This chapter presents specific marketing objectives and it highlights problems that may have an influence on them. This is an important step in the marketing planning, because on the basis of previously gathered information (including among others; its customers, the market) decisions are made as to the direction that the strategy will aim. The whole analytical procedure, you have so far carried out, was leading to this and the next (i.e. defining the strategy) stage.
Marketing objectives only apply to products and markets, as the company can achieve financial goals only if it sells something to someone. They should be possible to measure, they are typically referred to through the results to be reached within the defined period. The measure should include: sales volume, sales value, market share, profit or percentage of market penetration of the market. The target consists of three elements (McDonald 2006: 89-90):
- an attribute chosen as a measure of performance, e.g. market share;
- measure or scale, by means of which the attribute is measured, e.g. operating period (by the end of the third year);
- value on the scale, which the company wants to reach, e.g. 25-percent market share.
It is not easy to show marketing objectives as defined that way, and that is why at the beginning general targets are set which are planned for implementation over the next few years. Later they are turned into targets details, including the specific number and implementation periods. Details of activities are most often planned one year ahead.
Several types of purposes can be distinguished, for example, market share, profit, the size of sales, growth brand awareness, etc.. Determining objectives all possibilities of the company must be taken into consideration (owned competencies, resources, brand, etc..) and you should prevent a situation in which not all the company is ready to achieve that objective.
If you do not assign your goals, then all decisions and plans will be meaningless. Thanks to marketing targets company knows what the directions of various strategies are, what are the effects that they can bring, besides it may be stated whether they have been implemented. Identification of objectives allows for a coordination of the various interests of the company and turning them in one direction. All of the company’s activities are seen in this case, as one whole.
In literature, you will meet with combining the process of formulating objectives and marketing strategies. The stage connected this way would include three successive steps (Kłeczek, Kowal, Woźniczka 1996: 178):
- setting goals and strategic tasks – goals dictate the nature of the overall strategy, that is why they should be chosen in a thoughtful manner, i.e. a different strategy will be in a situation where you want to attain greater market share, and another one when you want to defend it. In the first case you would like to increase sales, in the second one to distinguish from the competition;
- formulating alternative strategies – it should be assumed that the implementation of the strategic objective is possible in a number of ways. Formulated variants are based on an earlier analysis of the situation, and still there is a need of carrying on intensity analysis (identifying possible variations in the current area of operation of the company) and an analysis of diversification (identifying possible variants of the existing area of operations outside the enterprise);
- choosing the best option of marketing strategy – is related to the exploration and recommending the optimal way to achieve your goals. It takes into account the effectiveness of the different options of strategies and the risks associated with their implementation. You can choose not one, but several marketing strategies.
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