A strategy is a systematic plan of action to achieve the desired result. It is the way you approach a long-term goal. In comparison, a tactic is how you carry out the small steps. Your Strategy will mostly remain unchanged until you reach your goal. It’s the tactics that keep on changing as you gain more clarity.
Let me give you a few examples of Marketing Tactics (What you do) and Strategies (Why you do it).
What: Try a Welcome mat.
Why: It could increase your subscriber base ten times!
What: Add social sharing buttons both before and after your content.
Why: It could double your shares!
What: Use embedded tweets for social proof.
Why: It could skyrocket your trust base!
Let me give you another example of a Marketing Strategy and tactics applied to make it successful.
To become an Industry Leader teaching web designers how they can charge higher for their services.
– Start building a mailing list of web designers. Organize the list with desired information about them.
– Drive them to specific landing pages. Use outreach, guest posts, and interviews.
– For first-time visitors, use a welcome mat. Have them join your mailing list with a great offer.
– Create easily shareable content for social media and other platforms relevant to them. Web Designer News & Subreddits are a few examples.
So, the Strategy is your long-term plan, and the tactics are the singular action to get there.
As the two wheels of a bicycle, a strategy & its underlying tactics must work in tandem. One cannot be sufficient just on its own. In the above example, experimenting with various tactics without having a clear strategy will get little done. It is the same as making an intelligent strategy but not implementing it tactfully.
The internet is overflowing with tips & tricks to grow your online business. But with a clear online strategy, their impact will be more significant & more manageable. On the other hand, you may save time doing trial & error and see no real benefits. Eventually, you may start thinking Marketing doesn’t work. And whose loss will that be?
These tips could be practical only when part of a broader plan. This plan would address the “Why” of your dos & don’ts. So instead of trying every tip, trick, or tactic found on the internet, first build a strategy of Marketing. A few starting questions could be: what’s the ultimate objective of my products/services? Who are my target customers? How does my product or service help my target customers?
Strategies can be developed backward:
5) My objective is to sell more products.
4) To sell more, I must build a target customer mailing list.
3) To create a mailing list, I need to get more relevant traffic to my site.
2) To get more relevant traffic, I need to be visible where they spend time.
1) To be visible in those places, I need to create guest content or get interviewed through outreach.
Here, you started with your objectives and then worked your way backward. Such exercises help break down your plan into smaller steps and create tactics to fulfill each. Some tactics may be better, and you may start experimenting now. For example, Strategy is more about thinking, whereas Tactics are more about executing. So after the Strategy is chosen, work it out tactfully, one way or the other.
What Happens When You Don’t Have a Strategy?
1) When you apply random tactics without a strategy, you will face the following problems.
2) You Will Lose Focus
“Focus” is the key to success in everything. And it will be hard to focus on one step if your mind juggles through several others. Making an intelligent strategy helps you focus on one thing at a time. As a result, you remain in control with more clarity about where you want to go and what you need to do.
3) You Cannot Monitor Results.
Suppose you are trying several tactics without a strategy. In that case, you can never be sure about the one that is effective and the one that isn’t. So it’s vital to sort out the effective ones as soon as possible so you save time and money on the others.
The Biggest Benefit of Strategy–Task Automation
So, a strategy brings a focused approach to your work and lets you measure results more efficiently. But the most significant benefit is it also helps automate the whole thing. When you have eliminated the tactics that aren’t working and have started repeating those that work, things will start falling into a process.
Following a process yields more extraordinary results and gradually becomes error-free. Whether a new product launch or re-launching existing products, things will be less tiresome with less mind work and more routine work. It also helps you predict the outcomes at every step.
So, if you have been trying random marketing tactics you read on industry blogs, ask yourself this. Are your tactics part of a clear, bigger plan? If you don’t answer that, it’s time to create a Strategy.
Download our Marketing Plan Workbook to help you with Strategy and tactics. When you’re ready to add us to your team, call 94-257-7066 and let’s talk.