The thing to keep in mind when setting marketing objectives is that it can’t be done in a vacuum. Marketing strategy supports the overall business or corporate strategy not the other way around. As such the marketing objectives need to be aligned with the company goals. My experience has been that the operational teams tend to become myopic when senior management or the CEO doesn’t communicate enough about where the business needs to go.
To that end, as the Marketing Manager, you need to know what the strategic imperatives are for the company. An example from BCE (Bell Canada Enterprises) should help you get a better sense of what these look like.
Once you know what the business goals/objectives/imperatives are you can align your marketing goals/objectives to support what the company wants to do. If you don’t align to the company goals then you risk a couple of things:
1. Your plan gets shot down when it is reviewed by the management team or
2. You create internal “corporate friction”
Corporate Friction is created when an operational team moving in an opposing direction to where the company or the other operational teams are headed. The key success factor in any organization is aligning the activities of the operational teams (Finance, Marketing, Operations, IT etc) to one common and shared direction. When the goals/objectives of a department are not aligned to the overall business goals then you create friction. This becomes evident in meetings, internal communication and poor execution.
So before you start setting marketing objectives for your business you need to know what the priorities or strategic imperatives are for the company.
You can do that a couple of ways: i) ask the CEO, if you feel comfortable enough or if it’s a small company where you have easy access to the CEO or ii) get a copy of the most recent strategic plan because the goals/objectives for the company will be in there or iii) ask the most senior person in the marketing team what they are. Someone needs to know and more importantly, you need to know before you set your own objectives.
I won’t attempt to explain what marketing goals/objectives are here because they can take so many forms. Some of the common ones are:
1. Increase market share from X to Y
2. Increase brand awareness from A to B
3. Increase price per unit by x%
You get the idea…….