In the past decade, more firms have taken an even longer view by planning for social responsibility; not just sustainability, but helping people, sourcing materials ethically, or benefiting society in some other way.
So when writing a marketing plan, you should be thinking about three types of objectives:
- Marketing objectives. How will you use marketing to build relationships with customers, channel members, and other stakeholders? Examples: (1) increase customer retention to 90% during the coming year; (2) Expand distribution by selling products through 2 new supermarket chains in the next quarter.
- Financial objectives. What financial results do you want to achieve? Examples: (1) Build yearly revenue to $10 million by October 31; (2) Improve profit margins on all products by 1% within three months.
- Societal objectives. What do you want to accomplish through social responsibility? Link these objectives to your company's mission and how you aim to make a difference. Examples: (1) Use only recyclable packaging for all your products by yearend; (2) Raise $50,000 by holding a local fundraising event to benefit a nearby hospice.
That's why Heinz, Nike, Dr Pepper Snapple, and hundreds of other companies now issue annual reports detailing their accomplishments in areas where they've set societal objectives.