That's the key question that is answered by a short list of marketing objectives, which should be covered early in your marketing plan.
Figuring out how to define marketing objectives starts with an understanding of the attributes of a good marketing objective. We'll cover that first and then offer a few marketing objective examples that might give you a better feel for how to come up with your marketing objectives.
Attributes of Good Marketing Objectives
Marketing objectives should be:
- Aligned With Business Objectives - Achieving your marketing objectives should lead to higher sales, improved profitability, and better overall company performance. If your marketing objectives don't drive business success, you need to set different marketing objectives.
- Clear - Try to define each of your marketing objectives in no more than forty words. Ask others to read your marketing objectives and explain them back to you. Keep reworking your marketing objectives until you have achieved perfect clarity.
- Measurable - There's no point to defining a marketing objective if you cannot subsequently decide whether you were successful in getting it done. For this reason, marketing objectives should be associated with metrics that can determine how well you did.
- Time-Specific - Your marketing objective lays out what you hope to accomplish, but does it say by when? If not, big mistake. Make sure your marketing objectives have a stated time frame for achievement.
- Realistic - Do you have the resources necessary to accomplish your objectives? There's no point in chasing after "pie in the sky" marketing objectives that you'll never achieve. Instead, set realistic goals that stretch the organization but are still doable.
Examples of Marketing Objectives
Here are a few example marketing objectives. While reviewing these sample marketing objectives, think about whether they might apply to your organization.
- Increase product awareness among the target audience by 30 percent in one year.
- Inform target audience about features and benefits of our product and its competitive advantage, leading to a 10 percent increase in sales in one year.
- Decrease or remove potential customers' resistance to buying our product, leading to a 20 percent increase in sales that are closed in six months or less.
If you have multiple objectives, always make sure they are consistent and not in conflict with each other. Also, be sure that the remainder of your marketing plan components -- the marketing strategy, marketing budget, marketing programs, controls and measures, etc. -- support your marketing objectives. If it doesn't all work together, you may need to revisit your marketing objectives and tweak them a bit.