What are marketing tactics? - Part 1
Mastering marketing for your business is a process that can involve many different ideas, tools and people. A lot goes into making a great marketing plan—strategy, tactics and goals, too. If you want to make the most of your marketing efforts, you will need to use the right marketing tactics. In this two-part series, I am going to discuss marketing tactics and the most common ones you can use to put your brand on the map.
Marketing strategies versus marketing tactics
In marketing, it is no secret that a variety of terms and buzzwords are routinely thrown around. Two of the most common terms are "marketing strategy" and "marketing tactics." You will often see these terms used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Following is a definition of each term and the benefits that they bring.
- Marketing strategy: A marketing strategy is a full-scale plan that is made to support marketing efforts for a brand or company. Strategies cover everything from major goals to the individuals you are trying to reach. Think of them as a road map for all future marketing efforts. In today’s world, 63 percent of businesses have marketing strategies in place (see https://bit.ly/3OFUToM).
In most cases, a brand will have an overarching marketing strategy. However, it is also possible for companies to have other smaller strategies at work within a larger marketing strategy. At their core, marketing strategies are made to help brands engage customers and sell more products.
- Marketing tactic: Marketing tactics can sound similar to marketing strategies, but they actually exist within marketing strategies themselves. A marketing tactic is one of the actual detailed actions that will be used to support the marketing strategy.
All marketing strategies are dependent upon marketing tactics to bring them to life. While a marketing strategy is overarching, marketing tactics are specific and detailed strategic moves. They are a part of the marketing strategy.
Both marketing strategies and marketing tactics are needed if you want to have a successful marketing push in any industry. A marketing strategy is just information if there are not any marketing tactics to make it all come to life. While it might seem like marketing tactics are the important part of a strategy, the fact is that marketing tactics alone are not inherently useful. Marketing strategies guide and select marketing tactics to achieve specific goals. Without a strategy behind them, marketing tactics are less likely to be effective.
You need both marketing strategies and marketing tactics for successful marketing.
Choosing your marketing tactics
There are a lot of popular marketing tactics available, and it can be tempting to choose your marketing tactics based on hype or trends. In reality, this is not the best approach when choosing appropriate tactics. Organized marketers are found to be a whopping 674 percent more likely to report success from their efforts, so organization is key (see https://bit.ly/45xYlI8). Your marketing tactics should be chosen with purpose based on the information laid out in your marketing strategy.
To choose the best tactics for your specific strategy, ask yourself:
• What is your goal?
• Who will you reach?
Your goal for marketing efforts should play a substantial role in the marketing tactics that you choose. You want to select marketing tactics that support the goals you have in place, not just the ones that sound interesting or engaging. Every marketing tactic should be chosen with a purpose. If you are working with multiple goals, you may need multiple marketing tactics to match. Common goals include increasing brand awareness, enhancing connections with customers, regaining former customers, and supporting a product launch
Marketing tactics are only useful if you know that they will land with the people you are trying to reach. Chances are that you wouldn’t want to advertise products for young people on websites frequented by older demographics.
Without the right reach and the right audience, marketing tactics will not yield great results. For example, 43 percent of internet users are reached through social media, while only 15 percent are reached through podcasts (see https://outgrow.co/blog/social-media-reach).
Common audiences include specific demographics, people with specific needs, people with specific interests.
You may wonder how many tactics to use. Although you can certainly choose one solid marketing tactic and stick with it, this isn’t the key to long-term success. Most effective marketing efforts are driven by the use of multiple marketing tactics. Effectively combining marketing tactics will take a fair amount of consideration. You might use different tactics to reach different audiences, all for the same product. It is also fairly common to use different tactics at different times or to achieve different goals.Common considerations include budget constraints, target audiences and how different tactics interact.
The primary goal of any marketing strategy is to be successful in your marketing efforts—but what does that look like in practice? For a lot of brands, measuring success often comes down to data. Different kinds of marketing tactics can all offer different data as a measure of success. For example, 20 percent of businesses measure digital marketing success by how many leads are generated (see www.demandsage.com/digital-marketing-statistics/).
Common measurements include people reached, conversions, total sales, total engagement and generated online discussions. When you understand the goal of a marketing strategy and how different marketing tactics play into it, it is much easier to be successful. Every brand will want to use marketing tactics that help to support their specific goals and make it easy to achieve them.
In the next part of this series, I will discuss popular marketing tactics and how you can use them to drive engagement and increase sales. Remember, there are plenty of great marketing tactics, but you want to choose options that will support your goals in particular. A little strategy and consideration can help you to choose marketing tactics that are always a perfect fit for your brand and deliver results too.