The difference between a strategy and a plan is that a strategy has a purpose, whereas a plan has a means. A strategy is about what you want to achieve; a plan is how you are going to get there. The key question
Marketing Strategy or Marketing Tactics? Which Should Be Your Focus?
Most people start their marketing journey by focusing on tactics rather than strategy. They focus on what they need to do today instead of thinking about where they want to go tomorrow.
That makes sense though because when you’re just getting started, you don’t have much of a plan yet. So why not start with the basics?
Differences Between Strategy and Tactics
Definition of Strategy
A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a goal. In business, a strategy is usually defined by what a company wants to accomplish and how it plans to do so.
Strategies fall into two categories: long-term and short-term. Long-term strategies are focused on building a sustainable business model. Short-term strategies are often tied to specific goals.
Here are some examples of common strategies:
- Build a brand – Create a unique identity for yourself and your product/service.
- Grow sales – Increase revenue from existing customers.
- Improve customer experience – Provide better service and products.
- Reduce costs – Cut expenses to save money.
- Expand market share – Gain more customers.
- Enhance competitiveness – Become more competitive.
- Develop new markets – Enter new markets and expand your reach.
- Innovate – Find new ways to improve your product/service.
Definition of Tactics
Marketing tactics are actions taken by marketers to promote products and services. They include everything from advertising to public relations campaigns.
Marketing strategies are plans for how to reach customers. They may include tactics, but they do not include everything that happens between the time someone buys a product and the time they receive it.
On the other hand, marketing tactics are specific activities that can be done to achieve a goal. They include things like writing blog posts, sending emails, and posting ads on social media sites.
Strategy Without Tactics
Even if you’ve got a solid strategy, you still need to know how to execute it effectively. Otherwise, all the planning in the world won’t mean anything.
You might think that your strategy is already set in stone, but that’s not true. As your business grows, so does your strategy.
That means you need to constantly evaluate your strategy and tweak it based on new information. If you don’t keep up with changes in your industry, then you could end up missing opportunities.
As a marketer, you also need to know how to adapt your strategy to different situations. For instance, let’s say you’re running a PPC campaign. You’ve identified keywords that convert well, but you haven’t found any long-tail keywords that convert at the same rate.
What should you do? Well, you could simply stop spending money on those keywords. Or you could try a new approach. Maybe you could try something like paid inclusion.
In short, you need to learn how to balance your strategy against the realities of your situation. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money.
Tactics Without Strategy is the Noise
A strategy allows you to build a foundation for long-term success. Tactics give you short-term results. But if you only focus on tactics, you’ll end up spending all your time working on yesterday’s problems.
A good marketing strategy makes sure you stay focused on the bigger picture so you don’t end up wasting your time.
I am bombarded by tactics all day in ads promising me the world if I only do TikTok ads, or Facebook ads, or YouTube ads. All of these tactics, and no strategy.
Strategy Without Tactics is Stagnation
When we talk about strategy, we often mean something like “a plan”. But what if your plan doesn’t include any actionable steps? What if your plan is so vague that you’re basically making up what you think would work?
That’s when a good strategy becomes stagnant. Your plan may be solid, but if it lacks detail and specifics, then it won’t help you achieve anything. If you don’t know exactly how to do something, then it’s probably not worth doing.
So instead of just talking about strategy, let’s talk about tactics. Tactics are actions. They are things you can actually do to move forward. In contrast, strategies are broad ideas. They are things you might want to do, but they aren’t concrete enough to actually do.
Tactics are the individual steps you take to achieve your goals. They help you move from where you are now to where you want to go. And once you’ve got tactics, you can start executing.
So before you embark on any marketing campaign, ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish? What are the specific tactics I need to employ to get there?
When it comes to marketing, many people struggle with deciding between a strategic approach and a tactical approach.
Strategic marketing means thinking about the big picture and planning ahead. This includes things like creating a brand identity, determining target markets, developing a sales funnel, and setting goals.
Tactical marketing focuses on executing those plans. This includes things like writing product descriptions, creating landing pages, optimizing websites, and promoting products.
The truth is, both approaches are important. But you can only focus on one at a time.
For example, if you’re trying to grow your email list, you might start by focusing on building relationships with potential subscribers. Then, once you know who your ideal customer is, you can begin to craft messages that resonate with them.
You can’t just send generic emails to everyone. Instead, you need to find out what makes each person tick and tailor your message accordingly.