
- The So-What Test – Is the objective actionable?
- The Timeliness Test – Can the resulting data from the objective be easily accessible for action to take place?
- The Truth Test – Are the objectives measuring what is needed to be measured?
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