strategy and tactics

Marketing Strategy Vs Tactics: What’s The Difference?

  • On : August 11, 2021

Two terms that are thrown around often within the marketing space are the words strategy and tactics. Often used interchangeably, many marketers use such phrases to encompass the formative stages of marketing for a business. The misuse of these phrases comes as no surprise, however, as both encapsulate similar characteristics about the marketing process, but there are subtle yet key differences between the two.

If we define the marketing process in terms of an equation, then we have the following:

Strategy = what will be done

Tactics = how it will be done

Combining the two allows you to successfully address your business goals.

A common mistake made by many marketers and business owners alike is adopting a range of tactics without having developed a thorough infrastructure for them to work optimally, such as the use of a marketing strategy.  Therefore, we’ve decided to illustrate the key differences between a marketing strategy and tactics as well as how you can best optimize your marketing strategies and tactics for your business.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy serves as the support structure or blueprint for your marketing efforts and the achievement of your business goals. It helps dictate the approach you adopt towards reaching your marketing objectives. The strategy should ultimately identify the broader goals and should be based on market research and internal recognition of company needs. As well as being forward-looking and helping to define your competitive advantage.

Without an effective marketing strategy, we’re all stuck in the mud. All internal and external activities performed by the team have no real meaning or direction. Many businesses fall into the trap of adopting as many new solutions and activities as possible without having what they aim to achieve from implementing them.

The strategy serves as your business’ overarching plan as to how you will achieve your long-term goals. Without an effective strategy in place, you will never be able to schedule or measure results in your future.

Marketing Tactics

Your tactics should allow for a more comprehensive plan as to what specific tasks you will undergo to help achieve your business marketing objectives. Your tactics should be singularly focused and emphasize the present.

They should provide your business with an action-based solution as to how the strategy will be carried out and the specific activities required for the successful execution of your strategy. Your tactics should but always relate to your strategy and be relevant to your business environment, such as budget. (Here are some cost-effective tactics you can implement into your business)

How They Interconnect

Although operating as two independent components, both your strategy and tactics must be adopted in unison to achieve cohesion for your business. When both are applied effectively, they allow you to form a complete picture of the business landscape and achieve success within your marketing integrations.

Your strategy helps to establish the broad outline and foundations for your marketing efforts, preventing you from engaging in activities for the sake of doing so.

Whereas tactics allow you to carry out the strategy with a specific vision. Allocating the specific tasks required to achieve your business goals.

67% of strategic plans will fail, further highlighting the need for both an effective strategy and tactics.

Example: So, let’s compile this all together and create a brief example, combining these two components into one cohesive piece:

Long-term goal: Increase brand awareness by extending the reach of your social media posts by 20%.

How this goal will be achieved: 

  • Utilize a social media marketing tool such as Hootsuite, to help organize your social media posts.
  • Develop an understanding of your target audience through market research to adopt a personalized approach: learning when the most optimal time to post is, the content within posts and the quantity to post.
  • Optimize tactics such as endorsement and influencer posts to generate engagement. Utilize partnerships with larger brands to extend brand awareness.
  • Incorporate marketing technology through services such as Robotic Marketer to develop data-driven marketing strategies

How To Maximise Your Marketing Strategy And Tactics

To streamline the adoption of both strategy and tactics, both components must align with one another to best maximize marketing outcomes.

To improve the strategy component, requires a thorough understanding of the needs of the business and target audience, through market research and customer data. Take a step back and complete a SWOT analysis to understand your company’s position in the market.

You may also consider conducting a competitor analysis to see if your business stacks up against the competition. What are they doing differently to you? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are your strengths and weaknesses relative to theirs?

Define your long-term goals, make sure they are realistic to achieve and are aimed at providing value towards your business extending the relationship between brand and customers. A marketing industry survey in 2019 found that marketers who set goals were 376% more likely to report success than those who did not. Setting SMART goals is key to achieving these goals.

Improving your tactics requires an understanding of the means and resources accessible to you. The tactics you implement must align with your overall business goal, but more specifically they should relate to your budget, company size and be relevant to your target audience. Measuring the progress and results of your tactics can help optimize your business performance and discard current tactics that don’t achieve results for your business.

To sum up, a marketing strategy and marketing tactics serve as two dependent functions of formulating a successful approach towards your marketing efforts. The strategy should represent the overarching goals of the business and provide a guide as to how such goals will be achieved. Tactics provide the nitty-gritty details as to the activities required to achieve the strategy. Both ultimately come together to serve as one whole entity in executing your business goals.

Remember to consistently review your strategy and tactic implementations to ensure both are operating in a streamlined fashion. When implemented correctly and adapted when needed, these two components can help improve business performance and brand strength.

If you were interested in taking your marketing strategies and tactics to another level, Robotic Marketer is the perfect solution for you! Get in contact with the team to find out more.

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