Difference between Marketing Strategy and Plan

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It is not uncommon for people to confuse the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan but l have found the easiest way to explain the difference

Marketing strategy: Your marketing strategy is an explanation of the goals you need to achieve with your marketing efforts. (What) Your marketing strategy is shaped by your business goals. Your business goals and your marketing strategy should go hand-in-hand.

Marketing plan: Your marketing plan is how you are going to achieve those marketing goals” (How) It is the application of your strategy; a road map that will guide you from one point to another.

The issue is that most people try to set out to achieve the “how” without first knowing the “what.” This can end up wasting resources for a company, both time and money.

When it comes to marketing, we must always identify the ‘what’ and then dig into the ‘how’. If you remember one sentence from this article then it’s this one:

Strategy is the thinking and planning is the doing. Here is an example of how the two work together:

Objective: To gain broader market adoption.

Marketing strategy: Introduce into new market segments.

Marketing plan: Develop marketing campaign that reaches out, identifies with and focuses on that specific segment.

A successful formula that can be used to further explain the importance on marketing strategy and marketing planning looks like is:

Marketing Strategy –> Marketing Plan –> Implementation = Success

Your marketing strategy consists of: “what” has to be done. Inform consumers about the product or service being offered.

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