One of my earliest mentors taught me something about marketing that would later serve as the foundation for the rest of my career - how to build a proper marketing objective. The key to good marketing is establishing a goal, measuring your performance and focusing on improvement. Saying no to opportunities is just as important to saying yes when pursuing your goal so it's important your goal is crystal clear.
Get [target] to [do/believe] about [brand/product/service] during [time of year/season] at [time of day or week].
- [target] = the person who pays for what you're offering. This could be Women between the ages of 25-54, smartphone owners, lawyers, people who drive luxury cars, etc.
- [do/believe] = effective marketing can only get target customers to DO something (like buy now) or BELIEVE something (like your dishwasher fluid is more effective).
- [brand/product/service] = the product line or business you are trying to influence. This can be a food item at a restaurant (french fries), a car model (S Class), a line of household materials (P&G) or a type of nut (pistachios). The more specific you are, the easier it is to identify and measure the right opportunities.
- [time of year/season] = which part of the year you want people to act. This is especially important for seasonal businesses (ice cream, pool supplies, tires, gardeners) and holidays (Valentine's Day, Halloween)
- [time of day or week] = when you want people to act. Knowing a specific time you want people to take action can be powerful when it comes to inspiring them to take action. For example, if you want to sell a dress that makes a woman feel confident, give her a call to action and ask her to come shopping on Thursday night for this weekend.
Here is an example of a great print ad from Apple. In it, they show a hand delicately lifting an iPad and show some top line features the iPad 2 offers. I bet they had a marketing objective of "Get professional adults to believe that the iPad 2 is lighter than a computer and more powerful than the iPad 1." This is a branding message.
What marketing objective are you focused on?