Hello summer! A season famous for road trips, family vacations, camping, and everything in between, it’s a great time to take a step back from the busyness of life to breathe and relax.
For businesses, summer is also the perfect opportunity to look at the bigger picture, evaluate your goals, and make sure your marketing strategy and tactics align with those objectives.
Let’s talk about two words: strategy and tactics. While they are interchangeably used when discussing objectives and goals, they mean different things, especially in marketing. Strategy refers to your approach to reach a goal, and tactics are the action steps you take to support that strategy.
It’s always best to start with your strategy before choosing tactics--not the other way around. We promise this will save many headaches and will maximize your efforts in the long run because strategy drives growth.
The Strategy-to-Tactics Planning Process
To build an effective marketing strategy, there are some questions to consider:
What do you hope to accomplish?
How will you know when you are successful (KPIs)?
Who is your target market?
What makes you better than your competitors?
What kind of experience do you want your customers to have when they work with you?
Answering questions like these will put you on a strategic path towards communicating the right messages consistently in order to drive sales and grow your revenue. With a strategy in place, you will have clarity in choosing the right tactics to reach your goals.
Now onto the action steps: tactics. With strategy as your guide, you can execute a meaningful tactical plan which is based on clear and consistent messaging, focused efforts, and an effective use of your budget. This can be accomplished through a combination of marketing tools like social media, emails, advertising, SEO and Google Analytics, and the supporting players including a well-designed website, eye-catching sales materials, and compelling blogs.
Tactics can be set into motion effectively once you have a clear strategy. But what most businesses don’t realize is that they can get distracted by feeling that they need to be a part of the latest marketing trends. This unfortunately causes a loss of focus and failure to choose tactics that align with their long-term strategy.
For instance, let’s say you’re the owner of a financial services firm and want to execute new social media tactics and design a new website. If you made the time to develop your marketing strategy, you found that most of your business comes through referrals. While there’s nothing wrong with still wanting to step up your social media game and digital presence, should that be the main focus of your tactical plan? Maybe not. Perhaps you would focus on building a program to increase referrals instead. These questions can be answered through the filter of your strategic plan.
We understand that all of this can be confusing. Our job is to help companies get their arms around the bigger picture of building their business for long term success before devising an execution plan to meet their objectives and goals.
The best plan of attack is to start with your strategy, then implement the right tactics from there. As you become aware of new marketing opportunities, your strategy provides the filter through which you can decide whether or not that tactic is a “fit”. If your company is looking for a fresh approach, we’d be happy to help. Set up a complimentary discovery call today and let’s talk about what you need to get growing!