First, so that we’re on the same page about what tactical marketing is (and isn’t), here are some common examples:
- Keeping the website updated
- Making sure everyone’s business cards match
- Posting something on Facebook
- Creating and placing a radio ad
- Creating and maintaining brochures
- Purchasing logo wear for your co-workers
- Organizing a newsletter
Just as people need water and oxygen to live, businesses need tactical marketing functions to survive.
For instance, if you didn’t make brochures for a trade show, fewer prospects are likely to call. Or, if you publish a typo that offends readers, business could come to a screeching halt. Basic, foundational marketing processes and systems need to be in place for your business to attract and retain customers. And, before you can grow these elements, your marketing needs to be rock solid.
Tactical marketing tasks are the basic functions you need to execute to keep doors open and customers happy.
But do you want MORE? That’s where strategic marketing comes in.
Here’s a question for you: Where do want to see your business in five years? Now, here’s my favorite question: How will you get there?
The answer to that is in your strategic marketing plan.
Marketing strategy is what guides your marketing tactics. Below are a few examples of marketing strategies:
- Grow sales by $250,000 with the new Acme product aimed at Gen Yers, to attract market share from A&P and Roadrunner Inc.
- Develop new product lines for the dynamite division that will appeal to catalog distributors.
- Cross-promote Acme and Wilde product lines to introduce them to the next generation of users.
- Develop a distribution partnership with Looney Tunes Inc.
Once again, the things you do every day (tactics) are what support the strategies. In the example of a new Acme product line, the strategy will be supported by tactics such as the creation of a brand name and logo, packaging design, media release, social media launch, trade ad, new banners at your trade shows, ads featured on your website, etc.
Are you operating tactically but not strategically? If the answer is “tactically” then slow down what you’re doing, step back and start thinking longer term.
To be candid, the #1 reason we find some U.P. companies lack strategy is the lack of experienced marketing talent on their team. Stay tuned to learn how to build a marketing team that is equally strategic and tactical.