Marketing strategies serve as the fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to fill market needs and reach marketing objectives. Plans and objectives are generally tested for measurable results. Commonly, marketing strategies are developed as multi-year plans, with a tactical plan detailing specific actions to be accomplished in the current year. Time horizons covered by the marketing plan vary by company, by industry, and by nation, however, time horizons are becoming shorter as the speed of change in the environment increases. Marketing strategies are dynamic and interactive. They are partially planned and partially unplanned. See strategy dynamics.
Marketing strategy involves careful scanning of the internal and
external environments which are summarized in a SWOT analysis.
Internal environmental factors include the marketing mix, plus
performance analysis and strategic constraints. External
environmental factors include customer analysis, competitor analysis,
target market analysis, as well as evaluation of any elements of the
technological, economic, cultural or political/legal environment likely
to impact success. A key component of marketing strategy is often
to keep marketing in line with a company's overarching mission
Once a thorough environmental scan is complete, a strategic plan can be
constructed to identify business alternatives, establish challenging
goals, determine the optimal marketing mix to attain these goals, and
detail implementation. A final step in developing a marketing
strategy is to create a plan to monitor progress and a set of
contingencies if problems arise in the implementation of the plan.