B2B marketing leaders consistently tell us that marketing strategy ranks high among the processes they would most like to improve. Yet how exactly to go about this is another matter entirely. In some cases, there’s a lack of clarity about what marketing strategy means. In other cases, critical inputs to strategy formulation are lacking, keeping marketing out of step with other revenue-generating functions and the overall business objectives.
At a time when many companies are trying to regain their footing or establish new footing, having a clear, comprehensive marketing strategy that supports the business’s strategic vision is critical. We’ll look at four common misconceptions that can get in the way of developing such a strategy. Do any of these sound familiar?
1. Confusing marketing strategy with annual planning
Some marketing leaders treat these terms as synonymous — the term “strategic plan” speaks to this confusion. By “marketing strategy,” we mean a set of decisions and investments planned over a three- to five-year period that will create and sustain a future market advantage. “Annual planning,” on the other hand, lays out the actions to take in the upcoming year to advance the marketing strategy. Without a sound marketing strategy, annual planning becomes virtually impossible.