In marketing we refer to marketing goals and objectives from the start of our strategy development to the very end of the campaign. However, the interpretation of marketing goals vs objectives is often a little confusing. So lets discuss the difference between the two terms and give a couple examples.
Understanding that goals and objectives are often used in different ways by different marketers, let’s discuss what I have observed to be the more common use in marketing and what A Marketing Podcast will use to discuss strategy on the show and in the various courses and resources we provide.
When are these terms used in the marketing process
Goals and objectives are discussed throughout the life-cycle of a marketing initiative. They are both typically established in the strategy development phase of marketing and determine the success criteria for your marketing efforts.
Goals and objectives can be modified, or even added to, throughout the marketing life-cycle. However, you don’t want to make too many changes, as doing so will make it harder to measure whether your marketing was successful or not. As a strong believer in developing solid strategies at the start of the process, my goal is to resist changing goals and/or objectives after the strategy has been developed. If you achieve more than you set out to, that’s great!
What’s a marketing goal?
A goal is measurable only by personal impression/gut feeling of the marketing campaigns outcome and is story like in nature. This means a goal is a general direction for your marketing, but does not provide specific measurement criteria.
Here’s an example of a marketing goal:
“To increase awareness of our brand and expand our primary target audience.”
As you can see this goal is tough to measure and that’s ok. The above example sets the direction of all marketing efforts within the strategy to build awareness and the primary target audience.
What’s a Marketing Objective?
So knowing that goals are less measurable, we need something that’s very measurable. Something that provides a mechanism to determine if our marketing efforts were successful. That’s where marketing objectives come in. Think of them as a checklist of items that must be achieved by your marketing.
Here’s an example of a marketing objective:
“Achieve a 10% increase in market share in Alberta”.
The above objective indicates that we need to achieve 10% more market share in Alberta. As long as we have a baseline from the previous period (whatever that may be), this is a very precise and very measurable item.
Marketing Goals vs Objectives
In summary, a marketing goal is something to strive for and is an overarching reason we would do any marketing at all. A marketing objective is exactly what we need to achieve in order to succeed in our goals.
In closing, make sure that your objectives, if achieved, will result in your goals being met. If you can pull that off then your marketing was successful. It’s that easy!
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