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marketingobjectivesMarketing can be defined as the process of creating value and then communicating and delivering that value to customers. Marketing objectives are a list of goals a business wants to accomplish when promoting its products or services to potential customers.  Specific marketing objectives are important because they express how the company will benefit from marketing, increase employee morale and teamwork toward a common purpose, and offer clear standards on how to measure progress.  Marketing objectives should always support the company’s overall mission and goals.

Effective goals are defined by the SMART criteria.  Each goals is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bould.

Specific – The goal is focusing on one precise area

Measurable – The progress of the goal can be quantified in some way

Attainable – The goal should be reachable for your level of skill

Realistic – The goal can reasonably be achieved given your resources

Time-Bound  – There is a specific amount of time in which results should be achieved

Before you begin creating your marketing objectives, you should review your business goals.  Company goals can center around management, employee, operational, and business development issues. You can learn more about creating goals with this course on goal setting 101.

Take a look at these sample marketing objectives and their SMART criteria:

1) Create brand awareness to our target population (Teens ages 12 to 17) by exhibiting at three upcoming community events (November 8th, February 16th, and April 30th), and passing out 300 branded temporary tattoos, 250 headbands, and 100 water bottles.

2)  Increase the annual banquet dinner (March 28th) attendance by 150% by mailing out 300 additional invitations to program sponsors and volunteers, having ten local businesses sponsor tables, and asking guests to RSVP by January 15th.

Marketing objectives are part of the overall marketing plan.  To create a marketing plan, you will need to do some market research. Learn how to conduct market research swiftly and efficiently with this marketing research class.

A basic marketing plan includes the following information:

  1. Executive Summary

  2. Situational Analysis

  3. SWOT Analysis (Opportunities/Issue Analysis)

  4. Marketing Objectives

  5. Marketing Strategy

  6. Action Plan

  7. Financial Forecast

  8. Controls

A written formal marketing plan is essential to a company’s success.  Please note that these plans will change over time and need to be actively reviewed and updated.  The marketing plan serves as a reference point for all marketing activities during the given time period.  Developing the marketing plan allows for discussion between employees, departments, and/or management teams.  The discussions and plan result in an agreed upon agenda for the subsequent business activities.  Marketing plans are also often included in business plans to show investors how the company will grow and how investors will receive their return on investment.  If you need help developing and managing your marketing plan, take a look at this class: Marketing Plan made Easy!

Next, let’s look at five businesses that nailed their marketing objectives.

Dell Computer

Before computers were sold directly to consumers, they were sold through complicated distribution channels that left little room to make a profit.  The 19-year-old founder of Dell Computers, Michael Dell,  turned the industry on its head by cutting out the middleman and offering computers directly to his customers.  His objective of bringing technology straight the end user proved to be a winning strategy.


Sony started after WWII with the goal “to reconstruct Japan and to elevate the nation’s culture.” The founder, Masaru Ibuka, decided to do this by producing quality electronic products that he would want in his own home.  Sony’s goal of “quality” and their ability to communicate that message has made them a global leader in the electronics industry.


Harley-Davidson was on top of the motorcycle world when Japanese competitors closed in on them.  They knew they had to change up their target market if they were going to survive so they made going after white collar professionals their new objective.  Harley-Davidson was able to successfully market the “daring” lifestyle and remains in business today.


Richard Branson is an entrepreneurial king with a knack for successful marketing.  His marketing objective was to make everything about the brand image and let the products and services fall into place.  Virgin calls this concept its “brand envelopes”.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ objective was simple, get passengers to their destination on-time for the most economical fare possible and make the journey enjoyable.  Believe it or not, it was the “make it fun for the customer part” that ended up being more important than having the cheapest fares.


Marketing is an important step in the success of a business. The purpose of business is to create a customer and to do this, two functions are needed, innovation and marketing.  Marketing creates awareness, incites interest, produces desire, and leads to action. Marketing objectives set using the SMART goal criteria help managers and department heads create specific objectives that can be achieved.  Marketing objectives are part of the larger Marketing plan.  The marketing plan serves as a reference point for all marketing activities during the given time period and is part of the larger business plan.  If your business plan is lacking a little, you can get it in shape with this step by step methodology.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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