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When it comes to running your own business, you know you need to have plans and strategies in place. But often however, we struggle to understand the differences between them. One of the typical ones we’re told by gurus and mentors to get, is a marketing strategy and plan – but we don’t know what the differences are or how to go about creating them!

Understanding the difference between a strategy and a marketing plan

Both of them are important to your business success. A strategy is what you want to achieve – so when it comes to marketing, who you’re aiming for, what you’re offering and the potential gap in the market you want to fill. It’s what your endgame is and what you are focusing to achieve. A marketing plan, on the other hand, is how you will be achieving those things. It’s what you will be doing to reach that endgame and how often you will be doing it.

A marketing strategy is therefore crucial for your business, as it stops you firing inconsistent content aimlessly out into the world, to all the wrong areas and for the wrong reasons!

The main areas you need in a marketing strategy

It’s therefore essential that your marketing strategy contains the following information:

  • The gap in the marketplace that your business will fill
  • Who your competition is and what makes you different
  • Who you are aiming to market to (your target audience)
  • What you want to offer to them/how you can help them
  • What you want to achieve (the facts and figures of your desired end results)

Having all of this information in place will enable you to devise a solid marketing plan – one that accurately targets the right people, in the right places and in the right way.

Marketing strategies can be amended!

Your marketing strategy isn’t set in stone. It, like your marketing plans, can be amended and changed as required. As you implement your marketing plans, you may find you need to go back and tweak your plan – and subsequently your marketing strategy too. Tweaks can be easily made to your intended audience, the places and platforms you’re targeting, your ideal end results and figures, along with the product you’re offering.

Both your marketing strategy and your marketing plan can be quite simple-looking documents. Don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re not important or relevant to your business though – as they really are the backbone of any successful business.

How do you feel about creating your marketing strategy and plan? Do you already have one in place or is it something you’ve avoided? What are your reasons for doing so? Why not share your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments box below.

Images courtesy of JJAVA & thinglass/Dollar Photo Club

Why having a marketing strategy is important