An effective marketing strategy underlines business growth, and the right strategy maximises your chances of business success.
Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans: What’s the Difference?
While marketing strategies and marketing plans both play a crucial part in your business’s success, there are several important distinctions between them. The main difference between the two concepts is that a marketing strategy has a long-term view, while a marketing plan typically deals with shorter-term actions. Your company’s overall strategy will help inform your marketing plan, which means it’s crucial to make your strategy as comprehensive as possible.
1. Defining your Purpose
- Your company’s main purpose (your why), vision and mission
- Your brand values – the way your company operates, your essence
- Your unique selling proposition (USP) why customers should choose you
2. Target Audience
Customers today have plenty of choices, so businesses need to promote a point of difference (POD) from others in a similar space. You need to define your different audiences and establish distinct customer personas. Mapping out customer interests, motivations, and media consumption. The goal is higher profits and longer customer lifecycles.
3. SWOT Analysis
See how you stack up against the competition with a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). This should include how to communicate your uniqueness to customers so that they think of your business first when they’re ready to buy. Include a simple 4Ps analysis (product, price, place, and promotion) including:
- Your product features, vs. key competitors.
- Pricing of your products in the market.
- Placement – marketing positioning (online and offline).
- Promotional tactics – specific marketing campaign activity.
4. Planning your Marketing Mix
When planning your marketing mix you should refer to the SWOT and 4Ps analysis and activities. Build on your key opportunities and work toward mitigating your weaknesses.
5. Marketing Action Plan
Use a 12-month horizon when developing your marketing action plan. Market conditions change quickly so it’s important to remain flexible and nimble.
- Identification of key marketing channels (both digital and print)
- Establishment of marketing support systems (who, when, where how)
- Setting budgets and priority actions5. Measuring Results
- Setting key goals and measurement
- Establishing systems for regular reviews and marketing plan refinement
There are numerous ways to help your business grow, but one of the most powerful tools is an effective marketing strategy. By taking the process one step at a time, you can expand your customer base, boost your revenue, and steer your business towards lasting success.