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Marketing strategy vs tactics – why the difference matters

Updated July 19, 2023
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Marketing strategy vs tactics – why the difference matters: What’s the difference between strategy and tactics? This is a question that I often get asked when running workshops for training or discussing the creation of marketing plans with businesses.

Marketing strategy vs tactics – why the difference matters: 9 key differences between strategy and tactics

This is not surprising considering the differences between these activities are often not distinct. It’s a crucial question as our research has shown that many businesses lack a clear marketing strategy.

If you don’t have a clear strategy, chances are that some of your tactics will not work.

9 key characteristics that different marketing strategy from tactics

This article will explain the differences between strategy and tactics. I’ll focus on the marketing strategy’s characteristics, which distinguish it from other tactics. Examples will be provided to illustrate their differences based on strategic activities.

What is the difference between strategy and tactics?

Strategie is the blueprint for the marketing activities required to achieve your business vision and goals. Tactics, or the “detail” of the strategy, are what will make it happen.

These 9 points can help you determine if your current marketing strategy has enough depth and is not too tactical. A marketing strategy can be used to highlight the advantages of your business’s strategy and planning.

1. Competitive advantage is defined by strategy

Strategy can be viewed through the lens of how you can compete against your competitors. This is a great way to distinguish between tactics and strategy. It can be viewed as your rules for engagement in a war or battle if it suits your mentality.

Sun-Tsu was certain to be the first to write this, and Sun-Tsu ‘s strategic thinking is easily applied to marketing strategy. His well-known but probably apocryphal quote illustrates that well:

Strategy without tactics is the slowest way to victory. “.

Book a consultation if you are looking for a marketing strategy that will reach more customers. Discuss your issues and find solutions for your business. This blog will provide information about the RACE Framework and integrated marketing strategies tools.

2. Strategy is the key to top-level resource allocation

Each business has limited budgets, staff, and resources, just like a general. The strategy must be able to use these resources to make the greatest impact.

The technique of informing strategy involves deciding what you WILL and WON’T put in as well as deciding where to focus. This Harvard Business Review classic paper suggests that many strategies fail simply because they aren’t strategies at all. Instead, they are just aspirations…

“One reason there is so much resistance to action is the fact that many “new strategies” are not actually strategies. Real strategy requires a set of clear choices that clearly define the firm’s goals and objectives “.

3. Strategie is a long-term vision.

The O in SOSTAC(r) stands for objectives and vision. Specific targets are needed to set goals and measure performance. Communication failure to set clear targets is a problem that is common when there is no strategy or people are focusing only on tactics.

You need to have a soft idea of your future vision in order to communicate your direction to employees and partners as well as other stakeholders. Your strategy should establish the link between vision, goals and objectives, as well as how you plan to achieve them via resource allocation.

4. Strategie sets long-term goals

Goal setting and planning
Goal setting and planning

Together, they should support the overall direction and goals of a company. They should support the overall goals of the company. To ensure that tactics contribute to the overall strategic goals of the business, LINK align objectives with strategies.

To ensure we get the best returns from our strategic investments, we recommend building predictions based on conversion models .

5. Marketing strategy defines priority markets and audiences.

This is where Targeting, Segmentation and Positioning comes in. These tactics will include communicating these messages to the right audiences, but it won’t usually involve a strategic review to determine which audiences or products/markets are most suitable.

A key technique for a larger company is to use the BCG Matrix in order to review your products portfolio and establish future growth priorities.

STP also involves identifying key audiences and marketing personas. This will help you plan how to reach and communicate with these people.

6. Brand positioning is determined by strategy

The strategy begins with defining the perception of our brand relative to other brands once we have identified our target audience’s preferences, characteristics, and behaviors.

Businesses in crowded markets are more vulnerable to financial pressures than ever, making it even harder for them to maintain a competitive advantage. We have found that having a clearly defined strategy can make the difference between success and failure. These 10 reasons why you need a digital strategy are worth considering if you’re still seeking buy-in to invest in marketing.

7. Strategie is how you engage your audience through branding

You can think about branding at a tactical level. For example, what brand identities and colors to use. However, branding must be considered at a strategic level. This is to ensure that a business’s messaging, tone-of voice, and message architecture, can appeal to customers. We recommend using RACE Framework to plan your brand strategy.

8. Strategie is a long-term strategy for technology investments and other major investments

We must also use data and technology to get better results from marketing tactics. To get the best out of the tactics we use, we should have techniques such as AB testing made available by conversion optimization tools. To achieve modern marketing strategies, a marketing technology stack must be established.

Many organizations are launching change initiatives to make use of marketing technology in this age of digital transformation. This improves customer insight and data use and increases their process efficiency. It will be significant to invest in digital experiences, marketing automation, and in the future artificial intelligence and Elearning.

It is often impossible to invest all the technology required in one year due to the high cost or complexity of the investment. Marketing goals require that longer-term martech roadmaps be established to create an integrated martech stack.

9. Governance helps to steer activities

A marketing strategy should be linked to provide businesses with an overall control over the tactics. This includes the Action and Control sections of PR Smith’s SOTAC(r) framework. We need the best tactical process in order to align tactics with a strategy. This is part of strategic planning.

Businesses use tactics to manage their marketing. However, a marketing strategy is not something that happens organically. It requires proactive effort to create and communicate it in order to guide tactics. Because your company will ultimately be successful if you have a strategy, it is essential to create one.

Your business can use strategic and tactical marketing tools

Online marketing tools
Online marketing tools

The RACE Framework is recommended if you are planning marketing strategies or tactics for your business. RACE helps you implement a data-driven customer centric strategy throughout the customer lifecycle: Reach, Act Convert, Engage.

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