4 reasons marketing objectives are vital for your business
Ever jumped straight into a marketing task, immediately planning the tactics (action items) without first thinking about your goals and marketing objectives? It is a common mistake. You don’t feel as if you have the time to plan, you just want to get going and do something. Yet a little while later, you look up and around and wonder how on earth you got where you are. It certainly wasn’t where you intended to be.
It’s a common error, so if this is you, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. However, setting objectives is your first step to avoiding this mistake, giving all-important focus back to your business and avoiding the time and energy wasted with the ‘tactics first’ approach.
Frequently, I get asked by clients to advise them on their marketing. And, one of the things that clients find hardest at the outset is to explain exactly what it is that they want this activity to achieve.
Yet being able to state your objectives clearly and easily is vital. (Hence this blog post!)
- To give clarity to your decision-making
- To engage your whole company in your marketing activity and what they are looking to achieve
- It allows you to prioritise and allocate your resources to the things that really matter
- It provides the start of that all important road-map.
Examples of marketing objectives
Put simply, they can be broken down into four main categories:
- Profit objective:
Eg: To achieve 20% return on capital employed by January 2019
- Revenue objective:
Eg: To increase revenue from non-EU sales of mens’ shoes from £1m to £2m by December 2020
- Market share objective:
To gain a 10% market share of the children lunchbox yogurt market by January 2019
- Promotional objective:
To increase brand awareness amongst our target audience from 10% to 20% by December 2020
What should your marketing objectives be?
Firstly think about your resources, time, money, capacity, etc… as your marketing objectives should sit within the context of your business and business challenges. It seems obvious, but it is a factor which is all too often forgotten. To make sure your marketing objective setting is a valuable exercise, always remember the tried and tested SMART mnemonic. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, so ignore it at your peril.
Your SMART objectives should be:
Specific: Make sure that there is no room for interpretation.
Measurable: Can we measure it easily and in a cost effective manner?
Achievable: Can this objective be used to focus activity?
Realistic: Do a logic check. Is this the right time for you to try and achieve this goal? Do you have the right resources? Given your current performance, is this goal realistic? I certainly not saying that you should aim low, I would always advocate a stretch target, but it should be something that is realistic enough to be motivational.
Timebound: A time bound goal will answer the question of when you want your goal to be achieved by. This gives you a deadline to work to and helps to increase focus.
How do you decide upon the objectives for your business?
Well , think about your objectives in a logical way. Write down your business objectives first and then write your number one marketing objective below it. This ensures that all your marketing activity is directly related to the aims and goals of the business. Tip: in all likelihood your number one aim will be either based on profit or revenue.
Now this is decided upon, think about the manageable objectives that you need to set in order to help you achieve this one goal. A great way to go about this is to break this priority objective down into the 4Ps of marketing:
Price: Do you need to examine your pricing policy?
Product: Which part of the product mix needs the most focus? Do you need tochange or alter some element of your product/service, or perhaps develop new product lines?
Place: How do you get your product/service to your clients? Do you need to increase your number of distributors?
Promotion: What level of brand awareness are you looking to achieve, or how many product trials are you looking to have delivered?
Doing it in this way will help you check that your goals are realistic and give a good guide as to how you are going to achieve them.
Mistakes to avoid
A couple words of advice here. Stop chasing vanity metrics: examples of these are followers, likes, impressions and page views. Leave these to your competitors, as some metrics quite frankly are not as valuable as you may think. Consider your Facebook page; imagine you run a competition that hugely increases the number of followers your page. If followers is your objective you think you have achieved your goals. In all honesty, if you have not targeted correctly, what you may have done is increased your following by people who will never visit your page again. You’ll get no engagement and no impact on your business results. Remember, it’s your conversions, engagements and sales that really count towards achieving your business success.
And don’t get carried away – too many objectives will actually do you a huge disservice. Have a few really relevant objectives that relate closely to your business goals. They will be much easier to focus on, meaning that your marketing activity is more targeted and more effective.
So think about your marketing objectives. But more than that, write them down and share them with your team. An actionable set of clear objectives will help you prioritise your resources and make sure you are doing the right things. Helping you get where you want to go, faster.
Evidently, with these in place, you can simply stop and ask yourself “is the task we are doing helping us achieve our objectives?” If it’s not, you should think about getting back on track and doing something else. And the joy of clear objectives? You can probably work out pretty quickly what this should be.
Find this article helpful? If so, please share with your friends and colleagues. Finally, want help with your marketing objectives? Why not get in touch for a free no obligation conversation?