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Strategy versus Marketing. Most business owners don't realize they need both plans.


Small Business Owners Do Not Know The Difference Between A Strategic Plan And A Marketing Plan.

Almost every business owner I meet tells me they need more customers so the first thing they do is hire a marketing firm or sign up for a marketing program that makes lots of successful claims.  They immediately jump to marketing and sales as a solution to their problem.

Yet, most business owners cannot tell me their value proposition compared to their competitors.  They skipped the most crucial step in managing a business for growth and success.  They don’t have a strategic plan.  

A marketing strategy is one step in the overall strategic plan of a business.  It’s a crucial part of the business so owners jump to this step first and skip the other parts of their strategy.  They think the solution to all their problems is to get more customers through a marketing strategy.

 Sometimes the solution is a new strategic plan.  

 What’s in a strategic plan?

 There are three main parts to a strategic plan:

  • Describe the business’s present situation
  • Select its future plans and goals
  • Determine how will the business get there?

 In the present situation section of the plan, the company identifies its:

  • Mission Statement
  • Core Value Statement
  • List of Competitors
  • Describe how it’s different from its competitors

 In future plans and goals section of the plan, the company lists:

  • The number of sales and revenue it's targeting in the future
  • What needs to change in the business

 In the steps to reach these goals, section,  the plan must include the following:

  • Evaluate how to measure it's reaching the future goals
  • Follow or design a new marketing strategy to connect with customers
  • If necessary, update its business operations
  • Determine if the company’s financials can afford this new expanded direction

Once the strategy is complete, then the business owner can determine if its existing marketing strategy is designed to connect with enough customers to reach its goals.   A marketing strategy is built around the core value statement and future plans of the business’s strategic plan.

Marketing then continues by building a key branding message, gathering data on target demographics, and continues with the four p’s of marketing:

  • Product (or service)
    • Describe what the business is selling
  • Price
    • How much the business is charging
  • Place
    • What channel will the business use to connect with customers
  • Promotion
    • What forms of advertising will the business use to connect with customers

It’s important every small business have a strategic direction before building a marketing strategy. Owners will be more successful in reaching their goals with a complete strategy and know where and when a marketing strategy is required for connecting with customers. Together, these plans bring small business owners success.

Written by Darlene M. Ziebell 










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