What is the difference between Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan?

With any strategy in place, a business gains structure and solid foundations to breed a healthy and successful business.

The primary value of a Marketing Strategy is to understand the business’s customers/clients/target audience, its prospects, and its competitors; if there are gaps in the business’s knowledge this may have an impact on the marketing of the business. Having accurate data is the cornerstone of every Marketing Strategy and also offers direction to the Marketing Plan.

To offer a better understanding of Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan: ‘Marketing plan’ and “Marketing Strategy” used interchangeably, yet they mean two different things:

Marketing strategy is driven by one’s business strategy — where the business needs to go, what market the business serves, how this business goes to market with its products, etc.

•Marketing strategy: A marketing strategy explains the goals and objectives behind ones business’s marketing efforts. The business’s strategy and business goals go hand-in-hand, a relationship that explains the “What” and “Why” of the business marketing activities.

•Marketing plan: A marketing plan explains how the business marketing activities are to be used to achieve its business goals. It documents the application of your strategy and how certain marketing tactics may bring the business from Point A to Point B.

Here is a practical example of a marketing plan and marketing strategy:

  • Business goal: To grow sales by 20 percent year-over-year
  • Marketing strategy: Break into the previously untapped 18 to 25-market segment
  • Marketing plan: Create a marketing campaign focuses on reaching out to customers/clients on their preferred social media platforms or other media platforms.

While the difference between a Marketing Plan and Marketing Strategy may seem quite the same, failing to understand the two concepts is where many business owners and marketers make mistakes. People proceed to

the “how” of marketing without first understanding the “what” and “why,” which often leads to a disjointed marketing effort which wastes both time and money.

Once the Marketing Strategy is completed, it is then used to create a detailed Marketing Plan, which achieves the business’s specific goals. As the Marketing Strategy is mapped out to be used in a Marketing Plan, be specific when deciding what, how, and why the business communicates with the business’s customers. The more specific the planning, the easier it may be to follow through with effective implementation.

To implement a marketing strategy and marketing plan, please feel free to contact the business mission to discuss further by clicking here.