The corporate objectives
In order to formulate marketing objectives, corporate objectives need to be formulated. It has a role to play in providing analysis that will guide objective setting, and will help to achieve these goals through its own activities.
The business’s corporate objectives cover measurable outcomes such as:
- Performance in finance
- Corporate reputation
To achieve these objectives, the corporate strategy should be employed. The corporate strategy dictates operational objectives, functional division objectives, and their subsequent strategies and tactical plans.
- At the corporate level
- At the operational level
- On a departmental level
Corporate strategies should take into account the whole organization, not just the marketing department, although marketing does play a significant role in assisting them.
The strategic objectives (corporate objectives) will serve as an overall guide for managers of each business unit and function. These tasks will be set by each manager, with each having responsibility for accomplishing them. There must be strong coordination between functional departments to ensure there is no conflict between goals.
The marketing strategy is guided by marketing objectives. They should refer to the mission statement, corporate goals, and objectives and will only discuss products and markets.
It should be clear where the organization wants to be in terms of marketing, and what its planned marketing actions will achieve.
Following the SMART criteria, some examples of marketing objectives might look like this:
To increase market share from the current [current %] to [future%] by [year]
To achieve a sales revenue of [£number] at a cost of sales not exceeding [percentage in [year]
To increase product awareness in the target market from [x%] to [y%] in [year]
The marketing objectives may start at a broad level and then become more specific for specific markets. Ideally, they should cover new and existing products or services, as well as new or existing target markets.
Using Ansoff’s Matrix, the following markets can be defined:
- Selling existing products to existing markets
- Extending existing products to new markets
- Developing new products for existing markets
- Developing new products for new markets
The marketing strategies to get to the marketing objectives can lead to advertising objectives and advertising strategies, (and other objectives relating to other elements of the marketing mix), which are at the bottom of the hierarchy of objectives.
Analyze how your organization develops its objectives.
- Who is responsible for determining objectives?
- To refine objectives, what process is used?
- What is the effectiveness of this?
- Are employees aware of the company’s mission and objectives?
What are the Risks?
The following should be avoided by managers:
- You don’t want to get tangled up in potentially rigid control mechanisms – the plan is to steer you, not constrict you
- A rigid process will restrict your flexibility and creativity – a plan should serve as a guide rather than a constraint and will highlight things you might otherwise overlook
- Not focusing on ‘best fit’ – the plan should be tailored for the organization’s size, culture, pace, and circumstance
- A plan whose construction undermines and alters the strategic objectives
- Goals (what you want to achieve) and strategies (how you are trying to achieve them) are often confused.
- A failure to properly analyze information or a focus on predicting future markets from historical data
- Not fully consulting on and communicating the plan
- Not explaining how the proposed plan will affect costs.