The Frequent Question…Marketing Plan vs Marketing Strategy?
To create a comprehensive, and let’s face it – an effective, marketing campaign, you need to have a plan. You need to know what you want and how you’re going to get it. This step of identifying your marketing and planning your process is often combined into one big step. The truth is that taking a step back, and creating a separate marketing strategy and a marketing plan, can help you achieve your campaign goals.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is often an extension of your business plan. It’s a document that identifies your marketing goals as they relate to your business goals.
For example, if your business goals for the year are to improve customer retention, then your marketing goals should reflect that objective. You might, for example, create a customer communication campaign and embrace content marketing to strengthen your customer relationships.
Your strategy takes a look at your audience, competition, and industry trends. It also outlines your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your goals.
What is a Marketing Plan?
Your marketing plan outlines exactly how you’re going to achieve your goals. It breaks down the goal and details how you’re going to achieve it via your various marketing channels. You may set individual goals for each marketing channel.
For example, a customer communication program might include content marketing, email marketing, and even social media.
Your plan is a working document that may very well evolve during the year as your analytics reveal new information. Your strategy generally won’t change.
Which Comes First?
Your business plan comes first. If you don’t have one, seriously consider taking the time to create one. This document is something that you can leverage to stay on track with your business goals and vision.
Next, you want to create your marketing strategy. What do you want to accomplish this year. How is your industry performing? Who is your competition and how has your audience changed? It’s a document that you can create on an annual basis.
Then, you’d create your marketing plan. Your plan is a working document that supports you to consistently and efficiently grow your business in an organized manner.
So, now you might be asking…
What Do You Do With Them?
You can, of course, create the documents and then never look at them again. Well, that is a waste of your time, and your time is precious! Instead, consider printing your business plan and marketing strategy documents, and keep them in a binder on your desk.
Review it as frequently as you need to keep focused. And, you can even post your marketing strategy on your whiteboard. Use it to stay on schedule with your goals and to make sure you’re not missing a step or an opportunity along the way or straying.
So now you’re squared away with the difference of a Marketing Plan vs Marketing Strategy and how to use them to achieve your business goals. However, if you’ve tried to put together a marketing plan and have only gotten lackluster results, I’ve got your back!
Helping my coaching clients actually get results from their marketing efforts was the whole reason behind my marketing plan coaching. The entire training is now offered as a stand alone course…How to Create a Marketing Plan that Drives Sales. This training provides a step-by-step plan to help you finally achieve the marketing results you desire. Say “good-bye” to wasted time, energy, or money click here to see what you’re Marketing Plan could look like.