If you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t start your training with a 20-mile run. Instead, you would break down your goal into smaller pieces, such as shorter distances and cross-training. In the same way, achieving critical business outcomes requires a series of short-term goals that build upon each other.

Marketing objectives are actions that’ll help you achieve your marketing goals. In this blog, we’ll share some strategies for setting effective marketing objectives to reach your desired results.

Defining marketing objectives

Marketing objectives are to your marketing plan what smaller road races are to a marathoner. When asking the question, what are marketing objectives – think of them as the micro goals that become the building blocks of a successfully realized marketing plan.

Why they matter

An elite marathoner incorporates smaller goals and activities, such as strength training and speedwork, into the process of achieving success. In the same way, your marketing success depends on a strategic patchwork of marketing activities that come together to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and, ultimately, increase sales. And an effective marketing objective starts with strategies for each of these more manageable elements.

Setting good marketing objectives for your business

List on how to set effective marketing objectives.

Identify your target audience

Your customers are at the core of your business. From product development to quality service, the customer experience is paramount for everything you do in your business. Your marketing plan is no different. The marketing goals you develop begin with your target audience – your customers – in mind.

Your customer demographics will help determine your marketing objectives. Age, income, and education will guide you to the relevant social media channels, influencers, and website content that will authentically engage them and ultimately grow your business.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals within your strategy (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound)

When George T. Doran developed the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting technique in 1981, he probably didn’t anticipate his ground-breaking approach would remain highly relevant over the next 40 years. But the evidence for the effectiveness of S.M.A.R.T. goals remains undisputed.

As its name suggests, take time to ensure that each goal is specific and realistic enough to keep you and your team focused on the right projects. Be sure to review your marketing plan regularly and measure performance along the way. One study found that people who set specific, written goals with accountability measurements were significantly more likely to accomplish their objectives. Remember, your marketing goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Determine the best metrics

Whatever S.M.A.R.T. goals you set for your marketing objectives, you must determine the best way to measure the success of your marketing efforts. The measurements you use for many of your marketing goals will be obvious. For example, increasing your website traffic by a certain percentage.

Other marketing goals may seem a bit more ambiguous – like brand awareness. While a key driver of growth, this metric can be difficult to evaluate. To fulfill marketing goals that lack a clear structure, measure a cluster of interrelated data sets. Website traffic, social media analytics, and competitor benchmarking taken together, can help indicate the health of your company’s brand.

Create an action plan

Your action plan for achieving your marketing objectives should be written into your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Aim to create concise S.M.A.R.T. goals with one to three sentences. For instance:

  • Increasing brand awareness by +30 by increasing our Net Promoter Score (NPS) by 10 points.
  • Increasing our website’s backlinks by 20%.
  • Increasing influencer impressions by 50% by July 2023.

By using a S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy, you can create more detailed action plans to achieve your desired results.

Marketing objective examples

List of marketing objective examples.

Building brand recognition

Building brand recognition is the catalyst of your sales funnel. Essentially, people can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. By building brand recognition, you insert yourself into your consumer’s conversations long before they’re ready to buy.

Building recognition begins with creating a positive emotional association with your brand. Think about Rolex’s association with luxury or Coca-Cola’s association with socializing with friends and family. The next step is putting your brand in front of your potential customers as much as possible. Nurturing customers who are passionate brand advocates or curating a social media presence are ways to increase your brand’s recognition and reputation.

Increasing website traffic

Your website is where you most likely make your first digital impression. On it, you can expand on the features and benefits of your products. Most importantly, your website is the place people go when they are serious about researching and making a purchase. For all these reasons, increasing website traffic is an important marketing objective.  

To increase website traffic, make sure that your website is optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) and include promotional activities such as pay-per-click campaigns. Additionally, linking to other websites or creating blog content are a few more ways to increase website traffic and improve brand awareness.

Generating more leads

Whether you have a sales division making cold calls and dining with clients or you have representatives ready to engage prospects via text messages and chats, generating leads with customers who are ready to buy is essential to increasing sales. 

The closer prospective customers get to making a purchase, the more often you should engage with them. Email newsletters, text discount codes, and freebies are great ways to collect customer information and continue the conversation.

It’s also important to keep existing customers coming back. We all know it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep one. Marketing objectives designed to retain existing customers include improving the customer experience and creating targeted marketing campaigns.

Driving social media engagement

Your list of marketing objectives isn’t complete if you aren’t working to increase social media engagement. With 264 million users in North America alone, Facebook generated over $13 billion in ad revenue in the U.S. and Canada in the second quarter of 2021. But social media isn’t just for direct sales. Your social media presence is an effective way to interact with your target audience, increase your market reach, and boost your brand awareness.

social media guide

Increasing sales

All of your marketing goals come down to increasing sales. But when creating marketing objectives specifically for increasing sales, drill down the numbers. Focus on ways to increase sales within subsets of customers. And remember that a marketing objective to increase sales among existing customers will look different from a marketing objective to increase sales from new customers.

FAQs about marketing objectives

What is a marketing objective?

Marketing objectives are goals that drive business success. It’s the tools and methods that provide focus and purpose to any marketing strategy.

What are the four objectives of marketing?

The four objectives of marketing are to build brand recognition, educate your audience, generate leads, and keep existing customers.

How do you write marketing objectives?

Write your marketing objectives as S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Studies show S.M.A.R.T. goals lead to better outcomes.

Help your business growth with marketing objectives

Achieving any long-term goal depends on successfully completing a series of smaller goals that together form the bedrock of success. Just as you build a foundation for running a marathon through targeted training, you build a foundation for growing your business with marketing objectives.

A well-defined set of objectives will help you focus on marketing activities that are most likely to get the results you want. It will also enable you to track progress and measure success. With this data, you can adjust your strategy as needed in order to meet goals within a specific timeframe.

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