10 Marketing Plan Objectives To Consider and the KPIs To Measure Them
Updated March 10, 2023
Behind every successful business is usually a marketing plan with smaller objectives that support it. It's important to have these objectives so that everyone in marketing or within the organization can work together toward a common purpose. Objectives help you measure if your efforts are successful or not and what you have to reevaluate when launching any new campaign.
In this article, we explore what a marketing plan is, provide examples of marketing objectives, explain how to select marketing objectives and share how to measure progress.
Read more: 14 Common Careers in Marketing and Sales
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan uses your overall marketing strategy to build a cohesive roadmap for where your marketing plans should take your company. The purpose of a marketing plan is to have a defined path to go to obtain new customers, strengthen relationships with current customers and clients, increase sales, improve retention and increase brand awareness.
A marketing plan should also outline how marketing will help a company realize its goals and what a company will hope to achieve by reaching them, such as a specific return on investment. A marketing plan is usually formulated once a marketing strategy is already in place because a plan relies on a strong understanding of what the underlying strategies are.
It's important to know that marketing plans can always change. Even though marketing goals may remain the same, it's normal to go through adjustments to your marketing plan based on any change in the marketing conditions that were in place when the plan was first formulated.
What are marketing objectives?
Marketing objectives are made up of smaller and shorter range steps a marketing representative or department must take to reach the longer-term and overarching goals of marketing. You can form marketing objectives by using the SMART method of goal creation. This will ensure that the objectives set forth provide direction to anyone involved in marketing, establish clear guidance when deciding on campaigns and how best to reach your target audience and outline what exactly the marketing team's purpose is. SMART goals are:
Specific: Marketing goals that are specific allow for effective planning.
Measurable: You should have a way to measure your progress toward your goal. If you are unable to measure the effectiveness of your strategy on your goal, then you should probably reevaluate your goal or establish one that's more specific.
Achievable: Consider goals that you and your team will be able to actually achieve within a certain timeframe. It should be very reasonable to see this goal come to fruition.
Relevant: It's also important to make sure the marketing goals are relevant. They should incorporate existing goals and values that are set forth and define what the company stands for as a whole.
Time-based: A time-based goal should have an end date in place for when you want to achieve the goal. Timeframes keep people motivated and, if you aren't able to meet your goals within the timeframe, you'll be better able to understand why and pivot.
Marketing objectives differ from marketing goals, although you may see the two used interchangeably. Marketing objectives are usually completed in the short term and they are specific, using timeframes, measurement methods and more to define them. Marketing goals are more long term and are in line with a company's overarching mission and purpose. You use your marketing objectives to reach your marketing goals.
Read more: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples
Importance of marketing plan objectives
Marketing plan objectives are important because they bring everyone in marketing together to create a cohesive way of meeting goals. Having objectives in place helps each member of the marketing team understand their role a little more and know what they need to do to help the team realize success.
Objectives also matter because, without them, a marketing department may not be able to (or have a very hard time) assigning success based on its efforts. Objectives that are measurable and clear means that later on, anyone in marketing can tell if their strategies had any impact, good or bad, on the outcome of a marketing campaign. From there, a team can figure out what went right, what they can improve upon and how to take on similar situations in the future.
Examples of marketing plan objectives
Depending on several factors, marketing plan objectives can vary significantly. Here are some common ones that marketing departments may select to reach their goals:
Increase brand awareness
Increasing brand awareness is a popular marketing objective because it doesn't matter how large a company is or how much brand loyalty they may have, many still see the opportunity to increase how many others know about the company and its offerings. More brand awareness usually equates to more customers, more sales and, ultimately, more money for the business. You may want to increase brand awareness overall or focus on this objective when there is a new product launch upcoming.
Lead generation is how many potential new customers you have coming in. You can measure this by using the number of new leads or the percentage increase compared to previous campaigns. You may also want to anticipate the cost per lead so you know how many new leads you need to generate a profit.
Increase sales or revenue
This objective would require the marketing team to focus mainly on selling the products and services that the company currently offers. You may try to increase sales by cross-selling complementary products or providing something to customers that will entice them to click the purchase button on your website.
Build authority in the industry
Especially if you're offering a service, it becomes important to showcase how much of an expert you and your company are in the industry. There is probably some competition that you're up against. Having systems in place that give your potential customer trust and confidence in what you're selling can make the difference.
Improve your return on investment (ROI)
There is usually some amount of money being spent to acquire new customers or keep current customers loyal to your brand. This money is the investment piece. When an investment is involved, then it becomes important to make sure you're getting an adequate return on that investment. There are a lot of ways to measure ROI depending on the systems you have in place to conduct business and interact with current and potential customers.
Read more: What Is ROI in Marketing?
Successfully launch a new product or service
There is a lot that goes into launching a new product or service, including a plan to get your target customers excited about your new offerings, figuring out pricing and developing communications that showcase what sets your offering apart from the competition.
Realize a larger market share
Remember that objectives should be realistic and measurable. If you want to realize a larger market share, you should be able to develop a way to measure your efforts to see how successful you've been. You can first see how saturated the market is by your competitors' products and services, then come up with a proper goal for where your company can be in relation to theirs.
Increase customer loyalty
Your current customers have a lot of power. They can provide you with valuable word-of-mouth marketing and help you increase your sales by buying more of what you're offering. It is probably important that your company be able to retain current customers and increase their loyalty to your business. It usually costs less to keep a current customer than gain a new one, so this objective can also help you accomplish any goal that is focused on the budget.
When working on increasing customer loyalty, you can identify any pain points current customers may have that would cause them to abandon your business. You can also look into how you can improve their experience so they feel more connected to your company and like a valuable part of your operations.
Increase website traffic
Your company's website is a great tool for many related marketing objectives, like when you're trying to attract new customers, inform current customers, share specials and discounts, educate the public about your mission and more. You can increase your website traffic by sharing the link on social media, forming advertisements that encourage potential customers to visit your site and even writing guest posts on other websites that include a link back to your own.
Enter a new market
When your company is well known in your current market, you may want to think about expanding into others or offering your product or service to international customers and clients. The steps to realizing this objective can be to conduct competitor analysis for the new market and strengthening your sales points so that you're appealing to your new market and letting them know how your product or service helps them accomplish their goals or improves their lives in some way.
How to select marketing objectives
Because every company's goals, values and mission differ from another, the marketing objectives you select should really take your own company's marketing plan into account. Consider selecting objectives that fully support the marketing plan and bigger goals of the organization.
It may also be a good idea to select marketing objectives based on priority. There are going to be some objectives that are more important to establish and meet first because they directly impact other objectives. For example, you may want to choose to increase your website traffic as an objective because being able to accomplish this can also help with sales, customer conversions, building up your email list and increasing your social media presence.
How to measure progress on marketing plan objectives
As you're working on your objectives, it's important to measure your progress and the end result once you know if you've met your goal or fell short. When it comes time to measure how you're doing, you'll want to make sure you already have key performance indicators (KPIs) in place. KPIs are units of measurement that you'd use to measure the effectiveness of what you're doing. At any point during your campaign, you should be able to use the KPIs you've developed to measure how successful you currently are in reaching your objective.
You can use these KPIs when measuring progress on your objectives:
Conversion rates: Establish a goal conversion rate that you can check from time to time. A conversion rate is the percentage of people who are performing a desired action. You can measure conversions for a particular sales button on your website, for an email sign-up form or any other call to action you want to use.
Cost per lead: A cost per lead is how much you are paying to acquire a new customer. It's an important KPI because some part of your marketing campaign may not be effective if you are spending more money to acquire the customer than the customer spends in purchasing your products or services.
Organic traffic: If you want potential customers to find you online when they search for a word or phrase, you should develop your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Then, you can measure how many people are accessing your website based on how optimized your website is for the exact products or services you offer.
Social media engagement: Social media can be harder to measure than other types of marketing efforts, but you can still have KPIs in place to measure engagement. Social media marketing fits nicely with a brand awareness or customer loyalty objective. You can measure how many likes, comments or shares your posts receive.
Sales revenue: You can also measure how your efforts have contributed to your company's sales and profit.
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