The Importance of Marketing Objectives

Every business wants to be successful in their industry. However, there is no point in aiming for success if the entity does not measure their progress. The goal of marketing objectives is to create a desirable end state, measure results, and determine whether or not those goals were met, and why.

One way that companies use marketing objectives is to keep everyone focused. Objectives give the company something to work for, and allow individuals to stay focused on their specific tasks. Objectives with desired results dictate the way people make decisions. Company-wide objectives also help to keep employees across different departments and locations on the same page.

Objectives also work to create recognizable achievements, which in turn help motivate employees. With an objective in mind, employees can come to work each day, knowing what they need to do to reach their goal. Once the time period of the objective is over, they can look at the results and see what they have achieved. If the objective as not achieved, they can go back to the drawing board, see what went wrong, and create a new objective.

In order for objectives to work in a company, they must be SMART objectives. SMART objective are those that are specific in what needs to be achieved, measure bale in a quantifiable manner, achievable and realistic, relevant to the industry, and abide by a certain time frame.

Woman writing and planning business strategyThese SMART objectives guide business leaders in making decisions for the organization as a whole, as well as the marketing mix for different product lines. A goal consisting of growing brand awareness may focus on Place and Promotion, while a goal striving o raise sales may focus on Price and Product. Internally, an executive may wish to increase employee morale, and measure results through a year-end survey.

When objectives are set, people inside they company may be pressured to meet those goals by any means possible. It is important that ethical guidelines are enforced to prevent individuals from taking advantage of stakeholders in the company. Marketing messages must be reliable, and not misleading to consumers, while financial statements must be accurately reported. Some marketing objectives include the use of powerful CRM systems that hold consumer date. The security of customer information is of most important when considering this type of marketing.

In conclusion, objectives are meant to help a company, whether they are achieved or not. They inform decision makers of what did and did not work, while keeping everyone on task. There is no definitive way of creating objectives because they can vary greatly between organizations, time period, and competitors. As long as the SMART method is followed, the objectives can be customized to any company.

 

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Digital Tools to Help Define Target Markets

It’s 2017 and you are about to release a new product that will take the world by storm. Every day companies are advancing technology, and making consumers’ lives easier through new goods and services. While innovation continues to grow, so does the way in which these products are marketed. Even the marketing landscape from five years ago is completely different than it is today,

With products and services designed to offer convenience like never before, people cannot be bothered to gain marketing information. Luckily, there are a variety of online tools that marketers can now use to gather their data.

Marketers can use this in one of two ways. They can first determine what demographics, and psychographics they want to target, then find the best geographic region to market towards. They can also use it in reverse to make changes to their marketing plan, if they want to stay in the same geographic region. Claritas gathers all the information and even suggests other things the consumers may have in common such as places they go to eat, cars they drive, and what hobbies they partake in (Claritas, LLC, 2017).pexels-photo-29532

Another great tool marketers can use is Google Analytics. Almost every social media platform has a built in analytics system to track your page’s traffic. You may want to see how many likes a certain post has generated, or how far a specific tweet reached. Google Analytics goes a step further and analyzes an entire website’s traffic, breaking it down into demographic information, lifestyle groups, and how the consumer arrived at the site. This helps marketers choose where to advertise online (Kaplan, 2017). If your target market is middle-aged soccer moms, you may realize you will have better luck advertising on Facebook, rather than Instagram

It is important to use tools, like the ones mentioned above, to pinpoint your target early on in the marketing plan. This saves times and resources, as you can target just the people who are likely to see the advertisement, rather than trying to cover a large area, or broad audience. Social media marketers can are able to quickly see what posts receive engagement and which ones do not, driving future creative decisions.

References
Claritas MyBestSegments. (2017). Claritas, LLC. Retrieved from https://segmentationsolutions.nielsen.com/mybestsegments/Default.jsp?ID=100&pageName=What%2Bis%20Segmentation&menuOption=learnmore&filterstate=&sortby=segment_code&prevSegID=CLA.PZP
Kaplan, A. (2017). 6 Online Tools Anyone Can Use to Identify Their Target Audience. Hey Now! Media. Retrieved from http://info.heynowmedia.com/6-online-tools-anyone-can-use

All images provided by Pexels.com under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Evaluating Marketing Campaigns

With a growing number of marketing mediums, there are several ways to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns. From traditional techniques, to more modern digital methods, marketers have a variety of tools when it comes to measuring their success. One way marketers can evaluate their campaigns is through message evaluation. This is great for getting subjective information about the ad’s messaging and how it fits with the target market. Tools like surveys and focus groups allow consumers to give input as to how the ad affects their perception of the brand, and whether or not they are motivated by the campaign (Ashe-Edmunds, n.d.). These may be more time consuming, and have higher costs associated with them. Marketers must distribute surveys, or hold gatherings, collect information, and then analyze it.

 

Another method marketers can sue is online analytical tools. These are much quick than the above method, as they allow marketers to collect data at any point in time. If the campaign’s goal is to increase website traffic, the marketing team can easily track how many people are visiting the website, and what pages they are going to (Ashe-Edmunds, n.d). This allows brands to quickly gather data, analyze it, and then incorporate any adjustments into their campaign. This is great for social media campaigns, as many platforms already come with their own built-in analytical tools.

Ashe-Edmunds, S. (n.d.) Evaluation of Marketing Communications. Chron. Retrieved on        April 30, 2017 from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/evaluation-marketing-                             communications-74376.html

Could Starbucks Rebrand?

Starbucks is one of my favorite companies, and I probably would not be able to get through school with out it. While I am sitting in the corner by myself, typing my papers and sipping on my chai latte, I can’t help but think about what Starbucks could be in the future. I already see them branching out with more hot paninis, breakfast sandwiches, and even a new poached egg breakfast item.  I see the potential to make a switch from a quick stop on the way to work, to a place you come and socialize after your 9-5.

At my location, the majority of seating options consist of small tables that seat two people. Part of Starbuck’s rebranding process could include adding seating that accommodates larger groups. They may even add rooms that can be reserved for special meetings, away from the bustle of the busy store. Ultimately, this rebranding could result in adding one more item to the consumer’s basket, in grocery store terms. Instead of buying your lone grande mocha, you may buy a salad or wrap to enjoy with your best friend. Perhaps there are spaces for your children to color or watch TV while you do your work.

Social Media & Me

As a 22-year-old, social media has been a part of my life since high school. It’s sad to say, but I can’t imagine life without my smartphone and being able to mindlessly browse Twitter whenever I want. Social media has been both a time-killer before bed, and admittedly, a savior to avoid eye contact and awkward situations. As I go through school and see the potential social media now has in the business world, I am recognizing it is not just for entertainment – it is an actual tool.

The majority of my social media consumption takes place on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I usually check all three several times a day, to keep up on current events, my friends’ activities, and updates from my favorite celebrities or brands. Yes, I have notifications set up for every time Taylor Swift posts something. I also love finding new recipes to try through Facebook, or drawing inspiration for photography from Instagram and Pinterest.

Twitter is where I really let my thoughts fly. I love the micro blogging style of Twitter that allows immediate contact with people all over the world, to discuss important issues, and connect on similar interests. I also use Twitter to reach out to companies that I have had a bad experience with, questions, or simply let them know I was satisfied. It seems social media yields quicker replies than customer service lines these days.

I’ve recently tried to use these tools for more professional matters. I revisited my LinkedIn, which had gone neglected for some time, and updated my information, while making some new connections. I also discovered the world of Twitter chats, and that there are several of them being led by influences in a variety of subjects every day.

I don’t have much to gripe about when it comes to social media. If there is one issue I have, it is that all of these platforms are trying to become too similar to each other. All three of my favorite platforms now offer live video streaming, and brands seem to post the same exact content on every platform at once.

Instagram recently rolled out their Stories feature, a move to take on Snapchat, and Facebook now has a similar feature in their Messenger app. I would prefer each of my social media tools play very distinct roles, rather than vary just enough for me to keep all three.

Meanwhile, we still don’t have an edit button on Twitter.