What is a Marketing Strategy, and why is it important
A B2B marketing strategy is a top-level plan for reaching a defined target group and turning them into customers of a company’s products or services.
Your game plan is to contribute to business goals and reach the company vision. Marketing-centric companies consider the marketing strategy equal to other strategies like sales, go-to-market, digitalization, and product strategies.
But why is a strategy important? Can’t you start directly with great marketing campaigning? The answer is obviously no. The reason for it is the bigger picture I want to give:
Vision to Plan in B2B Marketing © B2B Marketing World
You may reach the town behind the mountain with another strategy. For example, by taking the plan to get there. Would the same tactic, “use a boat,” be helpful in this case?
You might also decide to use a boat to get to the town, but there is no river. In that example, you failed to create a strategy contributing to the aim. Your boat might be perfect, but the aim remains not fulfillable.
Different Strategy Perspectives
The term marketing strategy applies to many different strategy concepts. In essence, there are two perspectives I want to outline for this article:
- Marketing Strategy Business Types
- Marketing Strategy Frameworks
- Marketing Strategy Disciplines
Let’s have a closer look at the matter.
Marketing Strategy Business Types
I call these strategies “business types,” as this approach is derived from your company’s business goals. Further, the following strategies are interconnected with business strategies. Therefore, they only work as a general strategic direction.
Your marketing strategy can evolve around the following:
- Differentiation of products by USPs
- Focus on a specific niche market
- Cost Leadership uses advantages of resource- and efficiency advantages
Read more on three generic strategies by Michael Porter.
Marketing Strategy Frameworks
Strategies as such have frameworks. This is also true for marketing strategies, independent if applied to B2B or B2C marketing strategies.
These frameworks have a universal truth and are blueprints for creating strategies. In essence, these strategy frameworks have 6 steps:
- Step #1 – Define marketing aims
- Step #2 – Analyze the status quo
- Step #3 – Define your target group
- Step #4 – Describe the customer journey. Your Marketing Tactic.
- Step #5 – Create your marketing plan
- Step #6 – Make your results measurable
As you see, this concept does not consider marketing disciplines (e.g., social media). It is rather a blueprint to understand how a marketing strategy is created. As said, it will work for both B2B and B2C marketing.
Marketing Strategy Disciplines
This category is what many will consider a marketing strategy. It includes all the buzzwords you may have looked for. However, the following B2B B2C marketing strategy is derived from the abovementioned frameworks and types.
It is essential to understand principles before creating strategies for the different marketing disciplines.
To mention a few:
The list can be extended, as each marketing discipline has further sub-topics. Each sub-topic may also have a strategy. For example, the SEO strategy, website strategy, eCommerce strategy, educational content marketing strategy, Google Ads strategy, etc.
How to decide on a B2B and B2C Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy needs to be derived from the company’s aims. It also needs to take other strategic cornerstones into account. This, for example, includes the product, go-to-market, and sales strategies.
Once the internal strategy environment is set, you can derive your marketing strategy and start creating it with the framework described above.
Next, use the cornerstones of your strategy to derive more detailed strategies for the various marketing disciplines.
Each strategy has an interdependency and is logically derived from another strategy, hence from another aim. Ultimately, all strategies must contribute to the company’s vision.
Remember, the best boat does not help you visit the city behind the mountain if no river flows.