Marketing Plan or Marketing Strategy?

It is very common, even today, for people to get a little mixed up when it comes to a marketing plan versus a marketing strategy. Business marketing and strategy are essential for success and these tips for better local marketing are something every business, large or small, can use.  An easy way to go about explaining the difference between the two is like this:

Marketing Strategy – It is the marketing strategy that forms an explanation of the goals that have to be achieved with the marketing efforts you are implementing. Your marketing strategy usually takes shape based on your business goals. These two components should go hand-in-hand with all business marketing. The Marketing Strategy drives the Marketing Plan.

Marketing Plan – Your business marketing plan is the step by step process for how you are going to reach the marketing goals you set for yourself in your marketing strategy. It’s the application and implementation of your strategy that will guide you along the path- that is the plan or roadmap that you follow. The Marketing Plan details the Marketing Tactics to be utilized when creating touch-points with the consumer.

The Confusion Begins

The issue is that too many people try to jump right into the details of “how” without first establishing the “what and why.” This ends up wasting resources such as time, money, man hours, and talent. Here is what this relationship looks like in regards to these tips for better local marketing:

Objective: to reach a bigger target area for marketing.
Marketing Strategy: introduce new campaigns and methods to reach new clients.
Marketing Plan: have a step by step plan that dictates the tactics to use which will reach that specific target area.

An effective method that can be used to demonstrate the importance of a uniformed marketing strategy and marketing planning is this:

Marketing Strategy —> Marketing Plan —> Implementation = Success

  • Your marketing strategy is the “what & why” has to be done to reach your business goals.
  • Your marketing plan is the “how” that shows step by step how you will do it.
  • Your implementation is the action you take to achieve the plan and strategy points.

When it comes to tips for better local marketing, this is a great place to start developing your business marketing game plan.

Components of Your Marketing Strategy

  • External Marketing Message- the message you present and send to your audience
  • Internal Positioning Goal- what you want to achieve within your business
  • Short-Term Goals- immediate indications of the success or failure of the marketing
  • Long-Term Goals- distant indications of the success or failure of the marketing

Components of Your Marketing Plan

  • Executive Summary- looking at your marketing plan from the business standpoint
  • Your Challenge – listing the problem areas and obstacles you may face.
  • Analysis – looks at goals, focus, demographics, culture and market saturation.
  • Tactics – Specifies options for media solutions for market saturation.

Identification of your 4 P’s

The 4 Ps stand for Product – Price – Promotion – Place

Product- what it is you are selling, whether goods and services, and what strengths and benefits you are going to focus on in your marketing campaign.
Price- what your services or goods are worth and what price you are going to charge for them as well as any flux you expect to have in that value in the foreseeable future.
Promotion- what means will you use to get the word out about your business: TV, radio, print, out-of-home, social media, emails, online marketing, direct mail, etc.
Place- the location for your business, whether purely brick and mortar shop or purely an online presence or a combination of the two. 

Final Thoughts

Be specific – the more specific your descriptions, steps, actions, and goals are the easier it will be to carry out the process, adhere to your plan, meet your marketing strategy points and reach your goals. As you can see, the marketing strategy and marketing plan are interlinked; one cannot survive without the other. Without a sound foundation in both, you will find that you are going to end up wasting time, money, talent, resources and that you are going to miss the goals you set for your business. If you are looking for answers to a question you may have about business marketing or if you want some more tips for better local marketing plans, give us a call. We here at Streng would love the opportunity to help you market your business with power!