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These are some of the more important components of a successful marketing strategy: First, you must clearly identify your target market. Second, you have to research on that specific target market. And third, you have to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound objectives. More often than not, these key elements are not present in most marketing campaigns. Without a cohesive plan, which includes a timeline for critical action points, only luck will save the marketing effort from becoming a failure, or worse, a tarnished reputation.

Marketing plans should not just exist in the heads of management executives because they can easily get lost for reasons that executives leave or they forget everything about it. These plans should be manualized; or better yet, written in booklet printing. The overall strategic marketing plan should be the bible for any business. The marketing plan should include in its outline a goal, deadline, and specific actions to take to achieve the goal. Call it the company's road map if you like. And as such, they should be in color booklet format.

That, however, is only the beginning of the plan. Each one of the individual efforts outlined in the marketing plan should have its own detailed plan for the who, what, where, when, why and how of the plan's execution for maximum return on investment and objectives. These details should all be outlined in the print booklets for example. Although most of these six components (who, what, where...) are inextricably inter-related and a change in one of them can cause a ripple effect amongst the other five, the one most important criteria is the "why" - or the objective for a particular marketing endeavor. Once we determine the desired outcome, the other five components can be better defined and targeted to meet that outcome.

The following criteria should be used to define the objectives of the marketing campaign:

Specific: An objective should be specific. It defines what needs to be accomplished in very detailed terms. For instance, an objective of being the Number 1 in the industry is not exactly specific. It is in fact, very broad and difficult to measure. Number 1 in what aspect? Why don't you re-formulate this to read: Increase gross sales by 20% from the previous year.

Measurable: Have a metric in place to be able to measure the success of the goal. If you can answer "How much...?" or "How many...?" you have a measurable goal. In the above example, 20% increase in gross sales is both measurable and specific.

Attainable: It is easy to dream but you have to make sure that you have the resources available at your disposal to make the goal a reality. Is a 20% objective attainable? You have to be grounded and you have to take into account all the factors to make an attainable objective.

Realistic: The overall outlook for your product and services in relation to what is happening in the world economically and socially, and what you are willing to do in mind, do you believe that this goal can be reached? A bit of a stretch is an acceptable challenge; shooting for the moon is not.

Time-bound: Specify a deadline by which the goal should be reached. You can also set milestones along the way for when metrics of your progress should be examined.

True, a marketing plan should have everything in place. But for more results to be achieved, one must be able to work with the objectives mentioned above in order to provide the company with the best marketing campaign.


Jackie Erwin Ladner estatic
*Owner/Creator (Southern Belle Marketing & Southern Belle Shoppes)*
*Marketing Site:*
*Email: JackieLadner@Sprint.Blackberry.Net*

"When life hands you lemons ....squeeze them into some sweet tea and thank God you were born a southern girl!"

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marlene McCray wrote Jul 24, 2010
    • Great Post!! Awesome way of explaining the SMART goals in one’s business. I love using this goal. I know there are a lot of ladies here who have a home-based business and this is a great tool to use.

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      * Compass.... Helping Women Inside and Out!*

      Mmccray, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nerissa wrote Jul 24, 2010
    • WONDEVAR!!! I have been considering starting a business that is near and dear to my heart. Diabetes and Renal lifestyle support. The information you provided is awesome, Thank you for sharing!heart

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