A marketing plan without a brand strategy to guide it is a mistake many companies make. I’ve written many marketing plans and not one have I undertaken without a brand strategy. A brand strategy (one claim and three proof planks) provides a compass point for obs, strats and tactics. A marketing plan sans brand strategy is like an assortment of puzzle pieces made of one color. Eventually they may fit together, but what does it display?
Startup founders are not brand planners, but they do have a picture in mind (What the puzzle looks like finished.) That’s how they come up with names and logos. But when startup founders are asked to develop a marketing plan, something that translates the business plan to a go-to-market plan, they’re often lost. They turn to tactics-palooza. But tactics have no moral grounding, just commercial. Sell. Mo’ money.
Until businesses understand that brand strategy is not a nice-to-have but an imperative, they will rely on tactics to define the brand rather than the other way around. And that’s bass-ackwards.