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Strategic Planning – Key Components

Early in my marketing career, I was fortunate to participate in corporate strategic planning sessions. From these sessions, I truly learned the value of creating a proper strategic marketing plan, outlining a company’s vision, mission and objectives, as well as strategies and tactics to achieve the objectives. This planning discipline has stuck with me throughout my career, I have employed it at every company I have worked at – achieving success in the process.

Here is an overview of the key components of a strategic plan.

Vision Statement

An overarching inspirational, and statement that outlines an organization’s desired state, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be.  It is a clear statement that is focused on the future.

Mission Statement

Often confused with a vision statement, a mission statement is more oriented towards the fundamental purpose of an organization. It provides direction with regards to process, and the desired level of performance.


Objectives outline the desired goals and outcomes to be achieved. Ideally, they should be clearly defined and measurable.


Strategies are the plans, or methods, that will be employed to achieve the objectives.

Tactics and Timing

The specific actions underlying a strategy, and the timeframe against which they should be executed.

Often, companies develop strategic plans on an annual basis.  However, given the increased velocity of change and innovation in today’s world, I recommend revisiting and revising strategic plans on a quarterly basis, if not more often than that. Doing so will enable companies to be quick and nimble with regards to competition, and enable them to more easily evaluate and pounce on opportunities as they arise.

Here is a strategic planning template, in PowerPoint format, that I really like.

Click here to download. (ppt, 184kb)

Happy planning!

  • Patricia Mayo

    Quite the daunting task for any entrepreneur! I was raised in an entrepreneurial family and sat in those cushy C-level office chairs a few times, and even I am intimidated by the process of developing such a plan for my own company.

    Although, oddly enough, I don’t at all have a problem writing one for someone else. I suppose the subjective perspective is always the most illusive / elusive.

  • Ashley Barratt

    Hey Eric, sage thoughts.  It seems to me that making the complex simple is one of the key challenges of strategic planning.  In the knowledge economy we are drowning in data but struggling for insight.  

  • eric

    Hi Ashley – thanks for commenting! Yes, we are definitely drowning in a sea of information overload. I think simplicity is becoming increasingly important, however we must remember that depth must still be maintained.