The Difference Between Strategic and Tactical Marketing: Podcast Episode #1
In this episode, we're going to talk about strategic marketing versus tactical marketing. If you don't know what that is, that is totally fine. When I started working in marketing, I didn't know the difference either. But understanding the difference will really help you improve your marketing.
So when you think of marketing, you probably think of things like online ads or social media or emails. And those are all common types of marketing. Those are marketing tactics. And it's really common for businesses, especially when they're starting out, to be running those types of marketing tactics in ways that are not consistent. So they might try one or two things and they're not getting the results they need and then they switch over to something else. Or maybe you don't have someone that's dedicated to marketing. So you try those marketing tactics for a short period of time and then you get busy and you move to something else. So all of that is tactical marketing and it's hard to get momentum when you are marketing that way and it's hard to be successful.
So instead you need to look at your marketing in a more strategic way. And that means looking at it from a long-term point of view because that is what's going to get your marketing to be successful over a long period of time. Strategic marketing is an integrated cohesive collection of your marketing activities. And when you're planning your marketing strategically and ahead of time, you're going to see positive results. More so than approaching tactical marketing piece by piece, a little bit at a time. It just helps you look at everything holistically.
I like to look at marketing strategies in two different phases. One is around your foundational marketing strategies and these are things that you should work on at the beginning of your marketing efforts. And they are also things that are not going to change that often. They are things that maybe you look at every six months or every year to refresh. So I'll go through some of them at a high level, but eventually, down the road, we'll get into more depth on each of these.
The first piece of the foundational marketing strategy is looking at your branding. And a lot of this comes into doing work around your messaging and the look of your business. Like your website, your logo, all of your communications. How are they all connecting to each other? How are they showing your customers that you're different from your competitors? And that you are providing value that's worth them buying from you?
The second foundational marketing strategy is around figuring out the right person that is going to become your customer. This goes into doing work around identifying your ideal customer profile and what that person looks like who will buy from you and buy from you, hopefully for a long time, and who will recommend you to other people. And then within that ideal customer profile look at your different segments and how could you break up your customers into categories so that you could get even more personalized and relevant in the way that you are marketing to them.
The third piece of the foundational marketing strategies is looking at your marketing technology stack. There are thousands of technology platforms out there that you could use to help with your marketing. And it's best to look at them, evaluate what you need upfront and build on it over time. But you want to make sure that you're looking at your tech stack because it's going to help your marketing in making you more efficient and automating what you're doing and tracking your results around what you're doing, which is all super valuable.
The last piece of your foundational marketing strategy is developing a marketing plan and really taking in all those things that we just talked about and then adding in what your marketing tactics are going to be, what your calendar is going to be, and all of that to make sure that you have a plan and that you're getting ahead of what you need to be creating. Because some of the marketing tactics take a long time or some of them you need to do many times for them to build on and improve over time.
The next phase of the marketing strategies relates to the marketing plan. When you're developing the marketing plan and you are figuring out what your campaigns are, what you're going to be getting out in the market, you're going to develop marketing strategies. Maybe like three to five marketing strategies and that will help connect your individual marketing tactics.
So for example, you might have a marketing strategy around building customer loyalty or creating a content marketing system. Those would be your strategies. And then underneath those, you will have your individual tactics. So under a customer loyalty strategy, you might have a referral program or you might send out coupons through your marketing automation platform based on their birthday or what they purchased, things like that. So instead of looking at all of the pieces of your marketing tactically, like we talked about in the beginning, you connect everything with a marketing strategy over it. And we're going to talk more about that later.
But for now, just start thinking about putting yourself in your customer's shoes, because ultimately that is what makes marketing most successful and that is what will make your marketing strategies really strong. So just start thinking about what's going on in their lives, what's going on in their jobs, and how could your product or service help them. And again, that is the core piece of success for developing all of your marketing strategies, your foundational ones, and marketing strategies that are part of your marketing plan. So I'll leave you with that and thank you for listening for today.