Skip to main content

Marketing Strategy & Marketing Plans

A marketing strategy is fundamental to smarter marketing for any business – big or small. And having solid marketing plans to deliver this strategy is vital.

There are different ways to create great marketing strategy and marketing plans for your business, products or services.

At Synthesis Marketing we will guide you through a proven process and the key factors to consider to create a powerful marketing strategy and effective marketing plan.

What is a Marketing Strategy?

In simple terms, a marketing strategy is a high level plan that identifies emerging market, customer or consumer trends and how best to take advantage of these trends to achieve your business and marketing objectives.

A marketing strategy describes the long term direction for your marketing effort. It outlines:

  • Target markets
  • Customers or consumers, and
  • How to position your brand and business for optimal appeal, impact and commercial benefit by harnessing the strengths or unique points of difference of your company and/or brand.

Read more about the difference between marketing plans and strategy.

What is a Marketing Plan?

Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan so that business goals can be achieved.

While marketing plans contains lists of actions, without a sound strategic foundation, they are of little use to a business. A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines a company’s marketing efforts for the coming year.

It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame. Marketing plans also include:

  • A description of the current marketing position of a business
  • Discussion of the target market, and
  • A description of the marketing mix that a business will use to achieve their marketing goals.

The 5 building blocks of marketing success

With the marketing strategy defined and marketing action plan prepared, you’ll know exactly who your customer is, what your customer cares about and how your business will differentiate itself. You’ll also identify the marketing channels you’ll use to attract your customers, the budget and tools you’ll need for proper execution, and how you’re going to measure your performance.

A good marketing strategy is anchored in a series of discrete steps, each of which builds on previous steps in a marketing plan that takes your company’s marketing effort down a logical, rational path to marketing tactic execution.

1. Market, Customer or Consumer Research

The first step in developing a solid marketing strategy is understanding your target market, customer or consumer.

You will have no idea if the messaging you want to use or the marketing channels you want to leverage will work if you don’t know what it is that drives your customer or consumer to make purchase decisions and how they think about your brand, your product or even your general category. Research helps you get to the heart of these very issues.

2. Competitor & Industry Research

Creating a differentiated product or service is necessary to help you stand apart from your competition.

How can you differentiate yourself if you don’t know where everyone else stands? Performing competitor and industry audits is an objective way of assessing the market and beginning to see what role you can stake out.

3. Brand & Messaging Development

What tagline will your customers love? What benefits will you choose to promote again and again?

Brand and messaging work helps define these very things. They ensure that you always have your core customer top-of-mind and that you communicate consistent messages repeatedly so that they begin to take hold in prospective customers’ minds.

Defining your target customer is what naturally follows from customer research. By asking the right questions, you can gain a clear picture of who your customer is. Once this is defined, anyone working on future marketing tactics will know exactly who the audience is and what drives them.

You will also need to define what your brand stands for, which means developing a positioning statement and brand pillars. A positioning statement expressly defines who your target customer is, what they are looking for, the unique benefit you offer, and why you are unique from your competition. Brand pillars are the key marketing messages you will offer your customers to back-up your positioning statement.

4. Marketing Plans

Marketing plans helps identify the actual marketing tactics during the marketing strategy process.

It’s when you sit down and determine exactly which marketing tactics you plan to leverage, which marketing channels make sense or don’t make sense for your business, when you’ll execute on those tactics, and the resources you’ll need. It’s your marketing game plan.

This is a critical phase that will help you determine what budget you’ll need, the type of talent and expertise that you will need on your team, and what agencies, vendors or contractors you’ll need to execute against your plan. This is also when you start developing your high-level marketing calendar as well as calendars for individual marketing channels or campaigns.

5. Marketing Operations

During the marketing operations stage, you’ll start looking at customer life stages, and begin defining what it will take to move prospective customers down your sales funnel, and what types of activities you’ll want to leverage depending upon their life stage.

You’ll also define what key analytics you want to track, and you’ll begin creating processes for being able to measure and record them.

Growth Planning Workshop & Marketing Action Plan

Synthesis Marketing has considerable experience working together with clients to develop marketing strategies and actionable marketing plans.

We run Growth Planning Workshops to identify the key areas of focus that will support the achievement of your organisational objectives and outline the marketing considerations and specific actions required to enable growth.

Topics at the workshops include:

  • Understanding the current market context and target sectors/clients.
  • Reviewing organisational goals and dynamics.
  • Identifying relevant digital insights and agreeing relevant action.
  • Identifying current perceptions and any gaps in knowledge/insights.
  • Brainstorming key marketing strategies to achieve your business targets.
  • Setting foundations for marketing plans, including implementation.
  • Agreeing KPIs and measures of success.

Better business through smarter marketing