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Marketing Plan or Marketing Strategy or Both

Marketing plan or marketing strategy: which one to use? Marketing plan and marketing strategy are often heard of and used now a days but at times, most are still unclear as to what exactly these two mean. Some would even interchange them in use. So one would ask what exactly are marketing plan and marketing strategy? And when do you use which?

A marketing strategy is your marketing “what” while marketing plan is your marketing “how”. So obviously from that alone, we can infer that these terms should not be interchanged in use. One definitely differs from the other.

Furthermore, marketing strategy is defined as a method of focusing an organization’s efforts and resources on a course of action leading to increased sales and leadership in target market niche. For short, this is where you specify your marketing objectives (the “what”).

On the other hand, marketing plan is defined as the document that gives the details on necessary actions to achieve marketing objectives (the “how”). The clearer your marketing strategy is, the better marketing plans you can come up with.

No business is too small to come up with a marketing strategy. Small and big business owners alike are concerned with their sales and marketing.

One then wonders, “How could these be of use to somebody like me? And how do I start with these?” Presently, numerous free software and programs are offered to assist one in coming up with marketing strategies and plans, so you need not fret on how to draft one. It is more crucial that in starting, you have the necessary details not only of your company but of anything and everything that involves your company or the world where your company revolves.

When it comes to coming up with a marketing strategy, three things you need to know: the market, your competition, and your position. Your general business goals will set the tone of your strategy which will include a description of your products or services, demographics of your target market, as well as your relationship with your competition.

The resources of your company maybe clear to you but you also need to know more beyond that. Know your market, its wants and preferences; know why your target market will choose you over others. You also need to know your competition and the products or services they are currently offering, as well as how much of a threat they are.

Check on the availability of cost effective channels of distribution as well dependable supply chain. Your marketing strategy must also contain elements like your price strategy, promotion, market positioning. All these factors play major roles in drafting your marketing strategy.

On the other hand, marketing plan is the application of your marketing strategy. It’s you eloquently communicating to your market your unique selling proposition, getting the people to buy your products or services. Thus, greater details come into play.

For instance, it’s not just about the market but it is your target market niche, your distribution, and penetration of that target market. It’s you rising above the competition and uniquely offering something that competitively differs from the rest. It’s about coming up with the right price to keep customers’ attraction without sacrificing your bottom-line.

It’s about getting the message across through various advertising media, promotional activities, etc.

If you are in a business and seriously want to see it grow, marketing strategy and marketing plan are the next steps to take. These are just points to clear up any questions you might have on these two as well as to help you jump-start in your marketing endeavors for better operations, and subsequently greater profits.

Jeff Jackson is the President of Merchant Money. You can find more information regarding cash for your business at We also establish merchant accounts please visit our site for details.