Marketing Strategy vs. Tactics
By Elizabeth King
One of the most common questions I get from business owners is how to define a marketing strategy. And I can understand why. There is so much confusion between strategy and tactics and how they work together to grow your business.
Simply put, a marketing strategy is a high-level plan that helps your company achieve its annual business goals by using a variety of communication tactics to engage and connect with your ideal customers. Tactics are the activities used to implement the strategy.
Many times companies jump straight into the tactics without a strategy or a way to measure success. A marketing strategy helps ensure that your business goals and communication tactics are aligned and will bring value to your business.
Let me show you a real-life example of what this looked like for one of my clients.
Notice that there was only one marketing strategy, but multiple communication tactics and activities to achieve the business goal.
The marketing strategy was also limited to a specific timeframe. In this case, it was a 90-day window that allowed the company to measure the effectiveness of each tactic and determine which ones best connected with the target audiences.
Creating A Marketing Strategy
A good marketing strategy is made up of five key elements.
Research and identify the characteristics and preferred communication outlets of your target audience and to establish your company identity and key talking points.
- Goal Setting
Review your company’s annual business goals and determine the specific marketing goal that will be measured to determine the success of the marketing strategy.
Determine the budget and identify which strategies and tactics are best suited to achieve your goals. Then create an implementation calendar that outlines what activities need to be accomplished by certain dates in order to execute the strategy.
Tactics are written, designed and executed according to the implementation calendar.
Marketing strategy results and communication tactics are reviewed to determine their effectiveness.
This proven system provides an opportunity for valuable assessment and evaluation, in addition to planning and implementation, to maximize the effectiveness of each strategy.
Maximizing The Marketing Triangle
Too often, I see companies skip the marketing strategy and get frustrated when their tactics don’t produce the business results they expected.
The goal is to create strong strategies that align your business goals with measurable communication tactics.
By combining these three elements, you build a solid plan that engages and connects with your ideal customers and builds your business.