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What Are The Goals Of Marketing? A Brief Overview Of What To Influence With Your Marketing Activities

Published April 4, 2022
/ Updated August 29, 2022

Marketing plans are designed to increase brand awareness and ultimately sell products in a way that will generate the most profit.

Let’s explore the foundational goals of marketing and how marketers focus their efforts to influence those objectives.

What Is The Goal Of Marketing?

If the primary purpose of marketing is to influence profitable customer action, a primary goal of marketing for businesses is to generate revenue.

Revenue

The total amount of income yielded from the sold goods or services. Simply multiply the cost of the good or service by the number of units sold or customers using the service, and you have revenue.

What Are The 4 Goals Of Marketing?

While the primary goal of marketing is to generate revenue, marketing achieves this desired state through a unique approach as compared to other business units such as sales or customer service.

A basic marketing model clarifies the four goals of marketing. This is defined as the AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) marketing model:

AIDA Marketing Model

  • Awareness: Target audience knows your brand and solution.
  • Interest: Target audience understands the outcomes they will achieve only when they hire your solution.
  • Desire: Target audience feels the pain your solution promises to resolve and wants your solution to relieve that pain.
  • Action: Target audience follows through on their desire and hires your solution to achieve the promised outcomes (preferably repeatedly long term).

Importance Of The Goals Of Marketing

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. [1]

The products may be virtually identical, but marketing is the separating factor that persuades the customer one way or the other.

This decision could result in a customer that develops lifelong loyalty to a brand. The power and influence that marketing has is what makes goal setting so important.

Successful businesses don’t leave their marketing up to guesswork. They set goals in order to measure what aspects are performing well and what areas need improvement.

An Example Of Marketing Goals As Lead Indicators Of Revenue Generation

The goals of marketing departments may not be tied directly to revenue but rather revenue lead indicators.

Lead Indicators

Lead indicators are elements that can be identified, quantified, and observed to predict sales trends.

Imagine lead indicators as dominoes set up in a row.

The first domino is tipped over to influence all subsequent dominoes to fall until the very last topples. Every domino except the last are lead indicators that influence the final domino to fall.

You probably guessed it: The final domino is revenue, a lagging indicator.

Domino 1 labeled “Impressions”, domino 2 “Clickthroughs”, domino 3 “Conversions”, domino 4 “Expansions, domino 5 “Revenue”. Dominos 1-4 are labeled lead indicators while the revenue is a lagging indicator.

Lead indicators of revenue are goals that have a proven “domino effect” before the revenue conversion event. Some may recognize lead indicator goals as influencing a funnel that reaches unaware audience members all the way through existing customer retention.

Lead Indicators To Revenue Generation

  • Impressions
  • Clickthroughs
  • Conversions
  • Expansions

For example:

1. Impressions

This involves getting your brand message in front of your target audience, so they become aware of your product.

People can’t be excited about a product they don’t know about, so it’s important to determine where your target audience spends their time searching for products like yours.

Common examples of impressions include search engine result views, social media message views, display ad views, and guest blog post views.

2. Clickthroughs

Clickthrough rate is a form of engagement that measures the ratio of how many clicks a link receives compared to how many views or impressions it has.

Marketers will use clickthrough rates to gauge how effective their search engine listings, social media ads, or email campaigns are at influencing viewers to visit a web property.

Common examples of clickthroughs include search engine results clicks, social media message clicks, display ad clicks, and email clicks.

3. Conversions

Once visitors are on the website, it’s important they are led toward the action the marketer wants them to take.

Common examples of conversions include subscribing to a newsletter, exchanging email addresses for white papers, and purchasing a product.

4. Expansions

After the conversion, marketers think in terms of expansion. This often involves expanding the value they provide to their audiences in all stages of the buying process with the goal of influencing and retaining long-term, successful customers.

Common examples of expansions include greater content consumption, repeat purchases, and additional use case implementations.


The reason marketing departments focus on lead revenue indicators is that these are easier to measure more quickly.

Publishing a measurable marketing activity within hours or days instead of lag indicators such as revenue helps marketers know they are influencing the ultimate goals of marketing.

Pro Tip: While lead indicators look forward to predicting trends before they happen, lag indicators look backward to measure how previous actions affected the current state of the business. That information is then used to gain insight into achieving future success.

A Simple List Of Marketing Goals To Inspire Your Goal Setting

Marketing encompasses a wide array of activities ranging from driving awareness to long-term customer retention. For this reason, some marketing departments also opt to view their goals of marketing as areas of focused influence.

10 Goals Of Marketing Influence

  • Brand Awareness
  • Search Engine Discovery
  • Thought Leadership
  • Community Building
  • Website Traffic Building
  • Sales Enablement
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Lead Generation
  • Revenue Generation
  • Customer Retention
  1. Brand Awareness [awareness]: Generating a buzz factor through tactics such as public relations
  2. Search Engine Discovery [awareness]: Identifying keywords and publishing content to rank in search engines
  3. Thought Leadership [interest]: Expressing ideas that show you have the expertise and knowledge needed to succeed in a particular field
  4. Community Building [interest]: Cultivating a mutually beneficial group of individuals through tactics such as social media
  5. Website Traffic Building [interest & desire]: Influencing website visitors through all channels of traffic generation such as search engines, email, social media, referral, and more
  6. Sales Enablement [desire]: Empowering internal stakeholders and buyers with narratives that influence customer conversions
  7. Conversion Rate Optimization [action]: Increasing the percentage of website visitors to take action
  8. Lead Generation [action]: Influencing the pool of “hot” marketing qualified leads from which a sales team may influence customer conversions
  9. Revenue Generation [action]: Directly converting physical storefront patrons or digital website visitors into product or service sales
  10. Customer Retention [action]: Increasing customer lifetime value through tactics such as content marketing

What Is A SMART Marketing Goal Example?

SMART Goals

  • Specific: Your goal must focus on one clearly defined metric.
  • Measurable: You must have a way to measure the content you publish against that metric.
  • Attainable: You must be able to realistically achieve your goal within a set timeframe with the resources that are (or will be) available to you.
  • Relevant: Your goal must align with your desired goals and objectives.
  • Timely: Your goal must have an end date upon which you will achieve that metric.

Let’s breakdown the SMART framework with a specific SMART marketing goal example:

“By the end of Q1, the marketing department will generate 2,000 new marketing qualified leads (a 25% boost from last quarter) so that our Sales team has 1,000 additional opportunities to convert leads into customers.”

Specific: “the marketing department will generate 2,000 new marketing qualified leads”

This goal is assigned to a particular business department and provides a specific number to be reached. It will be clear whether the department meets the goal, which assigns accountability and ownership.

Measurable: “2,000 new marketing qualified leads”

This quantifies an exact number to be reached. Before work begins, the marketing department can easily set up a tool such as Google Analytics to measure this desired result.

Attainable: “2,000 new marketing qualified leads (a 25% boost from last quarter)” and “so that our Sales team has 1,000 additional opportunities to convert leads into customers.”

A goal is only as attainable as the team believes it to be. They must have assurance in the resources they are provided to accomplish the task, whether that be the tools they work with or the skills of their fellow teammates.

It’s important the team has confidence that those in positions of power will provide them with the support they will need along the way.

Relevant: “2,000 new marketing qualified leads (a 25% boost from last quarter)”

The example clearly outlines why the goal is important for the marketing department to achieve, connecting it very closely with the primary goal of marketing—revenue generation (e.g. “…so that our Sales team has 1,000 additional opportunities to convert leads into customers.”)

Timely: “by the end of Q1,”

A clearly defined date of April 1st is set. The deadline is appropriate for the size of the goal while indicating to the team that time cannot be wasted.

References

[1]Joan C. Curtis and Barbara Giamanco (2010) The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media