“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
— Yogi Berra
I love both of these quotes. Both are filled with truth and logic when it comes to marketing strategy. But they’re also true for life. No matter who you are, your life has no real direction without goals. Marketing goals can be the key to your future success. Without a planned and focused direction, your business could easily lose its direction and begin to flounder. I’ve witnessed this at multiple Fortune 100 companies in my career. A good idea fails not because the market isn’t there, or the idea is bad, but rather because there was no plan. No goals were set, no direction talked about before running down a path.
The Difference Between Marketing Goals and Objectives
For most people, the terms “goal” and “objective” are synonymous. While they are closely related, I see a big difference between the two. A goal takes on a much broader view and is usually the focus of your primary outcome. An objective, on the other hand, is a step that you may take to reach that goal. It’s very simple—your goal may be to establish your business as an industry leader in your field, while your objective is to gain a certain percentage of the market share. Your marketing objective should be designed to support your specific company’s goals for the future.
How to be SMART About Your Marketing Objectives
This is a cliché concept: SMART goals! But honestly, this formula is very accurate. You need goals that are sensible, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific. By applying this to your marketing strategies, you will be able to create marketing objectives that are both attainable and profitable.
They Must Be Compatible
When establishing your marketing objectives, make sure they will not only push the business to the next level, but also produce results that you will be comfortable with. Are you able to handle these steps in the course of your business? Can you handle the results? Has everyone gotten on board with your plans? But before answering these questions, step back and ask: “Am I the one who should be setting these marketing goals?” Is it your strength, or should you find a partner to help you in this area? Make sure you and your business are ready for the goals you set, and you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
When outlining the direction your company will take in the future, it is important to consider several factors. Before you can set your marketing objectives on a path to higher achievements, you need to thoroughly assess your current circumstances. Basing your marketing goals and objectives on where your business is at the moment can be a deciding factor on whether or not you’ll be able to achieve them. If you’ve carefully considered the SMART steps to planning your marketing strategies, and you’re ready to go the extra mile, you will find success.