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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Difference Between A Marketing Strategy And A Marketing Plan
Posted by Anonymous on
4/22/2004 at 6:07 AM ET
People in my organisation keep on confusing the marketing plan and a marketing strategy. I need to be able to convince them why I need to have a marketing strategy before the plan.
4/22/2004 at 7:09 AM
Our own Allen Weiss is probably the one who should answer this question, but in the meantime I will have a stab at it.
The marketing strategy is what you need to achieve, and the marketing plan is how you're going to achieve it.
If you implement the "how" without being sure what the "what" is, you could end up wasting a lot of money on the wrong "what." That's a gross over-simplification of course, but it does make the point.
Hope that helps!
4/22/2004 at 8:39 AM
Suze is right here and I'll have a stab at reframing it in another way that might also help -
First you think about what you want to do, then you decide what you want to do.
The strategy is the thinking part and the planning is for the doing part (actually the planning is really the 'recording intentions part' - marketing implementation is the doing part.
I'm sure you get the message though and your people will get it too - you have THINK before you ACT
4/22/2004 at 10:34 AM
Another approach to the topic: Strategy and Plan
Both are ways to achieve an Objective. But The Strategy is the general way to achieve it, and the Plan is the detail of the Strategy.
Objective: To gain market participation (1%).
Strategy: To introduce in new markets (young people).
Plan: Advertising development focus in that specific market, New Product development, Employees training, etc...
4/22/2004 at 11:30 AM
This is a communication / human issue - Not a business issue.
What you need is a better way to present your case to your audience. I also recommend the use of relevant metaphors to illustrate a common landscape that all stakeholders can relate to.
Conducting business is like fighting a war. The competition is out to eliminate you; planning, strategy, tactics -- and luck -- determine success; there's also hierarchy of generals, officers and troops.
I like to use the lessons of history to demonstrate how a good marketing strategy does not necessarily mean you have a good marketing plan (this can also be done as vice versa) - both are critical and separate entities.
Take a step back and take look at history's French knighthood. Mounted warriors who were apt to charge at first instance with the sole intention of destroying an enemy as much by weight and impetus as with their weapons & ferocity. For decades these Knights were a much-feared element in Europe! They had a plan - equip themselves with armor & swords. And they had a strategy - overwhelm their enemies at close quarters until they had been destroyed or forced to flee! They were feared! They conquered! They could not be stopped....or could they? How would you combine a plan and a strategy to beat these guys? Would you match them sword for sword? Tactic for tactic? Plan for plan? Strategy for strategy? Yikes!
What was the chink in their armor (pun intended)? Were these Knights as effective in planning and strategy as they were perceived to be? Maybe and maybe not? Knights were an unmatched force until they met up with a new strategy and plan as executed by the English Longbowman.
You need only think of the unconquerable knighthood charging to their doom against the efficient English longbowman at Crecy to appreciate this classic match-up. Horses and armor were decidedly vulnerable to the arrows and quarrels of missile-armed troops from a distance!
Talk about a better plan - equip themselves with bows and arrows (longbows that is). And talk about a better strategy - safely launch missiles from afar to decimate the approaching ranks and then cut the survivors down. By some estimates, Knights were shot down 58% of the time! That’s devastating circumstances!
Bottom line: The Knights had a great plan but over time their plan was beaten and their strategy of attack became fatally antiquated and flawed as it was too dependent upon past success! Under the punishing new strategy handed down from the English longbowman these Knights were forced to retreat 44% of the time before they could even see the whites of their enemies eyes. That should make some compelling sense to your audience.
4/22/2004 at 1:07 PM
To get people to buy into the concept of marketing strategy, you may want to position strategy development as part of the planning process:
- develop overall marketing strategy that supports your company's business goals
- choose marketing programs (tactics, action plans) that support the overall strategy
- write it into a marketing plan document
4/22/2004 at 4:14 PM
here is a simple analogy you can use to differentiate between the two
. Building a house. You have to make all kinds of decisions on what kind of house it will be and where it is located. Obviously if you live in California (market conditions) versus New York, the style and materials will differ. Once you have taken all of those into consideration you make a decision. That is your MARKETING STRATEGY.
.Furnishing your house. Again depending on what kind of house it is you decide what kind of furniture you want to put in it, landscaping, etc. If its modern the furniture will reflect that, etc. This is your MARKETING PLAN.
4/22/2004 at 6:17 PM
Try these on for size:
Strategy=Figuring out you need to drink water to survive
Planning= Deciding where to get water
Action= Acquiring and drinking the water
Strategy=Figuring out you need to eat in order to relieve hunger
Planning= Deciding where to eat
Action= Acquiring and eating the food
Strategy=Figuring out you need to find a better way to communicate to your associates
Planning= Decide where to go for advice
Action= Post this question and relay information
Strategy=Need to Sell stuff
Planning= Deciding where and how to sell stuff
Action= Sell Stuff
Strategy= A collaboration of ideas
Planning= Organization of ideas
Action= Executing particular ideas
OK...my strategy was to give some simple analogies for you to use. I planned on making it a three part section (Strategy, Planning, Action). I took action by typing it out.
1/22/2008 at 9:02 AM
For instance, Mr. Sean has recently established a company called "Company A," rendering services which needs to be introduced in the market in order to gain profit and compete with other competitors. "Company A" has a good budget and qualified employees, unfortunately lacks resources.
The objective of the company is to be introduced in the market to be able to compete with other competitors in order to gain profit.
Strategy(s) -> Plan(s) -> Implementation
Strategy(s): The "What" of business
1. Orient the public about the services provided and the importance of what makes it better
2. Sustain a good reputation in the market
Plan(s): The "How" of business
1. Engaging into advertisements, endorsements, referrals, promotions, etc.
2. Improving services provided by developing effeciency and effectiveness
3. Attaining customer satisfaction
Implementation: Taking steps into action
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