Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan: The Difference

Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan: The Difference

What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan? When do you need each?

If you get confused between marketing strategies and marketing plans, you aren’t alone. Yet if your company seeks to expand, you need to know how each of these elements will help you achieve your objectives.

Definition: Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy outlines the objectives of your marketing efforts. Your company’s business objectives must drive your marketing objectives. As your business evolves, so should your marketing.

With marketing’s objectives in mind, a marketing strategy assesses the competition, segments the target audience and market, delineates key messages, and specifies budgets.

Definition: Marketing Plan

Marketing plans outline how marketing will achieve its objectives with its identified markets and in the competitive landscape. Marketing plans delineate what tactics the marketers will use to achieve their objectives, on what timelines they will employ them, what metrics they will use to optimize their efforts, and what baseline measures they have taken as benchmarks for their tactical efforts.

Do You Need a Marketing Strategy and Plan?

In short: Every company needs a marketing strategy and a marketing plan. The two go hand in hand to help companies achieve their strategic objectives.

Marketing strategies and plans need a full evaluation on an annual basis—and more often, when possible. Also, existing marketing strategies and plans need immediate evaluation if a business has a seismic shift, including adding new products and services, acquiring and merging with another company, sudden shifts in competition or marketplace dynamics.

Need help? FrogDog to the rescue.

Image credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Posted: May 02, 2014
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
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