Behind any effective marketing plan is a list of clearly-defined objectives and strategies. Think of it this way: marketing objectives are like the foundation of a house – everything else builds atop them. When done correctly, marketing objectives provide direction for your team and offer information for executives and other decision-makers to review, support, and base decisions on.
While specific and defined marketing goals are critical to any upwardly-mobile organization, they can also be challenging to establish. In fact, most brands struggle with the process because they’re just not sure what they want to do or how to define their priorities.
If you feel like you’re in this boat, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll break down why and how to hone in on your marketing goals, and what your short- and long-term goals should be. Let’s dive in!
Choosing Your Marketing Objectives
The first step in creating a list of marketing objectives is reviewing your marketing strategy as it exists now. While there are dozens of different goals you can outline in a marketing plan, you can hone things down by considering both the position and stage of your brand, and focusing on the two or three marketing objectives that are most important for you to focus on.
Here are a few you might choose from:
Promoting New Products or Services
If your plans include introducing new services or products, your marketing objectives should include promotion and publicity, both of which will make your later efforts more manageable and help ensure they speak to your target audience.
Growing Your Digital Presence
If your brand doesn’t currently have a significant digital footprint online, your marketing plans might include things like SEO, social media, and other attempts to grow your visibility.
If your lead pipeline is lacking a bit, your primary objective (or one of them) might be focusing on lead generation tactics. This could include growing your email list, filling your CRM system with qualified leads, and making new relationships.
Customer retention is a big deal, and it can save your brand money, time, turnover, and other difficulties. If this is your objective, you may focus on methods designed to help you keep your existing customers, in addition to attracting new ones.
Building Brand Awareness
If your brand is new or has a relatively small audience, you may choose to focus on expanding your reach and getting more people to become aware of your brand. After this, you might focus on objectives like brand loyalty.
Defining Clear Marketing Objectives
Now that you know what some of the most common marketing objectives are, it’s time to hone in on what’s important to you and your brand. It’s also time to drill down into the details of those goals.
The best approach to this is to validate your objectives by ensuring they’re SMART. SMART marketing objectives are:
- Specific. These goals are honed, clearly defined, and outlined- which means the entire team can easily understand them and why they’re essential. Applicable KPIs include sales growth, market share, and changes in profit.
- Measurable. Your marketing objectives should have KPIs and benchmarks that allow you to measure them and decide whether or not they’re successful.
- Achievable. The marketing objectives you define should be realistic enough to achieve. While it’s great to set the bar high, you also need to set your team up for success.
- Relevant. The goal should be relevant to your brand, its mission, and the direction you want your business to grow in. Each marketing objective should have a solid reason behind it.
- Time-Bound. The goals need a timeline that indicates when the objective should begin and end.
The Difference Between Long & Short-Term Goals
Marketing objectives come in both long- and short-term varieties. While social media engagement is an example of a relatively short-term goal, SEO is an example of a long-term goal. To achieve your objectives and for them to be as effective to your business as possible, you’ll want to mix long- and short-term goals and know what success looks like for each individual goal.