Preparing a Marketing Plan (iii): Marketing objectives
Once you are clear about your target market and about the position you propose to adopt in the market you can begin to define some marketing objectives. The first of these might be the purpose of the business: be as specific as possible regarding the business area in which you will operate, e.g. product type, customer groups, market needs, etc. For example:
- to provide toys and games for children under 12 years old.
- to provide an environmentally friendly range of packaging materials for use in the food industry.
This purpose can then be translated into marketing objectives and goals, which should be:
- quantifiable - for example:
- to achieve sales turnover of £100,000 in the first year;
- to achieve profitability of 10 per cent return on sales by year three; and,
- to achieve market share of 10 per cent by year three.
- realistic but challenging. Never set objectives that are a product of wishful thinking; and,
- set in some sort of order of importance. If it is most important to achieve return on sales targets, then subsidiary objectives could be set to help achieve this; e.g., 'to reduce production costs by 10 per cent'.
Typical objectives are sales, profitability, sales growth, diversification and market share improvement.