9 key differences between strategy vs tactics
‘What is the difference between strategy vs tactics?’ is one of the most common questions that 'crops up' when I’m running training workshops or discussing creating marketing plans with businesses.
It’s no surprise since the difference between these two activities often isn’t distinct. Yet, it’s an important question to answer since our research shows that so many businesses don’t have a clear marketing strategy or plan.
Without a clear strategy, it’s likely some of your tactics may be poorly directed, so may not be propelling the business in the direction needed.
9 key features that distinguish marketing strategy vs tactics
In this article, I will show the difference between strategy and tactics by looking at the characteristics of marketing strategy, which distinguish it from tactics. I’ll give examples that help show the difference between the two based on essential strategic activities.
What's the difference between strategy vs tactics?
Introducing 3 key methods for an integrated sales and marketing strategy
Marketing and sales teams have a reputation for not getting along. Working towards the same ultimate goal in different ways means there is often friction. That's why we recommend an integrated sales and marketing strategy.
We’ve all heard that when the sales are coming in it’s because the sales team is doing a great job and when the sales slow then the marketing team needs to pull its socks up. How do we fix this?
The key levers are regular and open communication, an understanding that each team needs the other in order to succeed, and well-implemented systems that help, rather than hinder performance for both teams.
Traditionally, sales and marketing have different priorities, you can see some examples below. Of course, in an integrated approach, both teams are aware of and support each other's functions too.
Three Go-to-Market models to help you strategize, plan and deliver
Business and marketing go-to-market strategy is an essential component in the delivery of any successful product, service, or promotional launch/campaign.
We’ve written extensively at Smart Insights about the importance of defining a target audience, producing a clear value proposition and optimizing the right marketing mix; just three elements of good marketing strategy to help ensure brands create a competitive advantage, deliver value for customers and generate profit for the business.
However, the success of any strategy is dependent on how this is ultimately executed and within this post, I’d like to look at a few different ways this can be brought to life as part of a Go-to-Market (GTM) plan.
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From annual to 90-day planning that rocks
Has this happened to you?
You spend a ton of effort creating your marketing plan, you feel great about it. You’re going to move forwards with clarity on those important initiatives.
Tasks are planned week by week and resources allocated...
The ink has barely dried before the first curve ball arrives. You’re back to the plan, juggling and adjusting, trying to hold it together.
That’s frustrating enough, but it’s not long before the next curve ball. Redraw plans again. Soon you wonder why you spent the time trying to plan in first place.
The sand shifts so fast planning seems pointless.
You are not alone. I’ve seen it happen too many times.
The net result is:
People outside the team are frustrated because those bold initiatives with planned dates rarely happen as planned
People inside the team are frustrated. Continual chop and change kills productivity and is frankly demoralizing
Conversational marketing can introduce personalization across the buyer journey, leading to better results
Only 22% of customers are happy with the level of personalization in digital retail. However, conversational marketing could offer true 1:1 personalization at every stage of the customer journey and scale.
You walk into your favorite brick-and-mortar store to find zero sales assistants.
Instead, there’s a small box on the wall. Next to it, a pen and paper.
The sign above reads “Please leave any questions here. We endeavor to get back to you within 24 hours”.
Sounds ridiculous, right?
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But it’s the approach most brands have taken through digital channels for years.
Email has been the go-to support channel. Questions require a full day’s turnaround for, what is often, a vaguely useful response.
Brand marketing needs to be engrained into the genetics of the brand
The Walt Disney Company has a long and interesting history that spans almost 100 years. It was founded by brothers Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney on October 16, 1923. Originally, the company was called ‘Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio’. At first, they established themselves in the animation industry before extending their interests to producing live-action films.
The business has also operated using the names ‘The Walt Disney Studio’ and ‘Walt Disney Productions’. It didn’t take on its current name until 1986. After the success of the films, Walt Disney started building parks, the first of which was Disney World in Florida. He was a very clever man and even bought the land under multiple company names so that locals would not hike the land prices.
That ingenuity spread into their marketing strategy and I'm going to show you how they…
Opinion: The rainbow washing of marketing campaigns during Pride may seem like a positive, but are those bright colours really supporting the LGBTQ+ community or just fulfilling a brand purpose?
We’re fast heading toward summer, which to most means sunshine, holidays and ice cream. But to many in the marketing and advertising world, it means incorporating rainbows into campaigns ahead of Pride month in June.
Throughout June, July and August, rainbows seem to appear everywhere as brands show their apparent support for the LGBTQ+ community. While this may seem like a positive thing - after all, supporting a marginalized community can only ever be a good thing, right? - the rainbow washing of everything from fizzy drinks to bank windows doesn’t really tell the whole story.
Support versus brand purpose
For starters, there is a big difference between supporting a community…
Chart of the day: 11.1% of businesses budgets is spent on marketing activities on average
Research by The CMO Survey has found that 11.1% is the average budget spent on marketing. As shown in the chart below, 11.1% on average is how much businesses are spending n marketing. If your business is spending less than this, it's worth considering whether there are missed opportunities.
Across sectors, the research has found that marketing spend is mixed, but there are a number of industries that spend considerably more than others. Shown below is the percentage of budget spend on marketing in each sector listed. Energy, healthcare, media and tech industries are leading the highest average marketing spend
Digital marketing also dominates marketing spend across B2C and B2B sectors when compared to "traditional" marketing spend.
Psychology research that will help you subtly convince your leads
Ever wanted to get into the minds of your customers and figure out how they think? Ever wanted to know the best methods to convince someone to do something?
As the study of the human mind and behavior, psychology has answers to what you're looking for. Psychology is applicable to a wide range of fields, from daily life to counseling to human resources. But what you're probably more concerned about is the intersection of psychology and marketing
1. Relate to your customer
Goldstein, Cialdini, and Griskevicius (2008) conducted a study on Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels. In particular, they tried to determine what kind of message would get hotel guests to reuse their towels. They used three variations, paraphrased below:
Standard message: 'help save the environment'
75% of hotel guests in this hotel reuse their towels
75% of hotel guests…
Chart of the Day: CMO survey of investment in alternative strategies for growth
A key part of marketing strategy development is to review the strategic options for growing a business. Here we're sharing a breakdown of actual investment by companies using this classic marketing model that has stood the test of time since it originally dates from the 1960s...
You may recognize Ansoff’s growth model, which is a matrix that can be used to identify alternative growth strategies by looking at present and potential products in current and future markets. The four growth strategies are market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
It's no surprise that investment in existing markets is the main focus, followed by new product development. But it's surprising to me that market development and diversification are as high as they are. This breakdown showing the balance between…