One of the most common confusions we’ve heard is for people to confuse the difference between a marketing strategy and marketing plan. So, we thought it might be a good place for us to bring some clarity.
The marketing strategy is an explanation of the goals you need to achieve with your marketing efforts. It is the definition of your ‘What’. Your marketing strategy will be derived from your business goals. Hence it is important for your clearly articulate your business goals before defining your marketing strategy.
Your marketing plan is a definition of your ‘how’. It is about how you are going to achieve those marketing goals. It is a roadmap that will guide you from one point to another.
The most common problem is that most people try to set out to achieve the “how” without first defining the “what”. This often ends up wasting significant time, effort and money for the organization.
Your marketing strategy consists of the “what” has to be done.
- Educate customers on the need for your solution
- Increase awareness in consumers about the product or service being offered.
- Inform consumers of differentiation factors.
Your marketing plan consists of the “how” to do it. Construct marketing campaigns and promotions that will achieve the “what” in your strategy. Your marketing plan could possible consist:
- Avenues to reach out to the various segments
- The channels of communication to be deployed
- The frequency of communication
- The measures of success, etc.
While the ‘how’ to do something is very critical, defining and articulating the ‘what’ precedes the ‘how’. If a clear articulation of the objectives, followed by a sound marketing strategy is done, you can be rest assured that you have crossed half the ocean. The rest is to just translate those into an executable marketing plan and execute it.