Don’t Focus on Marketing Tactics, Focus on Marketing Strategies

Marketing tactics are the small steps businesses take to reach marginal increases in conversions and interactions. While savvy tactics can result in improvement, they're no replacement for a solid marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy is your roadmap for getting from where you currently are in terms of brand awareness, subscribers, and sales, to your next destination: higher shopping cart values, more engagement, and more significant customer insights.  

Even the best tactics can lack direction and purpose without a long-term marketing strategy. That's why we specialize in helping businesses create robust, customized marketing strategies that fit their overarching business goals.  

In this quick guide to marketing tactics vs. marketing strategy, we'll walk through the following: 

  • The key differences between marketing strategies and marketing tactics 
  • Why you should prioritize strategy over tactics 
  • What a marketing strategy brings to your business 

Is there a Difference Between Marketing Strategies and Tactics?  

A strategy is the overarching plan of action for how your business approaches all of your marketing endeavors, ranging from buyer research to the set up of individual campaigns to the analysis processes for reviewing results. Marketing strategies can vary in complexity and detail, with some companies creating a broad big-picture overview and others creating extremely granular blueprints down to the last operational detail.  

However, most marketing strategies contain these elements: 

  • Objectives: What are the big goals for your business?  
  • Targeting: Who are your core buyers? What target market(s) do you want to reach? And, just as importantly, what target markets do you not want to reach? 
  • Integration: As you dive into the details of your marketing plan, it's easy for your core messages to transform or get too distorted. What is your strategy for maintaining a clear, unified series of messages? How will you deliver a consistent tone and message? 
  • Channels and Tools: Where will you publish content, and where will you purchase ad space? Your team may also use various tools to create and manage marketing campaigns. 
  • Performance Monitoring: What tools or processes will you use to ensure you reach your marketing goals and KPIs? 
  • Structure: Here, outline the broad strokes or precise details of your campaigns and marketing operations. 

Ultimately, the goals of a marketing strategy include creating a big-picture overview of your present and future plans, ensuring your projects match your budget and time availability, and shifting to a long-term perspective for more continual marketing efforts. Because you have a long-term plan, you can more deliberately plan out spending that aligns with your business's needs across the quarter or year. 

On the other hand, marketing tactics are small, individual actions you and your team take in pursuit of specific goals or outcomes. They are the steps you plan out or consider bringing your strategy to life.  

Keep the Focus on Marketing Strategy, and Less on Tactics  

With a strategy in place, your business's marketing efforts are focused in a clear direction. Otherwise, even successful tactical decisions might be forgotten, not be fully utilized, or have costs that far outweigh their benefits. Some key benefits of focusing on a marketing strategy over tactics include the following. 

Think Big Picture Over Small Details 

When you plan for a longer time horizon, you can make more holistically beneficial decisions instead of getting stuck in in-the-moment choices. Once you define your objectives, you can establish KPIs and analytics processes that let you gauge how well you're achieving those goals. But when you focus on small details and tactics, you don't have a standard to measure against or plans to move toward. 

Marketing Strategies Are Long-Term Plans 

Depending on your business, you may have very long-term sales and marketing cycles. B2B sales cycles, for example, take several months. Selling larger consumer goods also takes months of pre-purchase and post-purchase efforts to build a solid rapport with shoppers, so they buy more in the future or refer new customers your way.  

Strategy Allows Branding to Be More Consistent 

Branding consistency is increasingly important in markets that are becoming more and more competitive. Your target market needs to recognize your logo, voice, tone, and overall messaging instantly. Because marketing strategies establish elements, there's much less risk of confusing customers.  

Start Creating Your Marketing Strategy with Mid-West Family 

Tactical marketing is essential but only helps your business grow when you apply it through your marketing strategy. At Mid-West Family, we help small and local businesses create personalized multi-channel marketing strategies and strategic marketing solutions that consider their branding, customers, and goals. 

New call-to-action

Back to Blog