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Marketing Stragies and Plans

Marketing plans are important documents for a business’ success, whether it is a new business or a long-established company. However, there is a similar document, called a marketing strategy, with which the marketing plan can easily be confused. Both documents are extremely useful and crucial to a company’s development, but they have different purposes, address different needs and circumstances, and provide different results or outcomes. A truly effective business will use both of these documents, the marketing strategy and the marketing plan, to achieve optimal results. The best success results when the two are used jointly, together, one complimenting the other and discussing aspects not covered. If written correctly, the two documents should have little overlap or repetition.

Marketing Plans: The Details

Marketing plans are basically more specific documents that build on the basic foundation established and described in the marketing strategy. A marketing strategy focuses on a broad examination and explanation of a business’ goals and plans. It will define the purpose of the business and what it hopes to accomplish, provide details about specific products and services offered, give a summary of the intended market or target consumer group, and establish the company’s role in relation to its noted competition. This particular document is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing plan that is established to provide more specifics about the foundational basis built by the strategy. It focuses less on actual methods of marketing than it does on the situation that is determining what marketing tactics are implemented—the position between the company’s products and its competition.

Marketing plans on the other hand provide specifics and describe in detail the particular actions that will be taken to communicate to the target consumer group the benefits of the products and persuade the consumers to invest in them. The marketing strategy outlines the goals of the company in relation to sales, and the marketing plan describes exactly how these goals will be achieved. It is a practical application of an otherwise broad-based rhetorical discussion of strategy.

The main way that marketing plans differ from marketing strategies is in inclusion of specific details. A marketing plan will be what someone would read to know exactly how any product would be marketed. It describes the suggested prices of the products and services, where the products and services will be primarily sold and distributed, who will be the consumer group most catered to, and ideas about advertising and promotion. Because the strategy is more general while the plan is more specific, it is best to write the strategy first and then follow up with the marketing plan. There are many websites that provide helpful, detailed information about writing marketing plans, and they can give a good start.

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