How to write marketing objectives

graphic of list to show how to write marketing objectives

Learning how to write marketing objectives is a valuable skill.

Good marketing objectives help you work out where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there. And if you are a small business owner with a small marketing budget to play with, they help you focus your spend on your top priorities.

So how do you write marketing objectives? Let’s break it down.

How to write marketing objectives is four easy steps.

Having too many marketing objectives is as unhelpful as having none at all. I recommend you brainstorm your goals first to get all your ideas down. Then select the most important ones – I suggest no more than three. Why?

The more objectives you have, the more you have to split your focus, resources and budget. So, with a focused list of marketing objectives you can clearly focus on where the effort needs to go and ultimately get better results. It’s better to do two things well than five things poorly for example.

1. Determine the type of objectives that are relevant for your business growth stage.

If you’re just starting out in business, growing brand awareness and sales are top priorities. But if you’ve got an established business you might need to focus on growing the value of your existing customer relationships.
So your marketing objectives should change as your business evolves and grows. To keep things simple, I group marketing objectives into three different categories.

  1. Growth – types of objectives include, increasing sales, growing market share, launching a new product or service
  2. Expansion – expanding your brand awareness to new audiences, targeting new geographical territories, identify new segments to target with your products and services
  3. Deepen Relationships – increase the value of your customer relationships, increase how often customers purchase from you, reduce customer attrition, increase brand engagement on social media, increase customer referrals.

You don’t need to have objectives from each category – they are just a useful way to think about your priorities and help you brainstorm.

2. Brainstorm and write marketing objectives with ease

Now it’s time to brainstorm.

Start by writing out all of your ideas about what you want your marketing to achieve.

PRO TIP: As part of the brainstorm it is useful to ask yourself this question. What will success look like at the end of the year? Describe it? Will you have more customers, new products, influencer relationships, positive PR in your local paper. Visualising what you want, and working backwards is helpful.

Once you’re done, look at your brainstorm and highlight the ideas that are most likely to help you achieve your business goals. What ideas are going to have the biggest impact? Highlight those too.

Now you can select between 1-3 that are most important to you.

3. Turn your ideas into SMART goals.

I’m pretty sure you would have encountered SMART goals before. Just in case you can’t remember here is a quick refresher.

How to write marketing objectives

Need more detail? Check out this great explanation from Mind Tools.

4. Make your marketing objectives visible

Now that you’ve defined 1-3 SMART marketing objectives, you need to write or type them up and put them on your wall where you can see them.

This helps you commit to achieving your objectives and helps you stay focused. Every time you consider a new marketing activity you should evaluate it against your objectives to ensure you are on the right track.

Ready to get started? Download my free worksheet on how to write marketing objectives.

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