A tutorial for understanding and writing marketing communications objectives, with examples.
What Are Marketing Communication Objectives?
Found in both the marcomm plan and creative strategy statements, marketing communication objectives are determined by problems the target or product category may encounter and any market opportunities the product has to solve to overcome these problems.
Your marketing communication objective should describe what you want your target audience to think, feel, and do after they are exposed to your marketing message. It should answer the fundamental question, “What’s in it for me?”.
Too often, marketing messages fail to deliver the benefits the target audience will get if the target uses the companies product or service. People make purchases based on what they will receive out of the purchase or service. This is why it’s important to include the benefit the target receives in your marketing message.
Every marketing communication strategy, regardless of delivery method; print, broadcast media, e-mail, online, or any other method, has three major objectives:
- To Create a brand awareness or, in other words, to inform your target audience about your brand.
- To define a fulfilling need for your product or service, or to persuade them to use your product or service.
- Encourage action from your target audience, or, in other words, to remind them through various marketing channels about your product or services.
A great way to remember all three objectives is, Inform, Persuade, and Remind.
- Inform your target audience about your brand
- Persuade your target audience to purchase your product or use your service
- Remind your target audience about your brand and encourage them to make the purchase
Explanation of Communication Objectives
Below is a break down of each communication objective and an explanation of why each objective is important. Additionally, I have added some marketing communications objectives examples to help drive the concept into memory
1. Create Brand Awareness (Inform)
Creating brand awareness is to inform your target audience about your brand of your product or service. Creating brand awareness does not necessarily apply to a new brand, but often applies to an existing brand which might be trying to penetrate new markets. The brand message can be delivered via several types of communication channels, such as direct mail, radio, television advertising, environmental advertising (billboards, bus stop signage, and vehicle wraps), or online video and social media. Your delivery method is contingent upon your budget, target region, and product or service, just to name a few communication channels.
Examples of Marketing Communications Objectives
Let’s look at an example for creating brand awareness of a fictions company I made up. I’ll name the company Western Financial Credit Union (WFCU for short). WFCU has two other branch locations in different cities within the state. They are opening a new branch in a smaller town, I’ll call Watsonville, about 45 miles from their two other locations. While few people in Watsonville may have heard of WFCU, the majority have not heard of the credit union, so the marketing department has some work to do in order to inform the new community about WFCU’s brand of financial services products. The marketing department needs to write a few measurable marketing communications objectives as part of their marketing communications plan; something like the following:
- To successfully penetrate the Watsonville banking market by generating awareness and brand building preference by 30%
- To stimulate new member accounts by 25% and new financial loans by 15% by offering incentives that offer brand switching
- To gain a 7% share of the Watsonville home and auto loan lending business by the end of one year.
- To establish WFCU as the new and preferred financial institution by 8% of eligible Watsonville residents
- To introduce our HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) loans to qualified Watsonville homeowner residents by 10% using loan bundling packages for first time lenders.
The above examples are just a few marketing communications objectives that can be included in your Marcomm plan. There’s a lot more research that goes into the numbers and percentages for increasing brand awareness. For example, knowing the population of Watsonville, the percent of qualified residents who can open an account, and the percent of residents who are banking within the city with other financial institutions. However, you should already researched this information prior to writing the marketing communication objectives.
2. Define a Fulfilling Need for Your Product/Service (Persuade)
Staying in step with our previous example, let’s discuss how WFCU plans on defining a need for their financial products; how they plan on persuading Watsonville residents to switch from their current bank to the new credit union.
In the marketing communications strategy part of your Marcomm plan, you will outline the creative strategy for positioning your company, product, or service in the target audiences mind in order to convince them to use your product/service. In the case of WFCU, they may approach the residents as the “new kid” in the neighborhood who cares about their community. Being new, they would need to really be creative on how they tie their newness into caring for a community they hardly know. They may do this by painting a dismal picture of the current banks in the city. WFCU may highlight not only their friendly service, but showcase their line of financial products at lower than normal interest rates, at least lower than the current competition, and easy loan qualification for new members.
There are several methods marketers use to persuade and define a fulfilling need for their products. A few are listed below:
- Provide a money-back guarantee
- Competitive pricing
- Low interest rates
- Easy qualifying
- Easy return policy
- How the product or service will make life easier for the purchaser
- Bundling services and products at a savings when the competition is not doing it
- A buy one get one free
- Show how the product or service will save the purchaser time
3. Encourage Action from Your Target Audience (Remind)
While encouraging your target audience may seem similar to persuading them to make a purchase, it goes further. It’s certainly true that using a buy one, get one FREE offer is encouragement, however, if you only advertise using one communication channel and only for a brief period, for example a one week period, you will see a drop in consumer interest and purchases. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. If the target audience does not know you exist or is not reminded often about your product, then chances are they will not remember to use your services.
The marketing communications plan consists of three important key objectives, create brand awareness (inform), define a fulfilling need for your product or service (persuade), and encourage action from your target audience (remind). While these three key objectives are important in defining your marketing communication goals, there’s a lot more that goes in to the Marcomm plan. More in depth research has to be conducted on your target audience prior to developing any marketing communications plan and message delivery. While the cost of informing your target audience about your product or services can be high, there are more affordable solutions, like social media and web based marketing that can help reach your target group.