What Are Marketing Goals?

What Are Marketing Goals?
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What are marketing goals? Marketing goals are the key areas that should be identified by brand marketers — both long-term for a company and short-term in advance of a campaign — to measure the success of a business and its products.

Why is it important to set marketing goals?

It’s important to set marketing goals because that is how a company knows what to push budget and resources toward, and how to measure the results of the campaign or spend. From a long-term standpoint, marketing goals empower a company to measure what it’s working toward in terms of profitability, influence and market penetration.

Without setting marketing goals, companies may be able to attain some measure of success, but they won’t necessarily know whether this success is enough to sustain their company. Sustainability is based on providing long-term value while operating in an economically and socially responsible way. Without long-term value or economic sustainability, a company will not survive, so marketing goals are essentially a way to optimize efficiency and survival.

Common marketing goals and objectives

Campaigns typically select their marketing goals from certain predefined buckets including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Engagement
  • List-building
  • Click-through
  • Customer acquisition
  • Positive corporate reputation
  • Community development

These are all general, so marketing leads may further define a goal, for example:


  • Email captures
  • Mailing addresses
  • Subscribers

All three categories can be filled through a list-building campaign, but customers may only agree to receive certain types of communication from a company (i.e. email offers on their birthday). Mailing addresses are useful, but require hard-copy mailings, which are costly at scale. Email list subscribers are the most valuable from a current-day marketer standpoint because you can send them company news and offers multiple times a week without having to rely on a social platform.

Who should set marketing goals?

Generally, the CMO and marketing directors set top-level marketing goals, while the managers and coordinators are tasked with carrying out the tactical part. So, for example, if a CMO decides that a certain type of targeted SEO content is important to bring in potential users, the director and manager will work together to come up with a plan and then execute it through the work of the specialized strategists, various internal staffers, and managerial oversight.

When should you set marketing goals?

It’s good for a company to define its marketing goals at the earliest formation, and redefine those marketing goals at certain growth milestones and/or set times. The easiest one to adhere to is yearly. Marketing goals should also be set for every new product or brand launch, and before running any campaign for an existing product.

Furthermore, there could be different goals for different departments or channels and certainly, there will be different tactics. A marketing plan will keep track of all of them, figure out which should be coordinated, and make sure all align.

For example, a new doll from a toy company may have marketing goals of X in-store sales and X direct sales, and to test out a new social media sales channel. For this, the sales team, e-commerce team, and social media managers will all work to execute specific objectives. They will all be supported by the marketing and creative teams. While the social team may not be relied upon for a specific number of sales because that channel is new, they’ll be expected to meet certain marketing goals (i.e. number of email captures, number of click-throughs to online store). Ultimately, marketing goals will be met by a team, not an individual.

In summary

Every company has marketing goals, whether they are defined or not. And everyone at a company is usually working toward meeting marketing goals, because sales falls under marketing, and sales is what keeps companies afloat. In order to keep a company coordinated, focused and functional, everyone needs to understand the marketing goals and their part in achieving those goals.

Why set marketing goals? Besides sales targets, it allows everyone to know what you're working toward as a company, and celebrate when you've succeeded. Click To Tweet

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About the author

Lena Katz

Lena Katz's credits as a development producer, casting producer and locations manager include cable TV (WEtv, Revolt, HGTV), and digital-first productions (WhaleRock, mikeroweWORKS, Tastemade). She worked directly for major brands including Suzuki, Hormel and Brown-Forman. Learn more about her company at Variable Content.