Skip main navigation

Strategic objectives

Strategies are carefully designed plans to achieve an overall aim.
Strategies are carefully designed plans to achieve an overall aim (the mission and vision).

They are based on organisational and environmental audits (we’ll look at this in the next short course) and lead to strategic and operational objectives.

Strategic objectives are specific benchmarks for long-term plans that help to achieve the overall organisational mission. They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) and are usually formulated on a two to five-year basis.

These strategic objectives are then translated into smaller, shorter-term operational objectives for the individual functions of a business. Ideally, these operational objectives are also SMART.

The methods employed to achieve the objectives are referred to as ‘tactics’. So, advertising could be a tactic to achieve a sales objective.

Your tasks

Explore this diagram and ensure you understand the relationship between the different elements.
The diagram is split into two vertical sections. In the top section, marketing planning at the business level, the corporate mission is at the top, below that is a link to the situational analysis. The situational analysis has two subsections, internal and external factors, which together feed into the corporate strategy. This, in turn, links downwards to marketing strategy. The marketing strategy consists of marketing objectives and marketing tactics, which are both focused on the target market, and then implemented and evaluated in a circular process where evaluation results inform further marketing strategies.
Try to fill in the elements based on the information you can find on your own organisation or Coventry University. Is the relationship between the different elements obvious?

Further information

McDonald, M., & McDonald, M. (2016). Malcolm McDonald on marketing planning: Understanding marketing plans and strategy (2nd ed.). Kogan Page. Locate link

McDonald, M., & Wilson, H. (2011). Marketing plans: How to prepare them, how to use them (7th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Locate link

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

Strategic Marketing: Marketing Orientation and the Marketing Planning Process

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now