MARKETING PLAN EXPLORER
Copyright 2002, Professor Jerome M. Katrichis
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II. INTERNAL SITUATION ANALYSIS
C. 2. Goals
This section should focus on both the short and long term operational goals of the organization. Goals are about results. Students many times have problems with this section because they confuse the popular English language usage of the term goals with the technical meaning of what an operational goal is. For instance, Finance classes teach you that the goal of any business organization is the maximization of shareholder wealth. That cannot be a goal in the technical o\perational sense because it cannot be operationalized. It cannot be operationalized for a very simple reason. You can't ever get there. You can never say in good conscience that you have in fact maximized shareholder wealth. You can only say you tried.
Maximization of shareholder wealth is not a goal in the operational sense of the term goal, but it is a goal in the popular English language sense. What it is in an operational sense is a value statement, and it is an important value for business people to embrace.
Operational goals are useful for organizations for the purpose of measuring performance and they have a number of characteristics. They are specific. The are quantitatively measurable (so you can tell if you got there), they state a time frame (so you know when to ask if we you got there), and they state a target market (so you know where to measure them).
Operational goals tend to be stated in terms of sales volumes, market shares, and profits. In general, because you can increase sales volume or market share by lowering price (usually called "buying market share") you always need a profitability goal.