Digital Marketing Strategy and Tactics (and the difference between the two)

13 august 2018

Many digital marketers had that one client who kept obsessing over every new tactic that sparked his interest. This is a tough one because this usually means he would never be really able to stick with anything long enough to produce results.

marketing-strategyAnd every agency, if wanted to succeed and keep their clients, has to be client-oriented, and to follow basic guidelines that client is suggesting. So before taking any more steps we need to sort things out and talk about the importance of sticking with a plan.

What do we really need then is a small and simple briefing about the need for a strategy and tactic, and the basic difference between the two. What is the role they play in relation to each other, and how they can help you achieve significant long-term success? Not knowing the difference between a tactic and a strategy can cause all your efforts to be inefficient and aimless.

Digital Marketing StrategyStrategy or a Master plan is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. It is what we usually call The Big Picture, an objective that will give you a significant competitive advantage.

Tactics, on the other hand, are the means by which a strategy is carried out. Those are planned or ad hoc activities meant to solve problems, or simply to move from one milestone to other in pursuit of the overall goal(s).

For example, at a company level, a strategy is decided by the board of directors, and tactics are being implemented by the junior officers and employees (reporting to senior officers). Basically, these are the overall actions you have to take to achieve the certain strategy.

A digital strategy that works

If you are a real estate company, you might be in a need of a strategy to get in front of home buyers who are interested in luxury apartments, starting from 500,000 € per apartment.

It is up to you and your marketing team to decide what is the best strategy in order to get results. If you want fast results, using only paid campaigns, this would usually include Google Ads and Social Media platforms. Choosing what platforms you`ll be targeting, what content, where and when you will be posting – all of this would be important parts of an overall strategy.

Or, if you want to use an SEO strategy, one of the main steps could be to publish content on high-tech home security, home automation, and appliances that would be of interest to the target group. Just think about lots of useful blog posts and news on topics such as the latest high-tech air purifiers, wine refrigerators and one-touch interfaces for exclusive homes.

Greatest truth about the tactics - If it works, don`t touch it

Setting your strategy before tactics is the most important part of any business or a marketing plan. We cannot see or physically touch strategy – it remains abstract even to the most experienced client one might ever have. So, it often goes skipped in favor of going straight to tactics – looks more “actionable” and “dedicated” to the many.

But what are the real repercussions of acting like that? Just imagine – you have a business, the business has one or two goals and objectives. So, naturally, you would want to know which steps (tactics) you must take in order to achieve those goals and objective(s). A strategy is our path or bridge for going from where we are today to our goal. This is a path that enables us to intelligently change the course and revise all tactics if we`re not meeting our objectives.

The tactics show us how specifically or tangibly we would execute our strategy. Whether this includes sending direct marketing letters, organizing of event(s), referral campaign or cold-calling, it’s all tactics. Basically, everything you can reach out and physically touch, it’s a tactic. And if it`s working, just go for it – you are one step further in achieving your goals.