Marketing strategies come after the objectives and vision and mission statement and before the action plan and tasks. The marketing strategy is how you are going to carry out the objective.
Tasks contain the detail. Tasks are what you want to list and keep track of in your day timer system not your marketing plan. Whether that is in Outlook, a Franklin-type system, or in your electronic appointment system like a Palm Pilot. It doesn't matter if you prefer to start with a task and work your way up into the objective or work from the objective down. Both should accomplish the same result.
After creating the objectives, and making sure they are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, action-oriented and achievable, realistic, and timely), focus on one and progress to the Action Plan and Tasks. Completing one at a time in this manner will expose any gaps or duplicates.
Occasionally, there may be several strategies to one objective or several objectives for one strategy. If this occurs look for duplicates. Duplicates say the same thing in different words. This review will keep the plan clear and concise.
In my consultant role, I consistently see two mistakes made during the strategy clarification process. Keep these in mind as you define yours:
1. Timeframe not considered or matched so that it can deliver the results desired.
2. Choosing what is comfortable but doesn't reach a large enough profitable target market.
Strategies need to be designated as short-term, medium-term, or long-term. The length of time for each depends on the business focus, market, and its maturity stage. For a new business owner, maybe all you can handle is a 3-month plan -- short term. Whereas an established business may state theirs in longer times: short-term 1 year, medium 3 years, and long-term 5 years. A mature business may be 3, 5 and 10.
Operating in a 30-day vacuum for too long creates flash fires that consistently need to be distinguished. When this occurs the business is running you. At day 31 it's a scramble to create the next 30-day plan and the cycle repeats. After so many of these cycles even the most patient person will give up on planning.
Balance for a new business will have more short-term objectives and strategies and less medium and long-term. This normally occurs because testing and finding what works is still a big part of their process and the marketing system is still in flux.
Balance for an established business (5-10 years) would have more objectives and strategies under medium-term. Whereas a mature business (ten years up) would be striving for more smoothness in their long-term strategies except for new product or service development which begins its heaviest set of strategies in the short-term.
Choosing the right strategy isn't always about setting a strategy comfortable for the solopreneur. The correct strategy is one that is right for the prospects. The best one delivers the results desired. Normally, one that reaches the market in the fastest and easiest manner using the least amount of resources.
I hear comments from solopreneurs like this: "I don't like to do that." "I simple can't possibly do that." "I refuse to do that." "I don't have the time." This closed mind just because its uncomfortable is their saboteur to success. Afterwards they justify it with, "Money isn't everything." They logically know that its natural to justify any decision we make but they don't see the connection. Some figure this out years later, others never get it and go out of business, and others finally get themselves to that comfortable place.
The perfect strategy services both the comfort level and the broadest market possible so it may deliver the desired results.
don't waste time doing what you are comfortable with that doesn't reach a profitable enough market. This wastes valuable and limited resources and creates failure.
Once you incorporate these important features into your strategy development you will your plan easier to follow and implement.