5 steps to setting marketing objectives that work

By 21st March 2017 Design, Marketing

Setting effective marketing objectives is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business. When they’re done right, marketing objectives can help you:

  • Achieve your business goals
  • Avoid a ‘scattergun approach’ to marketing
  • Save your most precious resources – time and money.

Read our five step guide to how to set your marketing objectives.

Step 1 – Learn the Golden Rules

There are four golden rules when it comes to setting marketing objectives, they should be:

  1. Complimentary to your overall business goals
  2. Realistic
  3. Specific
  4. Measurable

Now all you need to do is tackle these rules one by one!

Step 2 – Remind yourself of your business goals

You may have a great idea for a marketing strategy, but unless it contributes in some way to achieving an overall business goal, it’s not worth pursuing. So begin by going back to what you want your business to achieve. Is it:

  • Profitability?
  • Customer retention?
  • Better customer service?
  • Increased sales of a particular product or service?
  • Growth?

Whatever it is, put that business goal at the front of your mind. Once it’s there, you’ll naturally begin to identify marketing objectives that make a genuine impact on your business.

Step 3 – Set realistic targets: it’s all about ‘achievability’!

One problem businesses face when setting marketing objectives is trying to set the world on fire in the process. Yes, that would be a nice bonus, but it’s really not necessary!

Instead, set goals that are truly achievable. Any progress, however small, is a step in the right direction. It’s wiser to set a number of small, achievable objectives rather than one hugely ambitious goal which you have no realistic chance of achieving.

So, if you’ve just set up your business, getting a growth in sales that would see you make the FTSE 100 by the end of the year is maybe a little too ambitious! Instead, consider achieving a few more responses to your marketing emails, or maybe sales growth that would lead to a breakeven for three months straight. Small steps are the way forward to great things.

Step 4 – Out with the vague, in with the specific

The more specific your objectives are, the easier they are to interpret and achieve. So think about the language you use when writing them.  Avoid vague, sweeping descriptions of what you want to do, and replace them with something easily understandable and implementable.

For example, instead of ‘Make more profit’ consider ‘Increase sales figures by X%’

And instead of ‘Get more leads’ consider ‘Increase the number of customer responses to direct mailers by X%’

Now, to be truly effective, these specific objectives need a measure added, making them even easier to achieve. And this brings us to…

Step 5 – Give each objective a quantifiable measure (or, rather, put a number on it!)

Measuring your marketing objectives is essential; it’s the only way you can be sure your:

  1. Marketing strategies are working (or not)
  2. Target audience is behaving in the way you anticipate (or not)
  3. Time and money are being spent on the most lucrative strategy for your business

Also, by giving yourself a quantifiable target, you can more easily track your progress as you work your way through each objective. Here are some examples:

  • Increase sales figures by 18% by November 2017
  • Achieve a 10% increase on the number of responses from online marketing communications by March 2018
  • Obtain three more repeat customers every two months through the course of the year

And you’re done! It really is that easy.

The next stage is to turn those objectives into strategies. Need a little help with that? Give us a shout today – we’re brimming with ideas!