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Marketing Strategy VS Marketing Plan: What's the difference?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

You're not alone if you've ever used the terms "marketing strategy" and "marketing plan" interchangeably. After all, they both sound like they're talking about the same thing, right? Wrong. In fact, understanding the difference between the two is critical to developing a successful marketing campaign and driving business success. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan, and why each is essential for your business.

marketing strategy vs marketing plan

What is a Marketing Strategy: The Big Picture

people working on a marketing strategy

Marketing strategy is the overall approach and direction a business takes to achieve its marketing objectives. It is a high-level plan that outlines how a company will position its products or services in the market, differentiate itself from competitors, and ultimately achieve its business goals. A marketing strategy considers a wide range of factors, including customer needs, market trends, competitive landscape, and the company's unique strengths and weaknesses.

A well-crafted marketing strategy answers the big-picture questions that guide a company's overall marketing efforts, such as:

  • Who is our target audience?

  • What unique value proposition do we offer?

  • What channels will we use to reach our audience?

  • What are our business objectives, and how can we achieve them through marketing?

In short, a marketing strategy provides a clear direction for a company's marketing efforts, guiding decision-making across all marketing activities.

What is a Marketing Plan: The Nitty-Gritty Details

people working on a marketing plan

While a marketing strategy outlines the big picture, a marketing plan provides the nitty-gritty details of how a business will execute its marketing strategy. A marketing plan is a tactical document that outlines the specific actions a company will take to achieve its marketing objectives. It details the marketing activities that will be undertaken, timelines for each activity, and the resources required to execute the plan successfully.

A marketing plan typically includes details such as:

  • Budgets for each marketing activity

  • Specific marketing tactics and channels (e.g., social media, email marketing, advertising)

  • Targeted metrics and goals for each

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines the specific tactics and actions a business will take to implement its marketing strategy. It is a tactical document that outlines the specific marketing activities, timelines, budgets, and expected outcomes. A marketing plan should include details on the marketing mix, such as product, price, promotion, and place. It should also include information on how the marketing efforts will be measured and evaluated to ensure that they are achieving the desired results.

Marketing Strategy vs Marketing Plan: The Differences

The primary difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan is that a marketing strategy is a long-term approach that sets the foundation for the marketing plan. A marketing plan, on the other hand, is a short-term, tactical document that outlines the specific actions that will be taken to implement the marketing strategy.

Another difference is that a marketing strategy is more conceptual and abstract, while a marketing plan is more concrete and specific. A marketing strategy involves high-level decision-making, such as determining the target audience and value proposition, while a marketing plan involves detailed planning and execution of specific tactics, such as advertising campaigns or social media posts.

Finally, while a marketing strategy is typically developed by senior-level executives or marketing professionals, a marketing plan is often created by a team of marketing professionals, including copywriters, designers, and social media specialists.

Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan: The Relationship

While marketing strategy and marketing plan are distinct concepts, they are intimately linked. A marketing plan cannot exist without a marketing strategy, as it is the tactical execution of the marketing strategy. Similarly, a marketing strategy cannot be successful without a well-executed marketing plan.

A marketing strategy provides the overall direction for the marketing efforts and ensures that they are aligned with the business's goals and objectives. A marketing plan takes the strategy and breaks it down into specific tactics, timelines, and budgets. The marketing plan provides a roadmap for executing the strategy and ensures that the marketing efforts are focused, measurable, and effective.


marketing strategy expert and marketing plan expert

So there you have it, two key marketing terms - two very different meanings. Understanding the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan is key to building a successful marketing campaign. If you need to help to develop your marketing strategy or create a marketing plan, don't hesitate to reach out to our team at Let's Market! We'd love to help you achieve your marketing goals and we offer both marketing plan and marketing strategy services.

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