Setting marketing objectives

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The value of setting marketing objectives

  • A marketing target or goal that the organisation hopes to achieve, for example to boost market share by 6% in two years.

  • They steer the direction of the business. If firms set marketing objectives the probability of success increases because decision-making will be more focused.

  • They must be compatible with the overall objectives of the company. For example boosting their market share by 6% will reflect a corporate objective of growth.

  • To be effective, marketing objectives should be quantifiable and measureable. Targets should also be set within a time frame. → SMART

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Examples of marketing objectives

Sales volume and sales value

  • Setting sales volume targets can be particularly important in industries such as car manufacturing because of high fixed costs associated with operating in this market. → Higher sales volume spreads high fixed costs across a greater number of output units, reducing fixed costs per unit. → Lower fixed costs per unit = higher profit → More to spend on R&D → Likelihood of next product success is higher

  • Nike sets goals based on sales value, rather than volume. → Sales measured in money. Nike 1996 made $40,000 on football, Nike 2014 $2,000 million in their football.  

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Examples of marketing objectives

Market size

  • If a business's market share is too high it may worry them to grow further as it may bring investigations from the Competition and Markets Authority. If this is the case then the best thing to do it to encourage growth of the market sector as a whole.

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Examples of marketing objectives

Market share

  • Nothing is more important to the marketing department than the market share of its key brands.

  • In setting a market share objective, a company needs to be cautiously optimistic.

  • Market share, is largely the product of the marketing department’s success or failures. EXAMPLE: In 2013 sales of Galaxy fell by 5.3% while Cadbury’s sales rose by 14%. This could be because Galaxy relied too much on a TV advert whilst Cadbury released a new chocolate bar.

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Examples of marketing objectives

Market and sales growth

  • For plc’s in particular, pressure from outside shareholders forces them to keep pushing for more growth. → Company needs to find new opportunities & may lead the marketing department to overreach. EXAMPLE: They may ‘stretch’ a brand. Nestle wanted to boost kit kat sales so they released orange, tiramisu and christmas pudding flavours. → Short-term sales boost followed by a significant sales downturn.

  • Growth, must be treated with caution. It’s a valid objective but can cause its own difficulties. Ted Baker has handled growth especially well, they managed to grow through the recession my opening shops in Japan, China and America, not overstretching themselves like Tesco with Fresh & Easy.  

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Examples of marketing objectives

Brand loyalty

  • Exists when consumers repeat-purchase your brand rather than swapping and switching.

  • Widely agreed that finding new customers is more expensive than to keep existing ones happy, so brand loyalty is crucial for achieving high profit margins.

  • For charities this is important too. If they can get people to sign up for direct debit then they’ll raise more money significantly.

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Examples of marketing objectives

To enhance or reposition a brand’s image

  • Although some brands stays fresh for generations others become jaded due to changes in customer tastes and lifestyles. → firms need to refresh the brand image to keep the products relevant to the target market.

  • EXAMPLE: What do we want this brand to stand for? etc.

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Examples of marketing objectives


  • When a firm aims to change their brand image, to target a new market. EXAMPLE: Hobnobs were repositioned →  Changed the packaging to reach younger people. In 2013 their sales were up 9% from the last year.


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Internal influences

 Internal influences on marketing objectives and decisions

  • New corporate objectives set by a new chief executive eg. new boss may want to boost sales.

  • The development of an innovative new product eg. when Apple made the iPod in 2001 they changed their focus from IT to consumer electronics so marketing department had to gain an understanding of a new, younger, trendier consumer.

  • New financial objectives. If a new finance director demands higher profit margins, this will have an impact on the marketing department’s objectives and decision making.

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External influences

Internal influences on marketing objectives and decisions

  • Changes in fashion or consumer taste/ habits eg. banks now have to market themselves to existing customers and potential customers because everyone has online banking.

  • Changing competitive pressures. Oral B released a video on youtube which increased their sales, colgate has has to rethink how they market and has increased their digital advertising.

  • Changing economic pressures. 2013-2014 pressures on real incomes gave discount stores Aldi and Lidl market-share boots. Morrisons has to rethink their marketing objectives, opting for the ‘we’re cheaper’ approach forcing the business to chop a whole layer of management to reduce their operational costs.

  • Changing natural environment. More companies are placing environmental greenness on their list of marketing objectives. This leads to actions such as Pret a Manger’s decision to only use organic milk.

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