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Strategic Marketing Vs. Tactical Marketing

Tactics and strategy are often interchangeably used when talking about gaining an objective. But while the two words may seem synonymous, they mean different things, especially in marketing.

The strategy is the direction towards the goal. Tactics are the action taken to support the strategy. Simply put, strategy refers to the plan to achieve a goal while the tactic is how you execute the plan.

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In business, marketing is the action a company takes to create brand awareness and place products in front of prospects. When creating your marketing plan, strategic marketing comes first because it deals with the direction of your business growth in relation to your competitors. It is a long-term goal that is broad. Next, comes tactical planning which consists of the actual process involved in improving your competitive position.

Strategic marketing and tactical marketing don’t oppose each other; they complement the other. Essentially, strategic marketing is the concept while tactical marketing is the action. Let’s take a closer look at what each type of marketing involves.


Strategic Marketing
To gain a competitive edge in marketing for manufacturing, you need a thorough understanding of your target customer’s demographics and buying habits. To decide what your business goals are, you must be up-to-date on industry trends and your competitive position. Once you’ve formulated your goals, you need to develop a strategy to achieve those goals.

Strategic planning involves recognizing the threats and opportunities presented by the industry. What are the strengths and weaknesses in manufacturing? Does your company have the strength and financial capability to tackle those threats and grab those opportunities?

Your strategy shouldn’t be all things at once. Focus on an element where you can fill the gap and where you can gain a competitive advantage. Fulfilling the needs of this industry problem becomes your goal – your strategy.

Strategic marketing considers the long-term goals of your company such as expanding your business, exploring new demographics, or creating a new brand. Therefore, it needs the insight of your financial department who can analyze if you have adequate funds to realize your goals.

Tactical Marketing
While strategic marketing looks at the goals of the company, tactical marketing focuses on the details to achieve that goal. With a strategy in place, the actions or tactics needed to reach your goal can be set into motion.

Creating tactics to support your marketing strategies involve detailed profiles of your customers. Only by knowing your target demographic can you choose the right advertising media and determine which marketing channel is most effective.

Tactical marketing often involves generating leads, building websites, placing ads, and following up. It includes advertising, sales promotions, and other activities that directly support your strategic marketing plan. And because your strategic marketing plan included establishing a budget, tactical planning preparation should take into account its financial limitations in carrying out these activities.

Strategic marketing and tactical marketing are interdependent and employed in combination. Your marketing plan starts with a strategy and followed by detailed tactics. The presence of both forms of marketing is essential to the success of your marketing.

Which one will grow your business? Strategic marketing.

Most companies start with tactical marketing by choosing activities such as email, pay-per-click, SEO, social media, trade shows, etc. This is a big mistake!

Starting with tactical marketing without first addressing strategic marketing is like building a house without a blueprint. It's based on a strategy of hope which is guaranteed to fail.

To get the highest impact on your marketing spend, start with strategy, then move to tactics. Strategy drives growth. Ignoring strategy and starting with tactics is like burning a pile of cash in your parking lot.

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