You’re probably already using tactical marketing. If you have social media channels, a website, newsletter, or any other form of mass communication with consumers, you’re engaging in tactical marketing. The question at hand is – what is driving it? Does every communication and post align with a larger strategy that ties into your goals? Let’s look at the differences between strategic marketing and tactical marketing and how they fit together.
Tactical marketing is marketing execution. As I mentioned before, it’s posting on social media, sending out newsletters and communicating with your consumers. Strategic marketing is marketing with a plan, tying it to business goals and executing the tactics in a way that aligns with the plan. You can have tactical marketing without strategy (although I don’t recommend it!) but you can’t have strategic marketing without tactics.
So how does one go about adding strategy to existing tactical marketing?
Since you’re already marketing on your social media and other owned channels (website, newsletter, etc.), keep going! We’re going to add strategy to the mix, which may change what you’re posting and how you’re saying it. There’s no harm in maintaining your current tactics while you develop a strategy.
Define Your Objectives
The objective is a business goal you want to reach through marketing. What are your top business goals? How can marketing support them? Maybe you want to drive more traffic to your website, bring more people to your storefront, or sell more packages or products through an online store. These objectives will work toward increasing business in an obtainable way.
Develop Your Strategy
Strategy is how you are going to achieve the objectives. It helps you focus on the big picture before going into the day-to-day tactics. If a goal is to build brand awareness in a community, then a strategy may be to gain coverage with local media. If a goal is to drive more traffic to a website, your strategy may be to promote website content. Strategic marketing also means defining a target audience, positioning and evaluating your resources.
Yes, you already have tactics in place. How can you adapt them to your strategy? If we’re looking to increase website traffic, and promote content, tactically you have a lot of options. You can come up with a content marketing plan to create fresh, shareable content. You can also evaluate your current channels. How often do you include links to your own website on social media? Newsletters? Are people clicking when you do?
This is also a good time to evaluate your tactics in relation to your new strategy. Do all of your channels make sense? Should you consider adding a social media channel?
Now that you have a strategy in place, you can continue to build on it. Revisit your strategy at least once a year, or more often depending on what you’re doing. Pull statistics for your tactics and use that to evaluate growth toward your objectives. Add on and adapt your strategy as you grow and as your business goals change.