What's your marketing/marcomm/product strategy/plan?

Jerry Rackley

By Jerry Rackley

The term “marketing plan” has several possible, valid definitions. Sometimes it refers to the corporation’s marketing strategy, built upon a firm’s core values and competencies. Often "marketing plan" really equates to a marketing communications plan. Or in many cases, a marketing plan is the actual plan for marketing a specific product. These are all different things, and while they support each other, they are not interchangeable.

We here at Demand Metric believe it is time to bring order to this chaos, and to do so, we’ve developed a model to help distinguish a marketing strategy from a marketing communications plan from a product marketing plan.

As this model suggests, the marketing strategy is at the top of the hierarchy, because it drives all marketing activities. The marketing strategy is concerned with values, vision, current situation and objectives, which lead to developing a comprehensive strategy that is then budgeted for and measured. The Demand Metric Marketing Strategy methodology is in final draft stage and will publish in the very near future. The creation of a firm’s marketing strategy ideally involves the executive team, with marketing leading the process.

A product marketing plan is developed to help a specific product achieve its objectives in the market. Creating a product marketing plan ideally is the result of collaboration between marketing and product management, but in the end, marketing owns the responsibility for executing the plan. Demand Metric has just published its Product Marketing Plan methodology. This free resource will lead marketers through the process of developing a product marketing plan in six stages:

  • Objectives – the success criteria for this product in its market.
  • Product – product positioning, applications, differentiation and pricing.
  • Market – a detailed market understanding for the product.
  • Competition – who you’re up against and what that means.
  • Plan – channels, promotion strategy, sales considerations, budget and schedule.
  • Launch – orchestrated, intentional movement of your product into the market.

Finally, there is the marketing communications plan. Using the classic four Ps of the marketing mix, Product, Place, Promotion and Price, the marketing communications plan concerns itself primarily with Promotion. As our diagram suggests, the marcomm plan spans all product marketing plans and is heavily influenced by the marketing strategy. Among other things, the marcomm plan considers the messages, the audience, the channels available for communication, the logistics of communication/promotion activities, the success of past promotion efforts and how to measure the effectiveness of marcomm activities. Work is currently underway on the Demand Metric Marketing Communications Plan methodology – we welcome your input on this topic!

At Demand Metric, we believe all three of these marketing elements are needed: a marketing strategy that drives product marketing planning, all of which are supported by a marcomm plan. Having these key elements in place and properly integrated provides a firm with a significant competitive advantage.


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