Although marketing strategy and marketing plan sound like they’re the same thing, they are not.
They are, however, both equally important to your business.
How is a marketing strategy different from a marketing plan?
The marketing strategy answers the questions of when, where and how you should complete.
You use your marketing strategy to establish the goals of marketing and find out who your customer avatar is.
Your company’s business objectives must drive your marketing objectives. As your business evolves, so should your marketing.
In the nutshell, it’s the “method” you will use to reach the desired target.
Your marketing strategy should contain:
- Product or service you provide
- Long-term goals of your marketing plan
- The “what needs to be done” question
- The “why us” question
- Intended audience
The marketing plan, on the other hand, is an action document outlining the activity you are going to undertake and when.
The marketing plan explains how you are going to achieve the goals established in marketing strategy.
Where the marketing strategy answers the when, where and how questions of competition, the marketing plan creates a series of sub-projects and action plans to meet your specific marketing objectives (eg grow revenue in your defined markets, build awareness…).
The issue is that most people try to set out to achieve the “how” without first knowing the “what.”, which often results in wasting time and money. The marketing strategy and marketing plan should always go hand in hand and need an evaluation at least once a year.
When it comes to marketing, we must always identify the what and then dig into the how.
And I mean dig in literally – the more details the better. Don’t forget to measure any marketing campaigns that you launch – this will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t.
You can use this information to guide you in the future.