The most obvious objective marketers have for promotional activities is to convince customers to make a decision that benefits the marketer (of course the marketer believes the decision will also benefit the customer). For most for-profit marketers this means getting customers to buy an organization’s product and, in most cases, to remain a loyal long-term customer. For other marketers, such as not-for-profits, it means getting customers to increase donations, utilize more services, change attitudes, or change behavior (e.g., stop smoking campaigns).
However, marketers must understand that getting customers to commit to a decision, such as a purchase decision, is only achievable when a customer is ready to make the decision. As we saw in the tutorials covering Consumer Buying Behavior and Business Buying Behavior, customers often move through several stages before a purchase decision is made. Additionally before turning into a repeat customer, purchasers analyze their initial purchase to see whether they received a good value, and then often repeat the purchase process again before deciding to make the same choice.
The type of customer the marketer is attempting to attract and which stage of the purchase process a customer is in will affect the objectives of a particular marketing communication effort. And since a marketer often has multiple simultaneous promotional campaigns, the objective of each could be different.