Marketing strategy to marketing plan

Creating your marketing strategy is a challenge. Your first challenge. Your second, is writing your marketing plan. Together, they’ll guide you, your team, and your business towards determining your goals, finding your voice, targeting demographics, and analyzing competitors. Working with USPs, KPIs, SEO, and launching successful marketing campaigns.

My guide will walk you through developing your marketing strategy. Then, I’ll explain the five steps to creating your marketing plan, plus what you should include.

What is a marketing strategy?

Let me point out that if you get to the end of this guide, draw up a cracking marketing strategy, then put it in a drawer and forget about it… you’ll be doing yourself no favour.

You have to refer to it regularly. Every time you plan a campaign. Every time you launch a new product. Every time you work with an influencer. Every time you plan an event.

Every time.

It’s your long-term game plan that’ll show you…

  • How you’re going to reach and engage consumers
  • How you plan to convert consumers into customers
  • How to write your marketing plan

A comprehensive marketing strategy will include…

  • Your value proposition
  • Your competitive advantage in the market
  • The demographics of your target audience
  • Key marketing messages
  • Your tone of voice
  • And more

Your marketing strategy is a constant from where you create your marketing plans. Now and in the future.

Your target audience will be made up of what you consider your ideal customer. Based on real data, it’ll define your audience’s behaviour, pain points, goals, etc. Teaching you how to speak their language and deliver the goods.

Marketing strategy => marketing plan => execution => win!

Look up strategy in a thesaurus and one of the synonyms up for offer is – plan.

But, that’s not quite right when we’re talking about marketing

Marketing strategy | What | Thinking

The big picture, shaped by your business strategy, your marketing strategy is your purpose. Your USPs, brand messaging. It’s what you’re offering and how you’ll deliver it with your marketing efforts. Having a clearly defined marketing strategy is essential if you want your business to grow. Once your strategy is determined, you’ll be equipped to develop an effective marketing plan.

Marketing plan | How | Doing

How you’re going to deliver your key messages. What you’re going to do. On which platforms. The timeline. How you’ll measure and analyze success. Your marketing plan is how you intend to reach your marketing goals. A roadmap that will direct you through each step. From where you build your marketing campaigns.


Objective – to expand your business outside of Europe to an international market

Strategy – engage and target a global audience

Plan – create a personalized marketing campaign that reaches out and engages with specific segments – language, consumer behavior, buying habits

Why do I need a marketing strategy?


It’s a roadmap for you, your team, and your business to follow. It’ll help you…

  • Measure and analyze resultsagainst your goals
  • Target consumersrelevant to your products
  • Prove the impact your marketing campaigns have on your brand reputation

Your long-term marketing strategy will build a sustainable competitive advantage. It’s all your marketing goals in one place. You’ll have done extensive market research. You’ll be focusing on the best product mix so you can achieve maximum profit and grow your business. Your marketing strategy is the foundation of all your future marketing plans.

Important stuff.

Your marketing strategy…

  • Explains your objectivesand how you’re going to execute them
  • Formalizes ideas and concepts
  • Identifies your target audience– purchasing power, behavior, demographics
  • Defines how you’re going to market your products and services
  • Helps you get financial backing
  • Keeps your marketing focused

A successful marketing strategy will…

  • Win new customers
  • Increase sales and revenue
  • Encourage your existing customers to spend more
  • Support the launch of new products and services
  • Better establish your brand on the market and increase market share
  • Confirm your tone of voice and brand identity
  • Reduce churn and strengthen customer loyalty
  • Support the launch of advertising, PR, PPC campaigns
  • Guarantee your business stays focused and current
  • Make you an industry leader

To build an effective marketing strategy that’ll support future marketing plans, you need discipline, time, and focus.

The process is challenging, make no mistake. But, you don’t have to start with a blank sheet, this post – Marketing strategy to marketing plan – will steer you to success.

Developing your marketing strategy

Establish a clear path of action.

Your strategy, if a comprehensive one, will be around for a while. At the same time, you have to remain open to changes and improvements if for instance, your competitors take a new direction, you take a new direction. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Let’s take a look at how to start writing your marketing strategy:

Executive summary

An outline of your marketing strategy

Business analysis

  • Business goals
  • Marketing goals
  • Challenges
  • Objectives and how you’ll reach them
  • Strengths and weaknesses of team, business, products, services – perform a SWOT analysis of your business

Market analysis

  • Market size
  • Market segments
  • Growth expectations
  • Customers’ behaviorand spending power
  • Impacts that could affect your market – trends, economy, etc.

Competitor analysis

  • Monitor their messaging, marketing tactics, social media channels, products
  • Compare pricing, customer support, sales funnel, marketing channels, customer demographics, messaging, etc.
  • Market share comparison
  • Share of voice– SOV – in your industry
  • Their strengths and weaknesses compared to yours – perform a SWOT analysis

Target audience

  • Segment your existing customers and target consumers – buyer persona– according to their characteristics – what they want from your brand- high quality products, low cost, 24/7 customer support, location, etc., their demographics, pain points, goals, buying habits, etc.
  • How your audience perceives your brand – user-generated contentfrom happy and unhappy clients. Why are they happy/unhappy?
  • Once you’ve segmented, compare your positioning with that of your competitors – customer support, cheaper/more expensive, fast to market, targeted countries, USPs, etc.

Service and/or product analysis

  • The products/services you deliver to the market
  • USP – what makes your product or service unique?
  • Benefit for each market segment – price, location, etc.
  • How you deliver your offerings

Promoting channels

  • Website
  • Blog posts
  • Social media
  • Email campaigns
  • Promotions and offers
  • PR
  • Paid ads
  • Events and trade shows
  • Traditional press
  • TV and radio
  • Word of mouth

Having agreed your marketing strategy, you’re now ready to write your marketing plan. Your plan will identify budgeting, deadlines, key team members, channels, etc.

Remember what I said earlier, about having a flexible strategy? Your plan, more so. Suppliers increase their prices, consumer behavior changes, team members move on, economies change, markets shift. Be ready to update.

Presenting your marketing strategy

Ready to present your marketing strategy to the board?

Your strategy – your business model – will define your objectives and business goals. You’ll win new customers, boost sales, strengthen your brand value, and increase your ROI. Your marketing strategy will help focus your team’s efforts. It’ll be the foundation on which you build future marketing plans and campaigns. And, determine how you should spend your budget.

You must be honest, you must be brutal.

Look at your business and find your strengths and weaknesses, your value proposition, your competitive advantage, your target market. When your board asks, you need to be ready to answer these questions…

  • Who’s our ideal customer?
  • What value do we bring that benefits the market and differs from our competitors?
  • How do you want consumers to see us, our personality as a brand?
  • What’s the ideal customer experience? How will you achieve it?
  • What’s our core message that explains who we are, what we offer?
  • How will you make the market aware of our brand?
  • What revenue sources do you suggest we use to expand our business?
  • How will you nurture consumer trust in our brand?
  • What partnerships will you be working towards to make your strategy work?

What will be the end result if we follow your marketing strategy?

You’ll have to prove you’ve done your research. That you understand your target market, customers, competitors, budget, and costs.

Measuring performance is a given. KPIs should be determined so you can measure the marketing effectiveness of your content – tracking email subscribers, email engagement rate, site traffic, time spent on your website, etc.

Marketing strategy to marketing plan in 5 steps


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