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MARKETING INSIGHT Stating Objectives: How to Tell a Good One from a Bad One 2

MARKETING INSIGHT Stating Objectives: How to Tell a Good One from a Bad One 2

In a paper about the chosen organization (Hershey), you will outline your marketing objectives, describe any research you would do, and describe your target market(s). Your text does not go into exhaustive detail on marketing objectives, but they really form the basis of your marketing plan.

Paper length: 3-4 pp. not including title page and references. Should be written in APA format and have a minimum of 5 references

You should read the box on page 245 of your text on how to tell a good objective from a bad one. (Textbook Content is pasted below) Basically: specificity and detail. It does not reference SMART objectives, but all the pieces of SMART are there: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.



MARKETING INSIGHT Stating Objectives: How to Tell

a Good One from a Bad One 2

For the direction-setting purpose of objectives to be fulfilled, objectives need to meet five


1. An objective should relate to a single, specific topic. (It should not be stated in the form

of a vague abstraction or a pious platitude—“we want to be a leader in our industry” or

“our objective is to be more aggressive marketers.”)

2. An objective should relate to a result, not to an activity to be performed. (The objective

is the result of the activity, not the performance of the activity.)

3. An objective should be measurable (stated in quantitative terms whenever feasible).

4. An objective should contain a time deadline for its achievement.

5. An objective should be challenging but achievable.

Consider the following examples:

1. Poor: Our objective is to maximize profits.

Remarks: How much is “maximum”? The statement is not subject to measurement.

What criterion or yardstick will management use to determine if and when actual profits

are equal to maximum profits? No deadline is specified.

Better: Our total profit target in 2016 is $1 million.

2. Poor: Our objective is to increase sales revenue and unit volume.

Remarks: How much? Also, because the statement relates to two topics, it may be

inconsistent. Increasing unit volume may require a price cut, and if demand is price

inelastic, sales revenue would fall as unit volume rises. No time frame for achievement is


Better: Our objective this calendar year is to increase sales revenues from $30 million

to $35 million; we expect this to be accomplished by selling 1 million units at an average

price of $35.

3. Poor: Our objective in 2016 is to boost advertising expenditures by 15 percent.

Remarks: Advertising is an activity, not a result. The advertising objective should be

stated in terms of what result the extra advertising is intended to produce.

Better: Our objective is to boost our market share from 8 percent to 10 percent in

2016 with the help of a 15 percent increase in advertising expenditures.

4. Poor: Our objective is to be a pioneer in research and development and to be the

technological leader in the industry.

Remarks: Very sweeping and perhaps overly ambitious; implies trying to march in

too many directions at once if the industry is one with a wide range of technological

frontiers. More a platitude than an action commitment to a specific result.

Better: During the 2010–2020 decade, our objective is to continue as a leader in

introducing new technologies and new devices that will allow buyers of electrically

powered equipment to conserve on electric energy usage.

5. Poor: Our objective is to be the most profitable company in our industry.

Remarks: Not specific enough by what measures of profit—total dollars, or earnings

per share, or unit profit margin, or return on equity investment, or all of these? Also,

because the objective concerns how well other companies will perform, the objective,

while challenging, may not be achievable.

Better: We will strive to remain atop the industry in terms of rate of return on equity

investment by earning a 25 percent after-tax return on equity investment in 2016.

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