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Understanding the Difference Between Business Objectives vs Marketing Objectives

Although they sound similar, business objectives and marketing objectives are far from the same. Both are important to understand when running a business, they both serve very unique roles. In this article, you’ll learn the difference, and how to feel confident setting them both.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is an umbrella term used to describe various techniques through which a business reaches and engages with consumers. Many different styles of marketing can be used to interact with a business’s audience, but the primary goal remains the same: generate public interest in what your company has to offer.

When you think of business objectives, it may help to think of them as “big picture” strategies. Marketing, on the other hand, is a smaller – although highly important – aspect of running a business.

Business Objectives

When running a business, it’s always smart to have a game plan. That’s where objectives come in. Objectives are measurable, specific, and realistic goals you strive to achieve. More specifically, a business objective relates to the overall success of your company. It is important to also understand the difference between business objectives and business goals. Business objectives are achievable, realistic, short-term tasks that must be completed to progress toward the overarching business goal. Objectives help track the progress your company makes toward its bigger plans.

Having business objectives in place helps you keep track of your company’s growth, revenue, and other forms of success. Business objectives can also cover a wide variety of departments and topics, including revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction, operational processes, and more.

Here are some examples of business objectives:

  • Increase profits by 10% next sales quarter.
  • Improve customer feedback by 30% over the next three months.
  • Reduce checkout time by 5 minutes next week.

Marketing Objectives

Unlike business objectives, marketing objectives cover marketing techniques exclusively. When setting marketing objectives, you want to focus on improving the way your company interacts with its target audience, as well as the way your brand identity is conveyed, especially online.

You want to make sure that your marketing objectives directly relate to your business’s style of outreach. For example, if your business relies heavily on its online presence or the use of social media, those areas should be prioritized in your objectives. Likewise, if advertising is important, that should be reflected as well.

Here are some examples of marketing objectives:

  • Reach 5K Facebook followers by the end of next year.
  • Gain 50 new customers next sales quarter.
  • Increase website visitor times by 30% next month.

Use the SMART Method

When creating objectives for your company, no matter their variety, you should strive to align them with the SMART acronym. SMART is a goal-setting structure that sets specific criteria for objectives you create, to bring them even closer to fruition. Here’s what SMART stands for:

(S)pecific

Make sure your objective is specific. Instead of using broad, generalized statements, narrow down the exact terms of your goal. This makes your objective clear and easier to understand and track. It also prevents you and your team from wasting time or being confused about the terms of your success.

INSTEAD OF: “Improve company sales.”

TRY: “Increase online store revenue by 30% this coming sales quarter.”

(M)easurable

Objectives are easier to track when they can be measured. Keeping a record of how close your team is to success can be great for morale and has been proven to improve goal progress. Businesses that set and track their goals achieve 96% of their objectives.

INSTEAD OF: “Increase social media followers.”

TRY: “Reach 2K followers on Twitter by the end of this year.”

(A)chievable

Making an objective achievable means that it doesn’t feel too far out of reach. If you and your team feel that an objective is too difficult or can’t be realistically achieved, it can be discouraging. Instead, keep your spirits up and stay on track by making sure your goal is within reasonable expectations.

INSTEAD OF: “Cut production time by 85%.”

TRY: “Reduce production time by 30% next year.”

Remember that there’s nothing wrong with taking baby steps. Objectives don’t have to be extreme or high-pressure in order to succeed. As you continue to achieve smaller objectives, the bigger ones will become even easier.

(R)elevant

Relevance in goal setting means that it’s important and meaningful to your business. Don’t waste your time setting objectives that cover small, innocuous aspects of the business. When you do that, no one feels motivated to work towards it, because the end result isn’t worth it. 

Instead, set objectives that truly matter for your company. This requires an in-depth understanding of what matters most for your own business needs.

(T)ime Bound

Setting a time-bound objective indicates you’ve assigned a period wherein reaching this objective needs to happen. This is critical because otherwise, you might endlessly aim to achieve your goal. Assigning a time frame to your objectives adds a little pressure, which is good for productivity, and gives your goal a sense of urgency.

INSTEAD OF“Create 10 new Youtube videos.”

TRY: “Create 10 Youtube videos per week starting next month.”

Setting objectives thoughtfully, using the SMART method, can make them more realistic and can even make them feel easier to achieve. Writing down objectives has also been proven to work for companies that consistently track their progress on goal achievement.

Know the Difference

Although marketing objectives and business objectives differ greatly, they’re both necessary in order for a business to become a success. Knowing their differences is just as important as understanding their similarities. With consistent hard work and determination, both types of objectives can be well within your reach.

Ari Bratsis
Team Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger and small business owner based in Washington state.

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Team Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger and small business owner based in Washington state.

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