Business strategy versus marketing strategy is the question we constantly get asked. Which is more important? Turns out both, but let me tell you why stick around.
Alright so first, what exactly is a business strategy? And what is a marketing strategy? A lot of these concepts often get confused so if you have any questions comment down below as you get them maybe I’ll do a live something or other, a live demonstration of a business strategy or a marketing strategy.
First so what is a business strategy? Business strategy is the long-term plan of where you want your company to go, it’s the big picture the top-level view of your company. Imagine it like maybe, like a blueprint you know? Imagine it like a blueprint for a home that you’re building or for a building that you’re actually going to construct. It really outlines what the purpose is, what it’s going to do. Is it going to be a single-family home? Going to be a multi-family like a condo? Is it going to be an apartment so there’s a whole bunch of things that you’ll want to have in your plan and that’s actually why it’s called a business plan where your business strategy should sit.
There are five things that I typically advise people to have within a business strategy.
The first one is for alignment. You want to make sure that you have your vision, your mission, and your core values all very clearly outlined. This will help align your staff and make sure that gives you some some really clear purpose of how you’re going to be communicating in the future with your clients and potential clients.
The next one is company structure. How is this going to be laid out? Is there going to be multiple staff? is it going to be multiple departments? What is the reporting structure between them? Those are important things you may not think about them early on, but if you pick one of the generic generic approaches it’ll make your life a lot easier in the future believe me we’ve seen a ton of people do this less-than-optimal.
Third one is action plan. Planned and measurable outcomes when you start your business. What’s three months going to look like? What’s six months going to look like? What’s one year? What’s two years? What’s five years? You want to make sure that you set goals that are called SMART. If you have any questions about SMART goals we’ll publish another or I’ll put out another episode if anybody wants to know what a SMART goal is and maybe tear apart an example of one that I saw around the office the other day.
Number four is accountability. Who is doing what and why? I want to make sure that specific roles or specific people are assigned specific roles. You want to make sure that there’s actually no overlap. Who is doing the accounting? Who is doing the collections? Who is doing the sales? Who was doing the execution? The reason why you actually want to have specific roles outlined and then accountability for those roles because you want to if you want to figure out what does accountability and what is the incentive structure would look like if they’re not doing the job, if they’re not reaching their goals, what are the punishments?
Number five key performance indicators so KPIs you may have heard that acronym before all it is is there are specific numbers that you want to look at what are, for example, some of them may be revenue per month, revenue per year, it could be cost per conversion on a website, it could be number of widgets sold per salesperson. So you want to have that foundation. Those five things as part of your business strategy, your marketing strategy should actually it should build upon your business strategy and it should align with it.
But a marketing strategy is a business’s overall outline for reaching people and turning them into customers of your product or service. So there are four categories that we always break business or marketing strategy into for a business.
One of them is target market. You’d be amazed how many people give us this, “everyone is our potential audience everyone is our potential client”. No they’re not. There’s actually an ideal client. If you’re for example, a service provider, discount clients are not your clients and you don’t want them to be your clients. If you’re a designer, discount clients are gonna be the hardest clients to work with, they’ll be the most demanding and then they will whittle down and negotiate on every single piece. If you target the wrong audience you may have a really hard time convincing them that they need your service. If you’re for example, a luxury product and you’re targeting people who don’t have disposable income there’s a target mismatch and you’ll have a really hard time actually creating a successful business around it.
Number two is positioning. Are you a low-cost provider? A premium provider? A mass-market provider? Are you a a niche player? So your low-cost like Walmart for example you’re gonna have to have really good systems and economies of scale it’s also really difficult to win in that market unless you have like Walmart for example a really good distribution system and really good inventory system.
Number three is messaging. How do you communicate? What’s your competitive advantages? How you communicate what your value proposition is. So your language, a lot of that messaging the sooner you figure it out and the sooner you figure out what resonates across whichever medium you choose with a social media website, yellow pages, or signage or a car wrap, that messaging will be extremely important. It can be part of your bread but it should definitely be thought of in your marketing strategy.
Then the fourth one is what does the future look like? How long is this marketing strategy? Is there an expansion plan? is there additional products or additional services? So these are some of the things that you want to think about when looking at a marketing strategy. So when someone says okay business strategy or strategy versus marketing strategy, it’s actually business strategy plus marketing strategy.
Both are important to make your business succeed. If you have any questions reach out to me via comment or on Instagram @william.walczak. Let’s get down to business. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
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