Objectives, Strategy And Plans
The words strategy and planning are often used interchangeably in the world of marketing and business; this can be confusing. A simple way to explain the difference between the two is to use an example. Our example is about the business plans and strategy of two cereal companies; Company A and Company B.
Company A and Company B decide that they want to sell 3 million cereal boxes a year. Company A decide that they would like to do this through selling cereals which have their company's branding on the cereal boxes. Company B decide that they will make cereals which have their branding on the boxes and will also make cereals for supermarkets to sell with the supermarket's branding on the boxes. Once this has been decided both companies draw up a list of actions which describe what, where, when and how they will do this.
Let's label each of these activities as shown in the diagram below which captures the plan into 3 columns; objectives, strategy and plan contents.
A corporate plan describes the actions the company will take to achieve its objectives. Each action in the plan is often broken down into the following categories:
What actions will the company take
Where will the action be completed
When will the action be started (start date) and when will it be completed by (deadline)
How will the action be completed
Who will complete the action