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Your marketing objectives

    Your marketing objectives

    Your marketing objectives should be based on understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and the business environment you operate in. They should also be linked to your overall business strategy.

    For example, suppose your business objectives include increasing sales by 10 per cent over the next year. Your marketing objectives might include targeting a promising new market segment to help achieve this growth.

    For more information on how to identify the best opportunities, see external and internal analysis for your marketing plan.

    Objectives should always be SMART:

    Specific – for example, you might set an objective of getting ten new customers.
    Measurable – whatever your objective is, you need to be able to check whether you have reached it or not when you review your plan.
    Achievable – you must have the resources you need to achieve the objective. The key resources are usually people and money.
    Realistic – targets should stretch you, not demotivate you because they are unreasonable and seem to be out of reach.
    Time-bound – you should set a deadline for achieving the objective. For example, you might aim to get ten new customers within the next 12 months.

    Plan your marketing tactics
    Once you have decided what your marketing objectives are, and your strategy for meeting them, you need to plan how you will make the strategy a reality.

    Many businesses find it helpful to think in terms of the four Ps:

    Product – what your product offers that your customers value, and whether/how you should change your product to meet customer needs.
    Pricing – for example, you might aim simply to match the competition, or charge a premium price for a quality product and service. You might have to choose either to make relatively few high margin sales, or sell more but with lower unit profits. Remember that some customers may seek a low price to meet their budgets, while others may view a low price as an indication of quality levels. See price your product or service.
    Place – how and where you sell. This may include using different distribution channels. For example, you might sell over the internet or sell through retailers.
    Promotion – how you reach your customers and potential customers.
    Some examples of promotion include:

    advertising: the basics
    public relations (PR)
    direct marketing: the basics
    social media
    pay-per-click and paid search advertising
    email marketing
    For a more comprehensive approach, you can extend this to seven Ps:

    People – for example, you need to ensure that your employees have the right training. See training your staff.
    Processes – the right processes will ensure that you offer a consistent service that suits your customers.
    Physical evidence – the appearance of your employees and premises can affect how customers see your business. Even the quality of paperwork, such as invoices, makes a difference.


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