How does a firm know that they are on track to succeed? What is the focus of each department, or the firm as a whole? These questions are answerable by establishing marketing objectives or goals.
Setting goals and objectives give employees and other stakeholders something to work towards. These goals can help refine ideas and focus efforts by streamlining actions to achieve a specific desired result (Sexton, 2014). Some common marketing objectives are:
- Increase online sales
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Increase web traffic
- Decrease customer churn over
Are the goals you set realistic and attainable? Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to ensure they are.
· S-Specific: Exactly what does the firm wish to accomplish?
· M-Measurable: How will the firm know when it has accomplished this goal?
· A-Achievable: Is this something within the firm’s capabilities?
· R-Relevant: Is the goal appropriate for the firm or department?
· T-Time-bound: When does the firm wish to complete the goal?
Utilizing SMART goals helps to keep the firm on track to succeed and can work to mitigate any missteps along the way. This “road map” also encourages a firm to consider any legal and ethical concerns that may arise from its chosen marketing activities.
Every goal and objective needs to align with the overall mission of the firm. For example, if a clothing company’s mission is to do no harm and promote greener business practices, that company should not set goals to switch to less green material for its products to lower costs. The choice to utilize lesser materials may cost the company less cash upfront but is detrimental to its overall mission.
Additionally, the strategies and tactics used to attain the goals will be ethical and legal. In the example above, switching to a lower cost but non-recyclable material may also be unethical or illegal if the company claims its products are sustainable.
The American Marketing Association (2021) states, “Embrace ethical values. This means building relationships and enhancing consumer confidence in the integrity of marketing by affirming these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency, and citizenship.” Items to consider:
· Is this culturally sensitive and appropriate?
· Is it legal in this area, region, state, or country?
· Just because we can, should we?
· Does this advance the firm’s success and longevity?
Utilizing S.M.A.R.T. goals forces firms to plan and consider their performance indicators. Having a plan with actionable goals and objectives also gives the firm a strong focus. Be conscious of ethical, moral, and legal concerns, and treat shareholders as you wish to be treated. These measures will lead to consumer/ shareholder trust, long-term sustainability, and success!
Sexton, P. (2014, October). Narrow your focus: tackle no more than three measurable goals at a time to actually achieve them. Landscape Management, 53(10), 60+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A389509071/GRNR?u=nhc_main&sid=bookmark-GRNR&xid=2c567930