People often confuse marketing tactics with marketing strategy. This is probably because, most of the time, the words ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics” are used interchangeably. In marketing, although they can sometimes overlap, these two are different. By having a clear marketing strategy in place, you can evaluate each tactic to see if it aligns with your larger marketing plan and adjust your tactics as needed to ensure that your marketing efforts are focused and effective. Confusing one for the other can lead to some marketing challenges or problems, such as:
- A monthly newsletter with a high unsubscribe rate and a low click-through rate
- Increasing Google Ads spending but not increasing sales
- Attracting the wrong customers
- Website visitors not converting to buyers
- Not showing up in search results
- Regular blog content publishing that fails to generate conversions
These problems can be detrimental to the success of your business if left unchecked and unresolved. So, it’s essential to understand the differences. There can also be confusion between setting marketing goals and having a marketing strategy. It’s vital to see how they differ and complement one another.
A marketing goal is a result you aim to achieve, either long or short-term. Examples are:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating more leads
- Increasing audience engagement
- improving key performance indicators
- becoming a thought leader
Marketing goals must be defined early on, as they are critical in giving you and your team a direction, purpose and vision. Your goals have to be focused, realistic and measurable. In addition, you need quantifiable goals to determine whether your campaigns are effective and their impact on sales, performance or engagement.
A marketing strategy is a high-level plan for reaching and engaging with your target audience and achieving your marketing goals. Call it your game plan or your playbook. It outlines the approach you’ll take to reach your target audience and the specific tactics you’ll use to implement your plan.
It lays out a clear set of choices on where to allocate your resources, defines priority markets, audiences and products, and how you’ll gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Finally, it defines a long-term roadmap.
Not having a strategy is like throwing something onto a wall to see what sticks, which will cost you time, money and resources.
Marketing tactics are the specific actions or techniques you’ll use to carry out your marketing strategy. These might include tactics such as email marketing, social media advertising, content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), and others.
We’ve mapped out some examples so you can understand better how marketing goals, strategies, and tactics work together.
In short, marketing tactics are the tools you use to implement your marketing strategy. The strategy provides the direction and the tactics offer the means to get there. Both are critical to successful marketing, and it’s essential to understand the difference between allocating your resources and measuring your results effectively.
Some key takeaways to keep in mind:
- To achieve a goal, you need an equally sound strategy. Having a robust strategy without a clear goal will leave you aimless.
- Sometimes, a business will identify a goal but forget to create an overall marketing strategy to achieve it.
- Marketing strategy and tactics must go hand in hand for your business to achieve momentum. But it would be best if you started with an effective strategy for any tactics to make sense. Otherwise, you will waste your time and money on tactics that don’t fit your plan, industry, or target market.
The first step to launching a marketing campaign with real value is understanding marketing strategy, tactics, and goals, and how they are interdependent and complementary. Next, build a marketing strategy around your marketing goals, and develop your marketing goals around business goals. Then, define the tactics you need to execute your strategy and achieve your goals.
If you are looking to implement a well-rounded marketing strategy necessary to win your customers’ attention or need assistance with any digital marketing services to increase demand for your business overnight, we have experts who can help you. Book a date for a free consultation.