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Identify Your Marketing Objectives

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17 Goals and Marketing Objectives Examples

Lizzie Davey

What Are Marketing Objectives?

marketing plan business objectives

Why Marketing Objectives Are Important

1. improve brand reputation.

Example of a social listening tool graph

2. Increase Brand Presence

Blog performance results in Google Analytics

3. Optimize Brand Positioning

Mailchimp's style guide

4. Increase Traffic

Overview look of traffic in Google Analytics

5. Increase Prospect Pipeline

Facebook ad for TouchBistro

6. Diversify Lead Sources

Tweet about diversifying lead sources

7. Acquire More Prospects From Existing Markets

Example of various call-to-actions for different tools Shopify offers

8. Launch Product

Product launch page example

9. Improve Product Quality

10. acquire more customers from existing markets.

Example from Trello of asking users to share their product with others

11. Break Into New Markets

12. retain existing customers.

Example of a follow up email to retain a customer

13. Increase Efficiency

14. increase revenue, 15. increase profit margin.

Example of how Grammarly upsells their various plan options

16. Improve Customer Experience

Homepage of SkillCorner

17. Increase Customer Advocacy

ConvertKit Affiliate Program page

Tie Your SMART Marketing Goals Into Your Marketing Objectives

Example of a business goal flow chart

March 2, 2022

Lizzie Davey helps disruptive SaaS brands, eCommerce businesses and digital marketing companies build their authority and increase conversions with data-driven, long-form blog posts, articles, and landing pages.

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Marketing Plan

A document that lays out the marketing efforts of a business in an upcoming period

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is a document that lays out the marketing efforts of a business in an upcoming period, which is usually a year. It outlines the marketing strategy, promotional, and advertising activities planned for the period.

Marketing Plan

Elements of a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan will typically include the following elements:

Marketing objectives of the business : The objectives should be attainable and measurable – two goals associated with SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Current business marketing positioning : An analysis of the current state of the organization concerning its marketing positioning.

Market research : Detailed research about current market trends, customer needs, industry sales volumes, and expected direction.

Outline of the business target market : Business target market demographics.

Marketing activities : A list of any actions concerning marketing goals that are scheduled for the period and the indicated timelines.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) to be tracked

Marketing mix : A combination of factors that may influence customers to purchase products. It should be appropriate for the organization and will largely be centered on the 4Ps of marketing – i.e., product, price, promotion, and place.

Competition : Identify the organization’s competitors and their strategies, along with ways to counter competition and gain market share .

Marketing strategies : The development of marketing strategies to be employed in the coming period. These strategies will include promotional strategies, advertising, and other marketing tools at the disposal of the organization.

Marketing budget : A detailed outline of the organization’s allocation of financial resources to marketing activities. The activities will need to be carried out within the marketing budget .

Monitoring and performance mechanism : A plan should be in place to identify if the marketing tools in place are bearing fruit or need to be revised based on the past, current, and expected future state of the organization, industry, and the overall business environment.

A marketing plan should observe the 80:20 rule – i.e., for maximum impact, it should focus on the 20% of products and services that account for 80% of volumes and the 20% of customers that bring in 80% of revenue.

Purpose of a Marketing Plan

The purpose of a marketing plan includes the following:

Structure of a Marketing Plan

The structure of a marketing plan can include the following sections:

Marketing Plan Objectives

This section outlines the expected outcome of the marketing plan with clear, concise, realistic, and attainable objectives. It contains specific targets and time frames.

Metrics, such as target market share, the target number of customers to be attained, penetration rate, usage rate, sales volumes targeted, etc. should be used.

Market Research – Market Analysis/Consumer Analysis

Market analysis includes topics such as market definition, market size, industry structure, market share and trends, and competitor analysis. Consumer analysis includes the target market demographics and what influences their buying decisions – e.g., loyalty, motivation, and expectations.

Target Market

This defines the target customers by their demographic profile, such as gender, race, age, and psychographic profile, such as their interests. This will assist in the correct marketing mix for the target market segments.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis will look at the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis includes the following:

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy section covers actual strategies to be included according to the marketing mix. The strategy centers on the 8Ps of marketing. However, firms are also at liberty to use the traditional 4 P’s of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. The 8 P’s are illustrated below.

The correct marketing mix is determined by the target market. The most expensive options are advertising, sales promotions, and PR campaigns. Networking and referrals are less costly.

Marketers also need to pay attention to digital marketing strategies that make use of technology to reach a wider market and have also proven to be cost-effective.

Digital marketing channels, which became popular in the early 21 st century, may eventually overtake traditional marketing methods. Digital marketing encompasses trending methods, such as the use of social media for business.

Other strategies within the marketing strategy include pricing and positioning strategy, distribution strategy, conversion strategy, and retention strategy.

Marketing Budget

The marketing budget or projection outlines the budgeted expenditure for the marketing activities documented in the marketing plan. The marketing budget consists of revenues and costs stated in the marketing plan in one document.

It balances expenditures on marketing activities and what the organization can afford. It’s a financial plan of marketing activities to be carried out – e.g., promotional activities, cost of marketing materials and advertising, and so on. Other considerations include expected product volume and price, production and delivery costs, and operating and financing costs.

The effectiveness of the marketing plan depends on the budget allocated for marketing expenditure. The cost of marketing should be able to make the company break even and make profits.

Marketing Plan - Performance Analysis

Performance Analysis

Performance analysis aims to look at the variances of metrics or components documented in the marketing plan.  These include:

Revenue variance analysis : An analysis of positive or negative variance of revenue. A negative variance is worrisome, and reasons should be available to explain the cause of deviations.

Market share analysis : An analysis of whether the organization attained its target market share. Sales may be increasing whilst the organization’s share of the market is decreasing; hence, it is paramount to track this metric.

Expense analysis : An analysis of marketing expense to sales ratio . This ratio needs to be compared to industry standards to make informed comparisons.

The ratio enables the organization to track actual expenditures versus the budget. It is also compared to other metrics, such as revenue analysis and market share analysis. It can be dissected into individual expenditures to sales to get a clearer picture.

Administration of a Marketing Plan

The marketing plan should be revised and adapted to changes in the environment periodically. The use of metrics, budgets, and schedules to measure progress towards the goals set in the marketing plan is a continuous process by marketing personnel.

There should be a continuous assessment to verify that the goals of the marketing plan are being achieved. The marketing manager should be able to review if the strategies documented are being effective, given the operating environment.

It is irrational for the marketing manager to notice anomalies and wait to review at year-end when the situation might have already deteriorated.

Changes in the environment may necessitate a review of plans, projections, strategies, and targets. Therefore, a formal periodical review – such as monthly or quarterly – may need to be in place. This may mean preparing an annual marketing plan but reviewing the plan quarterly to keep targets and plans aligned closely to environmental changes. It goes without saying that plans are as good as their feasibility to succeed in the given environment.

More Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Marketing Plan. To keep learning and advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

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10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy

You know you need to align your marketing and sales goals to drive the growth you (and your bosses) are looking for – here's how you do it.

By Katie Coelho

10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy

9 marketing objectives examples

As marketers, there will never be a shortage of things to work on — strategy, content, video, social media, sales alignment, the list is long and growing. 

Prioritizing work that will actually make an impact on the business is key. That’s why having objectives is important. 

The problem is, marketing objectives are often too siloed, losing sight of the greater goals of the organization — sales, revenue, and growth. 

Most successful small businesses we work with have marketing objectives that tie directly back to revenue and sales (thanks to the development of a revenue team). 

Revenue is the lifeblood of every business, and when sales and marketing work together to drive it, the results can be incredible.

This also helps small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) achieve results in the leanest way possible because your marketing objectives are closely aligned with the organization’s monetary goals instead of being treated as a separate animal altogether. 

With all that in mind, and after working with hundreds of companies over the past 10 years, we’ve found the following to be some of the best marketing objectives examples that align digital strategy with the rest of the organization’s goals.

In this article, we will share:

Use this list to help you determine how to measure your success with the right objectives and KPIs.

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Marketing objectives vs. KPIs – and why your sales and marketing goals should align

Some say objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) are the same things. Others disagree. 

We're the latter at IMPACT. 

Here is how we define objectives and KPIs:

In other words, objectives are what you're trying to achieve, a KPI is a number you track to often measure objectives. 

From company and sales objectives to marketing objectives

We coach our clients to begin by aligning sales and marketing teams, especially when it comes to defining marketing objectives and KPIs. 

The best way to do this is by forming what we call a revenue team.

A revenue team is made up of the key players in your sales and marketing units.

Even though different members might focus on specific parts of the process, the team will come together and plan to work toward a common goal: driving revenue.

If sales and marketing are not aligned and working toward the same goals, a number of problems ensue, including marketing campaigns that fall flat with potential customers. 

One of IMPACT’s digital sales and marketing coaches, Zach Basner, gives us his take: 

“If the marketing and sales team aren’t aligned, the greatest consequence is an inconsistent buying experience.  “Prospects and customers have one experience on the website or other digital channels, and a totally different experience in the sales process. For most organizations, this also means that content the marketing team produces is considered ‘fluffy’ by the sales team (i.e., it doesn’t actually lead to revenue). “For sales and marketing to align around what will actually result in revenue, they have to spend time together. If they don’t unite their efforts, it becomes extremely difficult to make progress with buyer communication.”

Whether you’re a large or small business, here are ten marketing objective examples (plus one bonus objective) that keep this all and mind and can inspire yours.  

Examples of marketing objectives

1. increase lead quality.

This objective is about increasing the probability that the sales team closes a higher percentage of deals. The more quality leads you can attract as a marketing team, the happier your sales team will be. 

Your KPIs for this objective should be focused on initiatives that define what a “quality lead” is or indicators of whether your efforts are working along the way. 

Examples of related KPIs:

2. Shorten the sales cycle

It’s not just up to the sales team to be more efficient or effective with their conversations, marketing can help shorten the sales cycle too.

Because modern prospects get so much information before talking with sales, it’s marketing’s job to deliver consistent messaging, branding, and relevant materials to help them progress toward making a purchase. 

KPIs for this objective can be focused on enablement materials.

( Note: The They Ask, You Answer framework is a great starting point for creating sales enablement materials that empower the sales team and shorten the sales cycle, which includes wielding the power of assignment selling .)

3. Reduce the percentage of lost deals/sales

Though sales can certainly impact this objective, marketing can have a significant influence as well.

Marketing sets the tone for prospects coming to sales. And if marketing is not qualifying properly, or setting the right expectations, it will be nearly impossible for a salesperson to change course and still close the deal.

For e-commerce companies, KPIs may be metrics or initiatives around reducing cart abandonment rates. For non-e-commerce, on the other hand, marketing can assist by updating website content or other materials that prospects see before talking with sales. 

4. Increase customer lifetime value

Focusing on increasing the average amount that each customer spends with you can provide more value to your existing customer base and be an easy way to impact sales with less effort because the relationship is already built. 

KPIs for this objective can be based on the activities you’ll need to accomplish to re-engage customers with new products or new deals. 

5. Improve awareness and demand around new products or services

If your organization is ready to launch, or has recently launched, a new product or service, aligning focus around promotion will be essential. 

KPIs could pertain to social media or the number of requests or opportunities that sales have in the pipeline related to new products. 

6. Increase positive product reviews

Any brand, whether you’re B2B or B2C, can benefit from product or service reviews.

Depending on your industry, you may have a particular platform where reviews have special importance, but no matter what, they’re important. 

This objective will certainly direct more business — the more positive reviews, the more likely others will find you through review sites. 

7. Launch product or service in a new market

Beyond “make more money for the company,” you can get more specific with your objectives, like launching a product in a new market. 

8. Increase profitability

Marketing can play a huge role in increasing the profitability of the company. 

After defining what products or services are most profitable, marketing can put more effort into promoting those items, effectively driving more leads to the profit center.

9. Increase brand authority 

With increased brand authority comes additional opportunities to engage audiences, and this, in turn, makes it easier to compete against other companies.

Of course, your product or services can make your brand the best of its kind in the space, but what beyond that can you do to delight customers? Marketing plays a huge role in educating prospects, and this is your opportunity to put your stake in the ground. 

10. Develop an engaged audience

Now, this is an objective many smaller organizations think they can get away with ignoring, but for your long-term company health, it is essential. You want to grow the size of your engaged audience.

Even if they are not ready to buy from you now, they are the ones who will be most likely to turn to you when they are ready to buy or even to recommend you.

If y ou’re doing objectives 1-9 exceptionally well, tracking this objective is even easier. 

Related KPIs should look at email metrics or social engagement to know if you’re on track to nurturing an engaged audience. Using these metrics allows you to measure without paying for market research.

Think beyond traffic

Now that we’ve gone through these objectives, you’re probably thinking — what about traffic.

Traffic is certainly something you should be tracking, but it is something that is more useful to marketing than the company as a whole.

Traffic should be monitored as an indicator of the objective’s success. 

For example, traffic can be an indicator of increased brand awareness, which leads to other successes. Traffic alone will not mean a lot to upper management or a board of directors. 

If the focus of the conversation is not on revenue or revenue-driven objectives, then you’re not putting your energy into the right focus area.

At the end of the day, if you grew traffic but sales plummeted, no one would be celebrating marketing. 

If marketing’s primary role is to assist the sales team, then make sure your marketing objectives align with your sales objectives, and with those of the organization.

Want to learn more about working towards your marketing objectives? Check out our free course, "Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results."

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marketing plan business objectives

An Example of Marketing Plan Objectives

Goals vs. Objectives for Marketing Action Plans

The best practices in strategic implementation, what is the meaning of marketing goals.

An effective marketing strategy must have clear objectives for success. Although a company's marketing plan is always subject to change because of shifting market conditions, the primary objectives are constant. Objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, not overly aggressive and have time limits.

Marketing objectives should be based upon a realistic appraisal of your company's strength and weaknesses.

Types of Marketing Objectives

Marketing objectives fall into the following categories:

Outlines the Specific Results Expected

At its core, an objective must be detailed with the specific results expected. The objective must specify a quantifiable result and who is responsible. It's not enough to set a general goal to increase sales; an effective objective must say something like, "increase sales by 5 percent within the next six months."

A specific objective should meet the following criteria:

Track Measurable Results

Besides being specific, an objective must have a way to track measurable results. It should name the source and mechanism for collecting the data needed to measure the progress towards the goal.

It helps to have a method that provides data that can gauge the interim progress being made toward the objective. In this way, if any adjustments to the plan or objectives are needed, they can be made before the end of the time period.

Attainable with Resources to Support it

For an objective to be attainable, a company must have the people and money to support the marketing campaign and to also achieve the targeted results within the desired time frame. Do the employees have the skills and training to accomplish the objectives? Are there constraints that will prevent them from achieving the objectives?

Realistic and Worthwhile

Personnel must believe that the objectives are achievable, otherwise they will not even try to accomplish the goals. You will waste time and money if employees are not enthusiastic about working toward the marketing objectives.

A realistic objective should be worthwhile and work in concert with other marketing and financial goals of the company.

Timely with Fair Deadlines

Objectives must specify a reasonable time frame and a date for achieving the goal. Deadlines encourage people to become more action-oriented. Deadlines also enable the assigned workers to have objectives to plan their own actions within the time frame specified.

An effective marketing plan should have specific goals to attain within a certain time period. Responsibilities for goals should be assigned to specific personnel, and a method created to monitor their progress toward achieving these objectives. A well-constructed marketing plan that follows these guidelines will have a much better chance for success.

James Woodruff has been a management consultant to more than 1,000 small businesses. As a senior management consultant and owner, he used his technical expertise to conduct an analysis of a company's operational, financial and business management issues. James has been writing business and finance related topics for work.chron,, and e-commerce websites since 2007. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and received an MBA from Columbia University.

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10 Examples of Marketing Objectives

By Nerea Boada , on 24 January 2022

Trying to create a  marketing plan  without any  objectives  is like trying to prepare for a vacation without knowing the destination. Should you pack a coat and gloves, or a bathing suit and flip-flops? If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t properly plan. Similarly, without any marketing objectives, it is impossible to  optimize your plan to get the best results. 

* Discover the most important digital marketing metrics you should know!  Click here to download ourfree ebook that breaks down these 130 metrics,  including video, social media, and SEM analytics.

Watch our video to learn about marketing objectives!

Marketing Objective Definition

SMART Objectives

Although it's common to hear these two words used interchangeably,  marketing goals  and  marketing objectives  are actually  two separate things . Marketing goals are long-term, expansive, and often inspired by the mission and purpose of a company. On the other hand, marketing objectives are more specific in scope and should be measurable, either using statistics, time frames, or both.

Essentially, your  marketing objectives are the actions you and your marketing team take to fulfill your marketing goals . Below we’ve outlined 10 examples of marketing objectives you can set for your next campaigns. 

How Do Marketing Objectives Influence Your Marketing Plan?

While the  objectives are a key piece of the marketing plan , they aren’t necessarily the first thing you need to define. In order for your goals to be realistic, you have to understand several other elements of your brand first. Therefore, before defining the objectives of your marketing plan, you should:

It is important to always ensure that your objectives are  SMART . This popular  acronym  is a great guide when defining your objectives. It ensures that your objectives are thorough and makes them easier to measure when you're analyzing your campaign. So, what does SMART stand for?

10 Examples of Marketing Objectives for Your Brand

10 Examples of Marketing Objectives

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Whether you’re a new company, you’re launching a new product, or you’ve decided to target a new audience, increasing awareness of your brand or products is a good goal to guide your marketing plan.

Let’s take the example of deciding to target a new audience. For this objective, success can be measured in the number of impressions, by comparing audience brand awareness before and after the campaign.

Example: Increase social media impressions among a new target audience by 30% by the end of the quarter.

2. Increase Market Share

This marketing objective is related to the competition analysis discussed at the bottom of this blog. By taking a look at other existing brands in your industry, you can define your specific position in the market, as well as project where you would like to be after your campaign. 

Example: Increase market share by the end of the fiscal year by decreasing customer churn by 10%.

It’s important to note that your objective does not always have to be “to become the market leader,'' since it may not be realistic. 

3. Launch a New Product

Launching a new product  presents a unique set of challenges to any marketing department. Informing the public about a brand new product and generating excitement is no small feat. Between developing the communication strategy, pricing, and positioning, this goal can have several different objectives.

Example: Define Product X´s final price by the end of the week.

4. Introduce the Company to New Local or International Markets

Similar to launching a new product, positioning and communication strategy is key when introducing the brand to a new market. It’s also crucial to be knowledgeable about cultural and consumption differences. 

Example: Conduct market research during the first half of Q2 and develop an appropriate messaging strategy by the end of Q2.

5. Improve ROI

The  return on investment or ROI  is one of the most important marketing metrics there is since it measures whether or not your investment is paying off. 

In the world of digital marketing, it’s now easier than ever to accurately measure ROI, since we know the cost per click on conversions for our actions. There are several different ways a company can increase its ROI so this goal can have a few different objectives.

Example: Conduct A/B testing on two different Facebook Ads over a 4 week period.

6. Increase Company Profits

Increasing company profits can often involve 3 types of actions: reducing costs, increasing profits, or both. Search engine optimization, social networks, and other digital media can be key methods for increasing profits while also reducing costs.

Example: Reduce paid social ads by 20% and boost current SEM efforts with 3 weekly blog posts in Q4. 

7. Optimize the Funnel

It’s useless to aim to get a massive number of impressions if you don’t get users to convert. Therefore, a good marketing plan objective would be to take into account the different stages of the conversion funnel and ensure that as many users as possible become customers. 

Example: Increase conversion rates by 5% in 2020 by increasing  remarketing  efforts on middle-of-the-funnel prospects.

8. Attract New Customers

Attracting new customers to your brand or products is an important effort for ensuring the relevancy and longevity of your company. Attracting new customers should involve different processes than retaining your current ones.

Example: Establish a partnership with 3 new industry influencers by the end of the year and develop discount codes for their followers.

9. Retain Current Customers

On the other side of the coin, increasing customer loyalty is another common marketing objective. It's important to remain invested in your audience and, in fact, some may argue it's more beneficial since it is always cheaper to keep a current customer than to gain a new one.

Example: Add 2 full-time community managers by Q3 to better manage comments and questions received on social media.  

10. Increase Sales

Finally, we’ve reached the most common and obvious marketing objective: improve sales. There are many different methods of increasing sales, but two popular actions are increasing conversion rates or increasing the average amount of transaction options (for example, cross-selling.) 

Example: Increase conversion rates by 3% by increasing website traffic with 3 new blog posts a week by the end of the year. 

Marketing objectives and marketing goals can be a tricky concept since the words are so often switched around. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand them a bit better and inspired you for your future marketing plans!

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Nerea Boada

Es Licenciada en Economía y Derecho por la Universidad Pompeu Fabra. Está especializada en acciones integrales de marketing online para la generación de leads y en la planificación de campañas de e-mail marketing, Mobile Marketing, Content Advertising y Social Media. _____________________________________________________________________ Nerea holds a degree in Economics and Law from Pompeu Fabra University. She specializes in comprehensive online marketing actions for lead generation and in planning e-mail marketing, Mobile Marketing, Content Advertising and Social Media campaigns.

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How to Set & Achieve Marketing Objectives in 2021

Clifford Chi

Published: June 23, 2021

In the marketing industry, setting objectives can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, constantly raising the bar can incentivize your team to sustain your growth rate over long periods. On the other hand, it can incentivize your team to prioritize your company’s needs over your customers’ needs.

How to Set & Achieve Marketing Objectives in 2021

Contrary to popular belief, solely focusing on the results doesn’t actually produce results. Focusing on serving your customers is what produces results . Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is famous for sparking this customer-centric movement.

In 2015, he spoke at Goldman Sach’s Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco , and a reporter asked him what some of Apple’s biggest accomplishments from the past year were. He responded, “We're not focused on the numbers. We're focused on the things that produce the numbers."

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to set realistic marketing objectives that will help you craft audience-centric content, prioritize your customers' needs, and hit your numbers, all at the same time.

Read on to learn how to identify your marketing objectives’ purpose and process and why it's just as important as the numbers you aim to hit.

What are marketing objectives?

Marketing objectives are the goals your team wants to achieve during a certain period of time. They entail choosing a hard number or metric for your team to work towards, as well as details about how you’re going to reach your goals and why you want to do so.

In his insightful blog post about setting goals , Jay Acunzo, the founder of Unthinkable Media, reveals a subtle yet potent problem that has pervaded the content marketing industry over the years — traditional goal-setting lets you measure what you do, but it doesn’t lend itself to gauging how you do it or why which is what ultimately gives your work meaning and resonates with prospects.

In marketing, you obviously need to aim for concrete targets. But, as we said earlier, only focusing on the results can sometimes incentivize you to take a course of action that prioritizes your organization’s needs over your customers’ needs.

To help you focus more on your purpose and process instead of just your results, Acunzo recommends considering two additional factors when setting a marketing objective — your hunger and your aspirational anchor.

Your hunger is your current dissatisfaction with your work today or why you want to achieve your goal. Your aspirational anchor is your vision of your work in the future or how you’ll achieve your goal.

These two factors drive your motivation and keep you on track to create work that better serves your customers. When you add your numerical goal to the equation, you’ll be able to simultaneously produce customer-centric work and create business impact.

How to Set Realistic Marketing Objectives

The first thing to understand is the subtle difference between a goal and an objective . A general goal is going to be your broader vision while your marketing objective is that more concrete specification of how that vision is achieved. In order to craft your marketing objective, you must start with vision first by defining three main things:

Now that we understand the “why” and the “how” behind setting marketing objectives, let’s go over how you can root the "what" in reality with the SMART goal framework.

SMART goals are realistic, quantifiable, and focused targets that you can easily aim for. If you’re wondering what SMART means, it’s an acronym that helps you clearly define your goals.

In terms of marketing, you should choose the particular metric you want to improve upon, like visitors, leads, or customers. You should also determine what each team member will work on, the resources they’ll have, and their plan of action.

If you want to gauge your team’s progress, you need to quantify your goals, like achieving an X% increase in visitors, leads, or customers.

Make sure that X% increase is achievable in your specific situation. If your blog traffic increased by 5% last month, try to increase it by 8-10% this month, not 30%. It’s crucial to base your goals on your own analytics, not industry benchmarks, or else you might bite off more than you can chew.

Your goal needs to relate to your company’s overall goal and account for current trends in your industry. For instance, will growing your Facebook following lead to more revenue? And is it actually possible for you to significantly boost your organic reach on Facebook after their most recent algorithm change? If you’re aware of these factors, you’ll be more likely to set goals that are realistic, achievable, and beneficial to your company.

Attaching deadlines to your goals puts pressure on your team to accomplish them. And this helps you make consistent and significant progress in the long term. If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you can very easily fall into the trap of procrastinating on action items, leading to a slower rate of success.

For example, which would you prefer: Increasing leads by 5% every month, leading to a 30-35% increase in half a year, or trying to increase leads by 15% with no deadline and achieving that goal in a year?

By analyzing two different goal-setting frameworks, we’ve learned how to identify the “why,” “how,” and “what” behind your marketing objectives. Now, we can blend the two frameworks to set a realistic goal that fulfills your customers’ needs and helps you hit your numbers at the same time. Check out the examples below for more detail.

Marketing Objective Examples

Now that you know how to write a marketing objective, you can get ideas from some metaphorical samples. Below, we’ll start with one long example breaking out the above methodology step-by-step, and then we’ll provide other examples to fuel your inspiration.

1. Increase blog subscribers.

In this example, we’ll set a target of increasing blog subscribers by 25% month-over-month this year — it’s a substantive increase, but possible with the SMART framework.

With this goal-setting framework, you can see how the “why” and “how” behind a goal incentivizes behavior that better serves customers and hits numbers at the same time.

For instance, in the example above, this blog team refuses to just do whatever it takes to boost their blog subscription. They want to craft emotionally resonant stories that their audience actually values or content that’s worth subscribing to, and this is what will lead to their growth in subscribers and create long-term value for their business.

If this blog team didn’t identify their hunger or set an aspirational anchor, however, the only thing that would guide them toward the finish line is the finish line itself. And that could incentivize short-sighted behavior that helps them achieve their goal at the expense of prioritizing their audience’s needs over their own.

Once the aspirational vision and the general goal has been defined, now it’s time to pivot to a concrete objective using the SMART goal framework :

Our blog educates our audience well, but it doesn’t resonate emotionally with them enough. Let’s start running a blog that can consistently provide value, that people look forward to reading every time they receive our email digest, and that can attract more subscribers.

Increase month-over-month blog subscribers by 25% this year.

Last year, we increased month-over-month blog subscribers by 15%, so we know this is doable.

If we can craft emotionally resonant stories that our audience actually values, we can build deeper relationships with them, attract more subscribers with whom we can also build deep relationships, and hopefully do business in the future.

Monthly over the course of a year.

2. Reach more visitors with organic search traffic.

Let's say our organization's goal is to grow its online organic presence to attract more leads and reach 35,000 visitors via organic search monthly by the end of the year. These are Hunger and Aspirational anchors, so they must be translated into a SMART goal if we want to take steps to achieve it:

3. Improve the mobile traffic conversion rate site-wide.

Traffic alone is not enough to generate leads and, ultimately, revenue. We need mechanisms in place to convert the traffic we're already getting.

Let's say we notice that our site converts a lot better on desktop than mobile. This means we could be losing a ton of lead opportunities who arrived at our site on a mobile device. That's why we decide to enhance the mobile experience and set a goal of improving mobile traffic conversion rates site-wide from 2.3% to 5% by Q3 Here's how we turn that goal into an objective:

4. Increase MQL conversions.

With inbound marketing, it's easy to get swept up in blogging, offer creation, and lead conversions. At the same time, if we don't have mechanisms in place to move those leads closer to a purchasing decision, these efforts don't pay off the way they could. Part of our jobs as marketers is to foster relationships with our leads while qualifying them so that the sales team focuses on prospects who are ready to buy.

Let's say we have a top-of-the-funnel lead generation engine where website visitors convert on eBooks and guides. Our goal is now to bridge the gap between where they're at in their journey vs. where we want them to go and so we aim to convert 500 leads to MQLs by the end of the year. We decide to do that through an ongoing educational email drip sequence, and we start with our objective:

5. Boost the average monthly open rate.

In order for us to effectively nurture leads, we want people to be reading our content... which they won't do if they don't get past the subject line of the email. Here's how we position this concept into the concrete objective of increasing the monthly open rate from 25% to 40% in one quarter:

6. Increase our MQL to SQL conversion rate.

Never forget the primary goal of marketing, which is to promote an organization's goods or services in the effort of generating more sales. At the same time, fewer than half of marketers consider their departments aligned with sales .

A relevant goal might be to improve the effectiveness of our marketing efforts by solidifying the marketing to sales hand-off. Specifically, we’re aiming to increase MQL to SQL conversion rate from 25% to 35% by Q2. Our concrete objective might break down like this:

7. Improve overall NPS score.

Marketing doesn't end once the prospect becomes a customer, and that means also working on ways to fuel the flywheel i.e. turning customers into brand advocates who purchase from us and tell their friends to do the same.

NPS is a solid measurement of customer happiness, so improving that score — from 31 to 35 within 6 month — is a solid place to start building our objective:

8. Enhance Facebook engagement.

One of the best ways to grow a brand’s marketing efforts exponentially is by investing in its community of customers and prospects. The goal might be to stay top of mind and energize the community by raising the bar on each social media platform. For example, we might look to improve Facebook engagement by 30% month-over-month:

9. Increase total market share.

As digital markets become more crowded, it’s critical for companies to claim as much market share as possible — pulling even a few percentage points away from the competition can have significant benefits for your bottom line.

Let’s set a reasonable goal: Increasing total market share a 5% by the end of the year:

10. Evaluate ad impact.

Advertisements help your brand get noticed — but are your ads doing their job? Here, our marketing objective is to compare the cost-per-click and conversion rate of two different ads using A/B testing on social media over the period of a month to determine which one drives better ROI:

Once marketing objectives have been established, companies must identify and track specific metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide both immediate insights and set the stage for long-term strategic planning. Some of the most common metrics and KPIs include:

Sales Growth

Sales growth is measured using total revenue volume, number of units sold, or both. Increasing numbers mean growing sales — for best effect, monitor sales growth as a baseline and then during new marketing campaigns to evaluate your impact.

Profit Variance

Profit — also called return on investment (ROI) — isn’t simply a factor of sales and revenue. Instead, it depends on the amount of money your brand makes after material costs, marketing expenses, and other spending is subtracted. If material costs increase but sales remain steady, for example, profit will decrease. Monitoring profit variance helps ensure product prices drive ROI.

Total Market Share

The bigger your market share, the better. To calculate this metric, you need the market size of your local industry and its approximate total revenue.

Multiple your brand’s revenue by 100 and divide by the market’s total revenue to get a percentage market share. Recalculate this regularly to see if your share has improved.

New Customer Volumes

More customers mean more sales and more revenue. Along with measuring the total number of new customers over a specific time frame, it’s also worth evaluating customer increases in comparison to other time frames — such as when you’re running a sales or marketing event — along with considering the cost per customer, which is the total amount of money spent to acquire a new customer.

Lifetime Customer Value

Higher lifetime customer values mean more reliable revenue streams. To calculate this metric, multiply the average number of purchases made by return customers over a specific period with the average total value of these purchases. This provides an approximation of lifetime customer value to help inform ongoing marketing strategy.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates measure the percentage of people who take action when presented with the choice to opt-in for sales notifications, email newsletters, free trials, or who ultimately decide to make a purchase. It’s worth tracking conversion rates across all aspects of your website to see which marketing tools are delivering reliable results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your brand rank higher with popular engines such as Google, in turn making it easier for customers to find your site.

Tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner can help you identify ways to improve your SEO, and you can quickly test how you stack up by searching for your brand’s target keyword and seeing where you show up in current search rankings.

Social Media Performance

Social media marketing is now critical to generate organic engagement and customer referrals. As a result, it’s worth tracking metrics such as the increase in follower numbers on a certain platform over a specific period, the number of comments left on your posts, and the number of times your posts are shared.

Tools to Track Marketing Objectives

You’ve got the model. You’ve identified the objectives, and you’ve defined the metrics. Now you need the right tools to track marketing objective success across your organization.

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub offers all the marketing tools and data you need, and all under one roof. From SEO strategy tools to ad tracking, social media management and live chat support, and a robust content creation platform, HubSpot can help your brand reach more people more quickly and boost total ROI.

2. Real-time Dashboards

Real-time dashboard tools provide right-now, single-pane-of-glass analysis of current sales performance, KPI progress, and other key metrics. Often hosted in the cloud, real-time dashboards make it possible for everyone in the organization to view current marketing goals and ensure business operations are aligned with specific outcomes.

3. Spreadsheets

While spreadsheets are often considered relatively low-tech and legacy deployments when compared to more robust marketing tools, they nonetheless offer actionable value. Tools such as Google Sheets and Excel are easy to use, easy to view, and offer an understanding of specific metric performance at a glance that can help inform current marketing efforts.

4. Website Analytics Trackers

Tools such as Webtrends and Google Analytics provide in-depth statistics about the number and type of users that visit your web page, along with key data such as how long they stayed, what they clicked on, and which actions (if any) were taken.

While website analytics alone aren’t enough to inform marketing efforts, they’re essential to help marketing teams refine overall strategy for maximum effect.

Starting SMART

Once you understand the importance of vision, identifying broad goals, and using the SMART goal framework to make concrete marketing objectives for those goals, it’s time to identify the gaps in your marketing and begin outlining your objectives.

Once you do, it’s important to write those objectives down and commit to creating a solid plan of action to achieving them.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in [Insert original publish date] and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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A free template to help you create SMART goals for marketing campaign success.

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