How to Set Marketing Objectives
Marketing objectives are important in drafting a reliable marketing plan. A marketing plan is important to set direction in attaining such objectives in order to meet the goals set by the firm which boils down to increasing profits for the company. The marketing planning process is often derived from the company’s strategic goals which are set by top management which is then broken down into smaller objectives in order to realize such strategic goals.
These marketing objectives are often set after doing an extensive analysis using such tools as the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). The strengths and weaknesses of the company are often analyzed based on their impact on the strategic goals set by the upper management. The strengths of the company are the advantages it has over its competitors in the same industry while weaknesses are the characteristics of the firm that give it a relative disadvantage to its competitors. The opportunities and threats are external factors that may include technological change, socio-cultural changes, macroeconomic matters, competitive position, marketplace changes, and legislation that may directly or indirectly affect the company. The opportunities are outside chances to make better profits or sales while threats are external compositions of the environment that may bring trouble to the firm.
Once the extensive analysis is done, the marketing objectives are drafted. Drafting these objectives often follow the SMART principle. Objectives must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. An objective must be precise about what the firm truly wants to achieve. An objective must be quantifiable. It must be translatable to an amount that can be easily measured. It must achievable using the firm’s resources. The objective must be sensible. The firm must have the resources such as men, machines, minutes, money and materials in order to achieve the objective set by the company. And lastly, the objective must be accomplished within a set time-frame. There must be a deadline as to when the objective must be met.
By setting these objectives based on the SMART principle, the firm will have a clear visualization of how the strategic goals set by management can be achieved. These objectives set by the marketing department must coincide with the objectives of the other departments of the firm. It must be linked with the sales and financial objectives. The objectives must be geared towards the firm’s present clients and its prospective customers. They must focus on informing the customers of the firm’s products and services. They must be focused on how to entice these customers to buy from the firm and how to maintain these clients so that they continuously buy the firm’s products and services.
Important keywords such as gain, maintain, and increase are often used in setting these objectives. These objectives must be simple and consistent in relation to one another. Although the objectives can be numerous, they must be cut down to only handful so that they can be manageable. Marketing objectives can be put up on the firm’s wall to serve as a reminder to stay focused so that the strategic goals are met.