How to Set Clear Marketing Objectives in Six Simple Steps

Marketing objectives are the foundation of any good marketing strategy. They help guide you in the right direction and give you a clear vision of what you need to achieve.

However, setting those marketing objectives is not an easy task.

What constitutes a goal vs. an objective? How do you know if you’ve selected the right ones?

This post will walk you through what marketing objectives are, explain how to set (and measure) them, and offer some examples of objectives a business like yours might select.

What Are Marketing Objectives?

There are many different definitions of marketing objectives.  For our purposes, here’s the definition we’ll use:

“A marketing objective is an overarching goal that directly impacts business outcomes.”

Why Do Marketing Objectives Matter?

Marketing objectives are the endpoints of your marketing strategy. They give your team a direction and a goal to work towards.

They also help show what’s working by giving you something concrete to measure your progress against.

Finally, establishing clear objectives is important for determining which specific marketing tactics and tasks you’ll execute to achieve them.

What are Some Examples of Marketing Objectives?

If you’re in the process of setting your new marketing objectives, here are some examples to help get you started:

12 Examples of Common Marketing Objectives

Get Your Free Guide: Tracking Marketing Objectives in Google Analytics

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How To Set Up Your Marketing Objectives In Six Steps

Now that you know what marketing objectives are you can begin the process of setting up your own.

Here’s how to do it in six steps.

Before we begin, let’s set the stage. This example will focus on a fictitious bookstore called “Reading Nook Bookstore.” Two different marketers are part of this story, Peter, and Natalie.

Peter is a new marketing strategist at Reading Nook Bookstore.

Introducing Peter

Natalie is the marketing director and has been at Reading Nook Bookstore for five years.

Introducing Natalie

Let’s begin.

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Step One: Remind Your Team Of Your Mission Statement

Peter is about to begin work with Natalie on setting next year’s marketing objectives. Peter is new to this process, so Natalie decided to walk him through how setting up marketing objectives works.

The first step in this process is reviewing the mission statement of your organization.

Natalie pulled up the Reading Nook Bookstore website and showed Peter the following mission statement:

“The goal of Reading Nook Bookstore is to inspire and nurture the love of reading across generations of families.”

Why are we reviewing the mission statement?

As you begin to work on your marketing objectives remember your mission statement. If you get stuck, refer back to your statement and ask yourself:

“If we complete this objective, how does it help fulfill our mission statement?”

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Step Two: Setting Your Marketing Objectives

When you’re setting up your objectives the first thing you need to focus on is: what is your overarching marketing objective?

Difference between Objectives and Goals

Your overarching objective should be the end goal that your marketing team wants to achieve at the end of the year. This is the driving force behind every other objective and goal that you set.

This also means that your objective should be broad enough to give you plenty of room to work out your entire marketing strategy.

What is our overarching marketing objective this year?

Now that Peter and Natalie have their overarching marketing objective, their next step is to set the rest of their marketing goals.

Here are some goals they might set to achieve their objective:

  1. Increase the conversion rate of their audience by 25% in one year.
  2. Double the number of purchases by 18-35-year-olds by June 2018.
  3. Increase average in-store purchase value from $10 to $35 in one year.

Each one of these goals has something important in common. They have a specific numerical data point that must be met by an end date.

Overarching Marketing Objective

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Step Three: How to Tie Your SMART Marketing Goals Into Your Marketing Objectives

The next step in Peter and Natalie’s marketing objective process is to create their SMART marketing goals.

Smart Marketing Goals

Marketing goals differ a bit from marketing objectives.

Marketing objectives are the overarching outcomes you want to achieve, which you set for your team. Marketing goals are the stepping stones you need to complete to reach your objective.

Your goals should be the specific building blocks that help you reach your initial objectives. Each one should build off the other like this:

Business Objective to Marketing Goal Flow

So let’s take the marketing objectives that Natalie and Peter created earlier and set a series of marketing goals that revolve around each one.

Their first objective was: increase online conversion rate by 25% in one year.

Some marketing goals that Natalie and Peter could set are:

  1. Increase the ranking of 10 landing pages to the top three spots on Google by optimizing them for specific keywords.
  2. Decrease abandoned shopping carts by 50%.

The second objective Peter and Natalie need to set marketing goals for is: double the size of our 18-35-year-old audience by June 2018.

Examples of goals that Peter and Natalie could set might include:

  1. Creating an active presence on Instagram and Snapchat with each account having over 1,000 followers by the end of June 2018.
  2. Host a book club with topics aimed to entice target audience with 2,000 active members by March 2018.

Their third objective that Natalie and Peter need to set goals for is: increase average in-store purchase value from$10 to $35 in one year.

Example goals for this post could be:

  1. Increase in-store traffic by 30%.
  2. Increase new in-store membership signups by 25%.

Each of the goals and its parent objective relates back to the overarching goal of increasing the revenue of Reading Nook Bookstore by three million dollars.

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Step Four: Setting Up A Marketing Strategy

The next step in your marketing objective process is to set up your marketing strategy. The strategy that you set up will help you reach your objective.

The marketing strategy that Reading Nook Bookstore will execute involves:

  1. Creating a blog to help generate leads from helpful and relevant content.
  2. Promote that content with social media and email newsletters.
  3. Use social media ads, Google PPC, and retargeting ads to reach new customers.

Connecting Marketing Strategy and Goals

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Step Five: Matching Your Marketing Goals To Your Marketing Funnel

The next step in your process is setting up a series of marketing goals that help guide potential customers to purchasing your product.

Align Marketing Goals With Your Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel will usually look something like this:

  • Awareness: The awareness stage is letting your target audience know that you exist. This could be from reading your blog, seeing your social media ads or stumbling across a PPC ad.
  • Interest: The interest stage involves getting your target audience to connect with your content. Here your potential customers would become more invested in your content by subscribing to your email list.
  • Consideration: This is the nurturing part of your funnel. It helps connect the solution your company offers to the problems your audience is experiencing. Your marketers would be sending a series of emails to help start nurturing them to learn more about your product.
  • Intent: This is the first part of the sales stage of your marketing funnel. Here is where all of your solutions will be laid out in front of your new potential customers. This is where your sales team will step in to talk to potential customers.
  • Evaluation: Your target audience will evaluate what options have been presented to them by your sales team. At this point, your customers may return to their teams to discuss the information they found.
  • Purchase: Your audience buys your product.

What Does the Marketing Funnel Look Like?

Each one on the funnel stages will have marketing goals that need to be met to move customers through the funnel.

Here are some potential example goals for your marketing funnel. Depending on your funnel, your goals may change.

Awareness Goal Examples:

  • Gain 2,500 organic views for every blog post.
  • Reach 500 people for every Facebook post sent.

Interest Goal Examples:

  • Get 3,000 new email subscribers a week.
  • Gain 750 new social fans per month.

Consideration Goal Examples:

  • Get 50% of new customers in nurturing email follow.
  • Qualify 50 new leads from the email list per week.

Intent Goal Examples:

  • Have 25 new sales calls a week.

Evaluation Goal Examples:

  • Write five bottom of the funnel marketing posts a month.
  • Set up ten demo calls a month with potential customers.

Purchase Goal Examples:

  • Convert 75% of sales calls to purchases.
  • Achieve an average order value of $50 or higher.

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Step Six: How to Measure Progress Toward Your Objectives

The last step is to figure out how you are going to measure and report on the progress.

Measure Progress Toward Goals

Before you even begin to build your reports you and your boss need to determine how often you need to create a report. These could come weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.

Once you’ve determined how often you’re going to create your report, you need to choose what metrics you’re going to track. These metrics will usually revolve around the goals you set for your team.

If we were to choose a series of metrics based on our marketing funnel goals they would look something like this.

Awareness Metrics Example:

  1. Gain 2,500 organic views for every blog post → How many organic views do you get for each post? What is the average?
  2. Reach 500 people for every Facebook post sent → How many people does your Facebook post reach on average? What was the highest number of people reached?

Interest Metrics Examples:

  • Get 3,000 new email subscribers a week → How many new subscribers did we gain in this reporting period? What was the average?
  • Gain 750 new social fans per month → How many fans did we gain in this reporting period? How many fans did we gain per social channel?

Consideration Metrics Examples:

  • Get 50% of new customers in nurturing email follow → How many new email subscribers entered the nurture email flow in the reporting period?

Intent Metrics Examples:

  • Have 25 new sales calls a week → How many new sales calls did we get in the reporting period? What is our average?
  • Qualify 50 new leads from the email list per week → How many leads did you get in the reporting period? How many of them could be considered marketing qualified leads?

Evaluation Metrics Examples:

  • Write five bottom of the funnel marketing posts a month → How many leads came from your bottom of the funnel marketing posts? How often did they help convert customers?
  • Set up ten demo calls a month with potential customers → How many demo calls were completed? How many of them converted into paying customers?

Purchase Metrics Examples:

  • Convert 75% of sales calls to purchases → What is the average purchase price from a sales call? How many calls converted?
  • Achieve an average order value of $50 or higher → What is the order value for each call? What was the average in the reporting period?

One free and widely-used option is Google Analytics.

Google Analytics can help you find an enormous amount of data about your audience and overall online marketing performance.

Other popular options include:

Learn how to build a better marketing report to look like a genius to your boss.

Get Your 2018 Marketing Objectives Back On Track

Now that Peter and Natalie (and you) have all the information you need, you can set your marketing goals and objectives to make 2018 your most successful year yet.

Once you’re ready to move on to the execution phase of your marketing strategy see how CoSchedule can help. Sign up for a demo or start your two week trial.

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