How to Write Key Marketing Objectives

Select objectives that are ambitious yet achievable.
Select objectives that are ambitious yet achievable. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Your key marketing objectives should cover the four basic areas that are the responsibility of the marketing department. Also known as the "Four P's" of marketing, these include product, price, promotion and place. When detailing what you aim to achieve in each of these categories, you must always keep in mind the bigger picture and convey how your objectives fit with the broader strategic goals of the firm. You must also demonstrate a firm grasp of the firm's weaknesses and strengths and explain why these goals are ambitious, yet feasible with the right strategy.

Define key product attributes to meet buyers' demands. One of the primary roles of the marketing department is to understand the needs of the buyer and provide clear guidelines to the rest of the firm, so that the firm's products or services meet expectations. If you are selling breakfast cereal, for instance, determine what qualities the product must possess to succeed in the market, such as taste, a balanced nutritional profile, or the ability to retain its freshness after the package has been opened. Analyze how large a package is ideal and the biggest consumer complaints with your existing product. Only after you explore these issues can you outline specific objectives the product must meet and provide clear guidelines to the manufacturing and research departments.

Determine the right price for the product. Arriving at the correct price to charge for your product is a science as well as an art, since there is not a single formula but a variety of factors to consider. The correct price must allow the firm to turn a sufficient profit after all marketing, manufacturing and overhead expenses, yet be competitive with rival products and acceptable to consumers. Your price objective should also outline price reductions in the form of coupons and quantity discounts such as "buy one, get the second half off" deals and how frequently these deals will be applied.

Outline promotional objectives and determine a promotion budget. Promotion includes all activities intended to make your product more desirable to the consumer, such as advertising, in-store displays, free samples and PR activities. Detail what you aim to achieve as a result of each of these activities and how you will measure results. Determine how many viewers will need to see your ads on TV and how many coupons should reach consumers, as well as the types of statistics you will use to determine viewership rates of ads or the impression left by in-store displays. Establish how much all of this will cost and if the product will remain profitable after these costs.

Explain where your product should be available for purchase. Even the best product will not sell if consumers cannot access it when and where they need to. Decide how many retailers should carry your product, and which varieties and flavors should be available in all retailer channels and which ones only need to be available in the largest outlets. If the product will be sold through your own website as well, determine if you will undercut key retailers in your web sales or charge the regular price, and how this will impact your relationships with key retailers. Then decide on final sales figures with the sales, manufacturing and finance departments.

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