Marketing strategy is your broad plan for achieving your marketing objectives. The word “strategy” entered into marketing from the military. Some other words with the same origin are “defend”, “attack”, “intelligence” and “tactics”.
In order to be very clear about the meaning of this term, let us differentiate it from terms like marketing plan and marketing mix. The former is your plan for using your resources such as money and human capital and the former is the elements that are available to you for influencing the demand for your product or service. Marketing strategy would be a heading under a marketing plan just as marketing mix would be a heading under marketing strategy.
Each element of the mix would also have its own strategy. The elements of the marketing mix are product, promotions, price and place for physical products additional three (people, physical evidence and process) for services.
What would you expect to see in a marketing strategy? It should contain these items:
- Differential advantage (why your product should bought rather than competing products; in what area or how your product is superior to others)
- Target market (those you think should be interested in your product)
- How you will compete in the market place in terms of your mix relative to the competition.
- The main end of your actions (new vs old users, trial vs increased usage etc.)
- How you will allocate your resources (geographically, seasonally etc.)
- Justification for making all the above decisions (research data)
A marketing strategy that is well-articulated will enable you to focus your marketing activities to achieve your marketing objectives.