Differentiating Marketing Strategy From Marketing Plan

Enterprises and their teams often get caught up in defining their marketing strategy and drawing up their marketing plan. The issue is that many a time they set out to accomplish the ‘How’ without enough understanding of the ‘Why’ and ‘What’. While marketing strategy is a thorough understanding and explanation of the business goals of an enterprise, marketing plan, on the other hand, is the roadmap for implementing the strategy and achieving those goals.

A marketing strategy should provide an enterprise an edge over its competition and help it sustainably develop products and services that have good tangible and intangible returns. Within an enterprise, marketing strategy should align teams effectively and enable organizational growth with the customer at its core.

Formula that never fails

A successful formula that can be used to explain the importance of marketing strategy and marketing planning looks like this:
Marketing Strategy  >  Marketing Plan  >  Implementation = Success

In which, success is achieving the business objective of gaining broader market adoption; the marketing strategy is to foray into new market segment and the marketing plan is to develop a marketing campaign that reaches out, identifies with and focuses on those specific segments.

While a marketing strategy comprises external marketing message, internal positioning goal, short-term goals and objectives and long-term goals and objectives, a marketing plan is composed of a brief description of products/services to be marketed and a recap of goals identified in a marketing strategy.

However it’s important to analyze the situation which comprises -

Analysis of the customers: How many customers would one like to obtain? What kind of customers are to be focused on? How does their decision process look like?

Analysis of the competitors: What is one’s marketing and market position? What are their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their competitors? What market share are they going after?

It’s clear that one’s marketing strategy must go hand-in-hand with their marketing plan. In the absence of any, one would not only waste resources, but could also end up clueless of the next course of action.

T K Ramesh
Managing Director and CEO
Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt Ltd


Marketing strategy is a thorough understanding of the business goals of an enterprise. Marketing plan, on the other hand, is the roadmap for implementing the strategy and achieving those goals.



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