Why set objectives?
Setting measurable marketing objectives is crucial to determining and ensuring the long term success of any business.
Astley Media’s Tech Leaders’ Brand Insight Report recently discovered that some tech leaders fail to plan and prioritise their brand, adopting the approach of ‘letting the product speak for itself’. Whilst product quality and development are vitally important, many of the challenges identified in the report could be rectified through a more direct, clear marketing approach that enables companies to measure their success and identify areas of improvement based on whether they’re hitting the necessary targets.
Having a clear brand and marketing strategy based on considered goals will help attract and retain customers, but it will also attract skilled workers seeking employment opportunities. This is essential, as the report found that 40% of the tech leaders rated skills shortages as their principal challenge.
In order to set clear and effective marketing objectives, a company must first determine its overall vision and business goals. These include the broader aims of your company, which specific marketing objectives will act as the steps towards achieving. For example, a goal to increase brand awareness would be tackled by objectives such as improving Facebook traffic by X% by X. When your objectives support your goals and your goals support your brand story, the company as a whole appears cohesive, organised and self-assured.
SMART is an acronym used to simplify the boxes your objectives should tick. Start by making your objectives specific by using numerical targets and action words. A good method to check if your objectives are specific enough is to question whether the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ are clear.
Secondly, ensure that your objectives are measurable; some companies fall into the trap of buzzwords and abstract concepts but it’s vital that you’re able to track progress and accurately assess your situation and position.
Thirdly these objectives should be attainable. Whilst rapid growth and immediate success are desirable it’s important to consider the pace at which your business moves. The simplest way to do this is to set targets based on previous months, increasing by reasonable increments. This is connected to the fourth requirement; to be realistic. Anticipate and accept that your business will face unforeseen challenges and adopt an approach based on long term success as opposed to agonizing over inevitable smaller hurdles.
Finally, your objectives need to be time bound, to help you measure your success and create new objectives to suit the changing market. This is by no means an exhaustive list however it does provide you with a good grounding on how to begin setting measurable marketing objectives.
Another factor to consider is budgeting these objectives. Taking on new clients, for example, has associated costs so ensure that you’re prepared to meet your targets should your objectives be successful. As your audience grows your priorities will naturally shift and it’s essential to be financially prepared for this. Budgeting is especially important when dealing with an uncertain market, leading on to the final consideration; flexibility. The business world is constantly changing so the more alternative options and plans in place the better. Be willing to assess and modify your marketing objectives if and when it becomes necessary. Following these steps will help you to solidify your goals and build towards a stronger, more successful brand.
If you’d like to learn more about setting marketing objectives please contact us.