Setting Marketing Objectives for Your Business

graph illustrating company meeting an objective
••• Getty Images / Gary Waters

 

Marketing objectives help your business move forward. Typically, they are specific, easy to measure, possible to achieve, not too ambitious, and designed with a time frame. Successful marketing objectives are formulated and written in a prescribed way to secure the desired results. For example, "Increase market share by 15% within the next six months."

Demographic Shifts and Marketing Objectives

With the rise of social media and growing dominance of the millennials, it's important that objectives address specific audiences in the way that is most relevant to them.

In 2014, the number of millennials in the United States eclipsed the number of baby boomers, according to the Census Bureau. The Census counted about 83.1 million millennials, compared with 75.4 million baby boomers.

“When you’re targeting baby boomers, it’s for an audience that’s on Facebook or watching television,” said Andy Latimer, CEO and founder of Bluewater Media in Clearwater, Fla. “Engaging millennials is different because they are less brand specific, their messaging requires a social hook, and they need a reason to believe.”

Types of Marketing Objectives

Considering your marketing plan or strategy from all angles is necessary when creating these four main marketing objectives:

  • Market share: This determines how much of the market you wish to gain, and can be measured with consumer data and advertising spending. “We pull data from various associations that have the intent of understanding market share for their entire organization,” said Latimer. “Another way to measure is to compare the ad spend against other products.”
  • Profit: This represents the amount of expected income based on promotional strategy across the overall life of the campaign and its overall effect. 
  • Promotion: Whether it's commercial advertising, couponing, a digital campaign, or an in-store promotion, this is the desired level of product or service awareness. It can be measured by sales from beginning, middle, and end of a campaign. “Measure what the net effect is of the lift against what the baseline was and how the promotion is causing a temporary lift,” Latimer said.
  • Growth: This determines your current business size and how much you want it to grow. It may be measured through social media engagement and shares, for example, or overall reach.

Identifying the Four P's

Develop objectives within each of the four P's: product, price, promotion, and place. Under product, goals should focus on the sales of products and services. For price, examine the cost plan and whether it requires modification and if so, objectives that accommodate adjustments. The promotional element of a marketing strategy generally yields objectives on raising awareness and brand recognition while place requires setting goals and explaining how to get products or services to clients.

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media

Paid media includes advertising dollars spent on a variety of media channels, such as Google AdWords, social media ads, and print. Owned media refers to properties the marketer owns and manages, such as websites and social media. Earned media is any publicity that is non-paid, which is considered public relations.

As an example, consider Antioch University, whose marketing team upholds a three-prong digital media strategy that fuels their marketing objectives and assists the team in determining what efforts work.

Paid media allows Antioch to target audiences vs. just having a push strategy of placing digital ads in as many places as possible and hoping someone sees one. It facilitates measurement to confirm the targeted audience is reached.

Antioch's measurable marketing objectives around owned media include SEO optimization, user experience, and helping consumers make decisions once they land on websites.

Earned media for any university can be faculty expert stories, student profiles, or faculty placement as experts in news articles others write.

Purpose of Marketing Objectives

There are several important goals of marketing objectives:

  • Target Markets: Many goods have the greatest chance for sales in highly specific markets and demographics. But target markets often shift. “Because what the data results show is not aligned with who the client believes their demographic is, they have to adjust,” said Latimer. For example, video games are bought most often by males between the ages of 13 and 49. Although this does not imply that people outside of this demographic will never buy a video game, it suggests that spending money to put ads right in the hands of members of this demographic will result in more sales than money spent advertising to different demographics.​
  • Brand Recognition: A typical goal of a marketing objective is to improve brand recognition among a target demographic or to lay the foundation for a cold call to specific individuals or businesses. Also, consider market saturation. In this situation, there is a lot of competition and little apparent room for growth. In a saturated market, it is critical to do things differently than others in the category to achieve results.
  • Increase Revenue: The ultimate aim of marketing objectives is to boost company revenue. To reach this goal, it’s common to employ all the marketing techniques that work with a particular audience.

    Marketing Objectives vs. Sales Objectives

    A common mistake is to confuse marketing objectives with sales objectives. While marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing overall revenue, the marketing objective is the message and or tool that assists and equips the sales professional to sell the product and or service.

    “When your brand awareness increases, you're able to spend more and secure more penetration,” Latimer said. In other words, the marketing objective is in the communication while the sales objective is to close the deal with the message.