Clear and measurable marketing objectives are critical to successful marketing planning. That’s because marketing objectives clarify set goals. They provide a roadmap consisting of well-defined actions designed to get your team, and the company, across the finish line.
One of the instant benefits of clear marketing objectives is the increased productivity and measurable progress they enable. Conversely, vague or incompletely defined objectives can hamper your plan or make it fall face down.
If you find that your marketing plan for the year is big on rhetoric but short on measurable actions, use this guide to improve and upgrade your plan.
Here are ten top-level marketing goals with examples of marketing objectives to achieve them.
1. Enter a New Market
Suppose your company has maxed out growth opportunities in its current territory or industry and wants to expand to a new vertical, location, or market. While saying “We want to expand our international business into South America” is an ambitious goal, it’s vague and hard to measure.
An attainable objective can be to research current product leaders in the target market and their marketing strategies. Other objectives could include to:
- Develop appropriate messaging for target customers based on market research findings within 1st quarter 2022
- Increase form submissions from Brazil by 10% within 3rd quarter 2022
- Boost Facebook impressions in Colombia by 1,000% by 4th quarter 2022
Notably, these examples showcase objectives that are time-bound and measurable. Apart from providing a clear route to your goals, they also offer a framework to track progress.
2. Launch a New Product
New product launches are a standard marketing remit. As is typical, marketing will be expected to drive consumer interest in the product through various channels.
Your marketing objectives here may differ depending on the individual tasks of each marketing unit. For instance, your social media manager might focus on generating 10,000 unique Twitter impressions during the first month before the official product launch.
In email marketing, the goal may be to a) build a 5,000 strong email list of prospects interested in the new product; and b) create and administer a five-week nurture sequence with a 10% end-date conversion rate.
3. Increase Sales
Achieving increased sales is one of the most common marketing objectives for obvious reasons – effective marketing brings high-quality leads that eventually convert into paying customers.
There are many different strategies for increasing sales, including cross-selling and upselling. You could plan to:
- Increase upsell conversions by 15% year on year or quarter on quarter
- Boost cross-sell click-through rate (CTR) by 13% through redesigned calls to action (CTAs) in your e-commerce email sequence
- Increase landing page conversion rate by 3%
Marketers have their own term for the dollar value of a sales goal. Target revenue is defined by Monash University as “the desired income from sales of the goods and services produced.” As taught in marketing courses, revenue is the product of sales volume and price. Target revenue reflects not just the amount of sales but also the average price.
4. Amplify Brand Awareness
Every company wants to extend its brand reach and engage more customers. But attaining this goal depends on selecting and measuring the right objectives.
For example, while higher sales figures are good for the company, they don’t necessarily mean more people are buying. It could just be the same customers buying more from you.
Instead, engagement-related objectives would likely tell a better tale if your goal is to amplify brand awareness. Some objectives you could implement include to:
- Increase website traffic by 50% within the first half of the year
- Increase social media mentions by 160% in March
- Generate 500% more likes and comments on company tweets by year-end 2022
- Increase new signups by 40% in the 3rd quarter by sponsoring a YouTube influencer.
You may notice that digital marketing channels form the basis for brand amplification in these examples. According to Lerna Australia, digital marketing programs “cover online technologies and data metrics, along with customer experience, business strategy and marketing management.” An advantage of digital marketing is that data is readily available to measure your effectiveness at achieving any defined goals.
5. Enlarge Market Share
Greater market share often means higher valuation and a larger slice of industry sales. That’s why this is such a coveted goal for companies.
But achieving this goal can be challenging due to the considerable commitment involved and the numerous variables that contribute to a firm’s market share. For instance, Investopedia defines a company’s market share as the total sales in its industry compared to that of competitors. However, gaining higher sales depends on many factors such as customer base, competitor performance, brand dominance, etc.
How do you develop a clear roadmap for this goal? Marketing objectives that may help include to:
- Increase customer engagement (web traffic, CTRs, and conversions) through a series of blog posts that showcase your company’s unique value proposition
- Run a print and TV ad campaign to increase the number of discovery calls by 30% quarter on quarter
- Increase customer base by 20% by year-end
There are various other ways of capturing greater market share, apart from this. Ideally, your marketing objectives should look to concretize a time-based plan covering how your company intends to reach its desired market share. With this in hand, it’s easier to break the goal down into bite-sized actions that can be time-boxed and properly tracked.
6. Enhance Brand Authority
Brand authority can also contribute to brand dominance and a larger market share. Regardless, this goal can also be separate and distinct because it is an end in itself.
Gaining brand authority means setting your company up as the go-to in specific niches or industry use-cases. As a result, you want any marketing objectives you curate here to rally around those particular areas where you want to build authority.
Sample objectives you could consider here include to:
- Convene a conference on x topic within 1st quarter 2023
- Actively participate on 5-6 expert industry panels by year-end 2022
- Develop and publish 5 whitepapers on x topics in 2023 with respective conversion rates of 10% each
7. Boost Company Profit
Marketing, at its core, is a profit-seeking activity. Resultantly, marketing actions ultimately have revenue and cost considerations at their bottom line. If your marketing objectives or top-level goals do not focus on profit or profit-driven actions, then you’re likely barking up the wrong tree.
As the folks at Impact put it, “At the end of the day, if you grew traffic but sales plummeted, no one would be celebrating marketing.” That’s worth remembering.
Profit boosters can be cost-cutting or revenue-increasing measures. For instance, your marketing objective for 3rd quarter 2022 could be to reduce social media ad spend by 15% while keeping conversions at 6%. Or, staying with the social media example, you could launch campaign x with the goal of 5% greater revenue at 4th quarter-end.
Another common way that marketers pursue profit-driven actions is by optimizing ROI across marketing strategies.
8. Optimize Sales Funnel
If you’re getting low-quality leads or find too many leads prematurely exit your funnel, your marketing objectives might focus on correcting this. After all, maintaining an efficient sales funnel is not just up to sales; marketing also plays a part in consistent messaging and prospect education.
Though many things can go wrong in a sales funnel, your specific objectives will depend on where you think something isn’t working. You might decide to:
- Reduce the number of failed leads by 20% within 1st quarter
- Decrease the percentage of lost deals by at least 50% by year-end
- Implement account-based marketing by 2nd quarter 2022 to increase lead quality
9. Entice New Customers
Focusing on attracting new customers not only helps freshen up your customer base, but it’s also one of the fastest ways to increase revenue. Besides, a healthy rate of new customer influx is a universal litmus test of effective marketing.
Common marketing objectives that target this goal include to:
- Grow e-commerce email list by 5,000 new subscribers within half-year 2022
- Launch business page on x social media platform with a target of 6,000 new followers by 3rd quarter 2023
- Generate 3,000 new leads quarterly from x social media platform
10. Craft or Strengthen Social Voice
Social positioning has become an emerging focus of marketing departments, especially considering customers’ increasing preference for brands that care.
If your marketing plan for the year includes strengthening your company’s social positioning, you might consider:
- Concretizing your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments with at least 3 new women in leadership hires by 3rd quarter-end
- Sponsoring a community event to commemorate Black History Month
- Creating an education trust fund for students from a disadvantaged community
Ultimately, your marketing objectives will be defined by your specific goals for the year. While there’s a lot to choose from in terms of objectives and the strategies you adopt to achieve them, it’s worth remembering that marketing objectives are only effective when they are clear, measurable, and attainable.
There are some markets that have been over-exploited or are just too saturated. I for one do not want to be advertised again over a similar blow dryer and it would likely be that I won’t get convinced to buy a new one anyway. Get some pointers people!
Solid advice! I am trying to make sense and use of Twitter for my online business right now. I know I can be gaining so much more from the platform. I am hoping things don’t get too flipped upside down with the new ownership of the site and it going private. I don’t want to go back to making use of Facebook.
Great tips for small business owners trying to DIY the marketing aspects of the business. As someone who is still learning the ropes and extra tight on budget, making the most out of the budget by learning marketing tips and tricks is very helpful. Thank you very much for this!
I feel like entering a “new market” is way more challenging today than it was just 20 years ago. We have a huge saturation of ideas thanks to people being heavily active online. It is quite hard to branch out much less find an area that has not already been tapped. This was a great read though and super helpful for anyone looking to reach better more secure marketing and reach for their business.