Why is there confusion between Business Objectives and Marketing Objectives? While both objectives are precise and measurable, business and marketing objectives differs in the impact (entire company for business objective and sales and branding related to customers for marketing objective) are who are accountable (e.g. COO vs. CMO).
The summary of the differences are found in the below table:-
|Business Objectives||Marketing Objectives|
Affect entire company
Affect sales and branding related to customers
A business objective is a precise, measurable path a business needs to take to achieve its business goals set.
Business objectives are created and used as milestones that help businesses track their progress toward business goals.
A marketing objective is a precise and measurable marketing path a business needs to take to meet its business objectives.
A marketing objective is typically subordinate to a business objective.
|Accountable Parties||Executive Suite, specifically the Chief Operating Officer||Chief Marketing Officer or Marketing Team|
A typical business objective could read, “To meet our goal of having the dominant market share in the XXX market, we will onboard 75% of the top 1000 YYY buyers as paying customers by the end of 2020, and 85% by 2021. The Executive Suite, specifically the COO, is primarily accountable for achieving this objective.” A business objective directly affects the entire company.
Why are Business Objectives important?
Business objectives can be an important way to unify a company's mission and vision. Business objectives might vary significantly between one industry or department and the next, or they might be very similar. In addition to providing a framework for innovation at every level of a company's operations, business objectives can help to:
- Increase revenue
- Enhance customer satisfaction
- Develop leadership
- Recruit and retain high-quality employees
- Encourage innovation
- Expand productivity
- Maximize workplace safety
- Increase product quality
- Improve company culture
When created carefully and revisited frequently, business objectives can result in key business improvements.
How to set a Business Objective?
- Know who will be involved. Have a performance management system to keep track of assignments. Build the company objectives into your staff performance reviews and reward those who achieve the objectives.
- Create action plans. These should include specific tasks for specific people. Make sure individuals have ownership of the particular plans.
- Establish a timeline. Set deadlines for achieving the objectives.
- Provide sufficient resources. Ensure that your team is equipped to do what they’re asked. Build your business objectives into your budgeting process.
- Be a leader. Communicate your business goals and business objectives. Describe the final destination so that your employees know what they're working towards. Keep them updated. Be transparent. Be honest. Inspire your team.
A marketing objective could be, “In order to meet our business objectives of 75% market share in the XXX market, we will increase our online marketing budget by 25%, increase our spending on awareness activities by 50% over the last year, and achieve a cost per customer acquisition of $60 by the end of 2020. The CMO is primarily accountable for achieving this objective.”
Marketing Objective Examples and its Importance
- Increase Brand Awareness
Whether you’re a newly established brand, releasing a new product, or you’ve decided to target a new audience, raising awareness of your brand or products is a good goal to guide your marketing plan.
Example of how the Marketing Objective may be crafted: Increase social media impressions (objective set) among the new target audience by 30% (measurable outcome) by the end of the quarter (established timeline).
- Increase Market Share
A competition analysis before this Marketing Objective will have to be carried out. By taking a look at other existing brands in your industry, you can identify your position in the market and project where you would like to be after your campaign.
- Improve ROI
The return on investment or ROI is one of the most important marketing metrics, as it measures whether or not your investment is paying off.
With the advent of digital marketing, measuring ROI is easier than ever, since you can easily find out the cost per click on conversions for specific actions. There are several different ways a company can increase its ROI so this goal can have a few different objectives.
Example: Conduct A/B testing on two different Facebook Ads over 4 weeks.
- Increase Company Profits
Increasing company profits often involve reducing costs. Search engine optimization (SEO), social networks, and other digital media used in marketing efforts can be key methods for increasing profits while reducing costs.
Example: Reduce paid social ads by 20% and boost current SEM efforts with 4 weekly blog posts in Q4.
- Optimize the Funnel
There is no use achieving a massive number of impressions if users do not end up converting. Therefore, a good marketing plan objective would be to take into account the different stages of the conversion funnel and ensure that as many users as possible, convert to customers.
Example: Increase conversion rates by 10% in 2020 by increasing remarketing efforts on middle-of-the-funnel prospects.
- Attract New Customers
Attracting new customers to your brand or products is a key element for ensuring the relevancy and sustainability of your company in the industry. Attracting new customers should involve experimenting with different processes rather than retaining current ones.
Example: Establish partnerships with 4 new industry influencers by the end of the year and develop discount codes for their followers.
- Retain Current Customers
Retaining customer loyalty is another key marketing objective. It's important to remain invested in your target audience and some may argue it's more beneficial since it is cheaper to keep a current customer than to gain a new one.
Example: Add 2 full-time community managers by Q2 to better manage queries and engagements received on social media.
- Increase Sales
Finally, the most common and obvious marketing objective - Improving sales. There are many different methods of increasing sales, but two popular actions are increasing conversion rates or increasing the average amount of transaction options (eg. cross-selling).
Example: Increase conversion rates by 8% by increasing website organic traffic with 4 new blog posts every week by the end of June.
Marketing and Business Objectives can be tricky concepts that are easily misunderstood and used interchangeably. Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand these terms a bit better and provided useful references for you to come out with more effective game plans!