Coming up with a list of marketing objectives can be challenging. In fact, just 5% of small businesses have achieved all their goals in the past 12 months, according to a survey by Clutch. The same survey found that 65% of business achieved half of their objectives within a 12 month period.
Clearly setting marketing goals and objectives is important. But where do you start?
In this article, I’ve pulled together a list of marketing objectives that you can use as you create your marketing plan.
What are Marketing Objectives?
Your marketing objectives specify what needs to be done in order to achieve your marketing goals.
A marketing objective must have the following attributes:
- Specific: Focus on a single goal.
- Measurable: Your results can be measured by your customer’s behavior and resulting sales.
- Relate to a specific time period: This can be a week, month, year or longer.
- Affect your ideal customer’s behavior: This would be what you want to see from your ideal customer such as: retaining customers, trials of a product, increased purchases, higher-value purchases, upsells, more frequent purchases, etc.
Like all objectives they are “SMART”. But what makes marketing objectives unique is the focus on your customer’s behavior. Do they actually DO what you intended them to do and to what degree.
And this is how you determine if any marketing campaign had a good Return on Investment.
Where Do Marketing Objectives Come From?
Your marketing objectives will come from two places; your sales goals (how much money you want to make) and the results of your SWOT Analysis. In that order.
How much money do you want to make?
As a small business owner or solopreneur, everything starts with how much money you want to put in your pocket at the end of the day.
Rather than pulling a number out of thin air, pull out your credit card statements, expense reports and start adding things up. This will give you the minimum revenue you need to bring in to cover your expenses.
Next, you need to add on your desired profit at the end of the period.
THAT is your goal.
How much do you need to sell?
Now you can start playing multiplication games with your offers.
- What can you sell?
- How will you price it?
- Do you need to create a new offer or offers?
Where do you see new opportunities?
The other source of your marketing objectives is your SWOT analysis. Here is a simple SWOT analysis you can do.
Rather than simply listing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, use these questions as a starting point to dig deeper for new opportunities.
What are your strengths
- What new customers have you gained this year?
- Where did you gain the most customers?
- What communication channels have been most successful for you?
- Have you beat out other competitors? Why did those customer choose you?
What are your weaknesses?
- What customers or projects did you lose this year?
- Why did those customers choose another alternative?
- What products or services are missing that your ideal customers would value?
- In what ways are your competitors stronger than you?
- List your biggest failures this year. What was missing that caused you to miss out?
Explore opportunities for the future?
- Are there trends in your industry that others are ignoring?
- What alternatives do your customers consider over what you have to offer?
- Are there technologies that are available that could create new opportunities?
- What is something that your industry says will “never” happen?
Explore the threats to your business?
- Are there technological factors creating threats?
- In what ways do your competitors threaten you?
- What scares you most about the future of (YOUR COMPANY)?
- Are major changes taking place in the industry?
- Is the government increasing the burden of any previous regulations?
List of Marketing Objectives
For each of these marketing objectives, you will need to add specific units or percentages as well as a time frame.
Here’s a terrific Infographic I found with some more real examples:
Marketing Objectives For Existing Customers
- Retain existing customers
- Increase customer loyalty
- Increase sales to existing customers
- Increase customer purchase frequency
- Increase customer order value
- Increase lifetime value of customers
- Increase number of products purchased by customers
- Decrease rate of customer returns
Marketing Objectives For New Customers and Lead Generation
- Target new customers from new markets
- Generate new leads from website
- Generate new leads from Facebook
- Increase lead conversions to customers
Marketing Objectives for Your Brand
- Generate brand awareness
- Build brand trust
- Increase brand engagement on social media
Marketing Objectives for Website
- Increase new traffic to website
- Increase returning visitors to website
- Increase conversion rates from website
- Increase impressions of specific product/service pages
- Increase click through rates on specific product/service pages
Marketing Objectives for Products and Services
- Increase profits from specific products
- Grow market share from specific products
- Increase market share in specific industries
Marketing Objectives for Email Marketing
- Grow email list
- Increase email open rates
- Increase conversion rates from emails
- Increase email click through rate
- Increase upsells and cross sells from email campaigns
- Decrease unsubscribe rate
- Choose and implement a marketing automation tool
Marketing Objectives for Customer Engagement
- Increase the number of positive reviews (on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc)
- Grow engagement from social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc)
- Increase video views
- Increase video shares
- Increase time of video views
Marketing Objectives for Social Media
- Increase social media following
- Increase social media engagement and conversations
- Increase shares of social media posts
- Increase shares of content (articles, infographics, etc)
Final Thoughts on Marketing Objectives
The key to setting powerful marketing objectives that move your business forward is focus. First focus on your revenue goals, then focus on choosing your marketing strategy and finally, focus on a few marketing objectives.
My recommendations are to choose a revenue goal. Choose a marketing strategy and choose no more than three marketing objectives. This will limit overwhelm and help you save time and money on your marketing.