By Nerea Boada, on 02 April 2020
Trying to form a marketing plan without any objectives is like trying to prepare for a vacation without knowing the destination. Should you pack a coat and gloves, or a bathing suit and flip flops? If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t properly plan. Similarly, without any marketing objectives, it is impossible to optimize your plan to receive the best results.
The key elements directing every effective marketing plan are the marketing objectives. But what exactly are marketing objectives? In this blog we’re going to define and share 10 examples of marketing objectives that you can use in your next marketing plan.
Marketing Objective Definition
Although it's common to hear these two words used interchangeably, marketing goals and marketing objectives are actually two separate things. Marketing goals are long term, expansive, and are often inspired by the mission and purpose of a company. On the other hand, marketing objectives are more specific in scope and should be measurable, either using numbers or time frames, or both.
Essentially, your marketing objectives are the actions you and your marketing team take to fulfill your marketing goals. Below we’ve outlined 10 examples of marketing objectives you can set for your next campaigns.
How do Marketing Objectives Influence your Marketing Plan?
While the objectives are a key piece of the marketing plan, they aren’t necessarily the first thing you need to define. In order for your goals to be realistic, you have to understand several other elements of your brand first. Therefore, before defining the objectives of your marketing plan, you should:
- Determine your brand’s mission. For a company to come to succeed, everyone should be working towards a greater goal. Therefore, the marketing plan must line up with the company’s mission statement.
- Conduct a situation analysis of the company, including both internal and external factors. External factors include your general industry climate and the market. The internal factors refer to your own company, including your resources and staff. This is also a good time to conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Analyze your competition. What are the main brands that you compete with and how are they perceived in the market? What is their budget and volume of the business they handle, the price of their products or services, their sales process, customer acquisition, etc.?
It is important to always ensure that your objectives are SMART. This popular acronym is a great guide when defining your objectives. Not only does it ensure that your objectives are thorough, it also makes them easier to measure once you're analyzing your campaign. So, what does SMART stand for?
- Specific (specific): the objectives must be detailed and concrete. Try to answer the basic questions of what, who, where, when, how and why.
- Measurable (measurable): if we can not concretely measure an objective, it will be impossible to know if we have reached it. Therefore, you should think about what KPI you will use and how you will define success.
- Achievable (achievable): goals that are too easy or too ambitious do not work for us.
- Realistic (realistic): that is, that it takes into account our previous resources and achievements.
- Time-bound (in time): finally, we will have to specify a deadline for our goal, in which we will establish a control to see if it has been fulfilled or not and why. It may be useful to divide a global goal into smaller objectives, in order to correct the course as we move forward.
10 Examples of Marketing Plan Objectives
#1. Increase Brand Awareness
Whether you’re a new company, you’re launching a new product, or you’ve decided to target a new audience, increasing your brand or product’s awareness is a good goal to guide your marketing plan.
Let’s take the example of deciding to target a new audience. For this objective, success can be measured in the number of impressions, by comparing audience brand awareness before and after the campaign.
Example: Increase social media impressions among new target audience by 30% by the end of the quarter.
#2. Increase Market Share
This objective is related to the competition analysis, discussed at the bottom of the blog. By taking a look at the other existing brands in your industry, you can define your specific position in the market, as well as project where you would like to be after your campaign.
Example: Increase market share by the end of the fiscal year by decreasing customer churn by 10%.
It’s important to note that your objective does not always have to be “to become the market leader,'' since it may not be a realistic objective.
#3. Launch a New Product
Launching a new product presents a unique set of challenges to any marketing department. Informing the public about a brand new product and generating excitement is no small feat. Between developing the communication strategy, pricing, and positioning, this goal can have several different objectives.
Example: Define Product X´s final price by the end of the week.
#4. Introduce the Company to New Local or International Markets
Similarly to launching a new product, positioning and communication strategy are key when introducing the brand to a new market. It’s also crucial to be knowledgeable about cultural and consumption differences as well.
Example: Conduct market research during the first half of Q2 and develop appropriate messaging strategy by the end of Q2.
#5. Improve ROI
The return on investment or ROI is one of the most important marketing metrics there is, since it measures whether your investment is paying off.
In the world of digital marketing, it’s now easier than ever to accurately measure ROI, since we know the cost per click on conversions for our actions. There are several different ways a company can increase their ROI, thus this goal can have a few different objectives.
Example: Conduct A/B testing on two different Facebook Ads over a 4 week period.
#6. Increase Company Profits
Increasing company profits can often involve 3 types of actions: reduce costs, increase profits, or both. Search engine optimization, social networks, and other digital media can be a key method for increasing profits while also reducing costs.
Example: Reduce paid social ads by 20% and boost current SEM efforts with 3 weekly blog posts in Q4.
#7. Optimize the Funnel
It’s useless to aim to get a ton of impressions if you don’t get users to convert. Therefore, a good marketing plan objective would be to take into account the different stages of the conversion funnel and ensure that as many users as possible become customers.
Example: Increase conversion rates by 5% in 2020 by increasing remarketing efforts on middle of the funnel prospects.
#8. Attract New Customers
Attracting new customers to your brand or products is an important effort for ensuring the relevancy and longevity of your company. Attracting new customers should involve different processes than retaining your current ones.
Example: Establish partnership with 3 new industry influencers by the end of the year and develop discount codes for their followers.
#9. Retain Current Customers
On the other side of the coin, increasing customer loyalty is another common marketing objective. It's important to remain invested in your audience, and in fact some may argue its more beneficial, since it is always cheaper to keep a customer than to grow a new one.
Example: Add 2 full-time community managers by Q3 to better manage comments and questions received on social media.
#10. Increase Sales
Finally, we’ve reached the most common and obvious marketing objective: improve sales. There are many different methods for increasing sales, but two popular actions are increasing conversion rates or increasing the average amount of transaction options (for example, cross selling.)
Example: Increase conversion rates by 3% by increasing website traffic with 3 new blog posts a week by the end of the year.
Marketing objectives and marketing goals can be a tricky concept, since the words are so often switched around. Hopefully this post has helped you understand it a bit easier and inspired you for your next marketing plan!