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Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Tactics

Sitting down during this 4th quarter to go over final plans for the 2018 year? If the business you work for is a well prepared business who likes to stay ahead, the answer should be yes! Every year these meetings begin with targeted plans for the upcoming year and end up on what color napkins would be best at the Annual Gala. Yes…really…this happens.

I have observed many business owners (including myself at times) who want to have everything put together, wrap it up pretty, and put the bow on before even determining if the packed contents are meaningful and necessary. Everyone is guilty to some extent so don’t beat yourself up. There is hope for you!

Let’s break down the main difference between strategy and tactic:

Marketing Strategy asks “Why do we do this?”

Marketing Tactics asks “How do we do this?”

(Pro-tip: You will stand out if you can point out this difference in the conversations you are a part of…it adds value and progress to the meeting. You’re welcome.)

Already we can think of a few events that we do, processes we have, or programs that we utilize simply because we always have or because it would be “cool to do something like that”. But just because something is cool or successful does not make it worthwhile or meaningful. EVEN IF IT IS SUCCESSFUL!

Scratch Tactics that lack Strategy

Tactics are limitless without strategy. I can come up with a million things to do (none of which I have the time for) that could make me feel like I’m getting work done and even look like I’m getting work done. The problem? If it doesn’t line up with the WHY or strategy of the business then it has no place in my schedule.

Businesses who think strategy WIN

Businesses who think tactics BURN OUT

It’s a numbers game. You only have so many hours in a day to work and live life. Why waste your time continuing something if it is not furthering your goals and in line with your strategy? Take time to critically think about why you do what you do and determine if it is worthwhile.

Business owners have told me that they simply don’t have time for strategy and need to keep going just to keep up. Sound like someone who is burning out on tactics much? YES! You don’t have time for strategy unless you make time for it. Or, you can wait till you and your business are burnt out and then you will have all the time in the world to think of what you could have done. Save yourself stress, money, and time by thinking strategy over tactic.

So what will you eliminate?

If you have followed our story as we have grown, we have cut out some of the services we originally started out with. Why? Not because our services were sub-par, but because we knew we needed to develop more of a niche in the market.

Will we still do these services upon request? Sometimes, if the client is a good fit and wants our services.

What tactics have you been stuck on in the past? How do you stay focused on strategy now? Want to have a conversation? We love coffee!

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