Easily the most misunderstood and misused terms in the business press, general public and even within the marketing profession and academic community.

In reality it’s actually the easiest to articulate.  Marketing strategy is the selection of market segments for the product or service you are offering and the differential advance of that offer to the segments.  The final element, that of the differential advantage is sometimes called market positioning.

The main confusion arises when the terms is applied to promotional/communications campaigns.  Technically these are a marketing tactics along with pricing, distribution, and product etc.  Sometimes the term ‘marketing communications’ is used, but unfortunately there is little consistency i.e. the equivalent ‘marketing distribution’, ‘marketing pricing’ etc. are not used.

A side note is that you can actually have more than one marketing strategy for a product as in reality sometimes the same offer appeals to a number of (seemingly) unrelated segments.  Or perhaps better described as different demographics, but potentially the same psychographics. Put simply, people who look different but have the same attitudes and tastes.

It may seem a semantic point but this understanding separates world class high performing businesses from the also-rans.

See more on: Achieving, Marketing Strategy