A marketing strategy is a business’ overall game plan for reaching people and turning them into customers. The marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition, key marketing messages and information on the target customer.
The marketing strategy informs the marketing plan, which is a document that lays out the types and timing of marketing activities. A company’s marketing strategy should have a longer lifespan than any individual marketing plan, as these things ideally do not shift very much over time.
It is easy to confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan, and It is not altogether unusual to find the marketing strategy and the marketing plan fused together into a single document as they clearly feed off one another. The transition between the two can be a little blurry, a marketing strategy covers the big picture of what the business offers – the value proposition and related brand messaging. The marketing plan defines how the business will communicate these key messages to our customers – the platforms, the creative, the design, the timing, and so on.
One of the most significant differences between small businesses that are entrepreneurial, successful, and are market leaders and small businesses that struggle to get out of survival mode, is this: Successful businesses have a clear marketing strategy, that gives them purpose, and makes everything they do more effective.