Marketing Tactics

What is the difference between marketing tactics and marketing strategy?

Marketing tactics and marketing strategy differ in many ways. Each can also be subdivided into several levels as well. Often times each of these terms are used differently in different contexts. We use them as follows:

Marketing Tactics

Marketing tactics often refers to the specific actions taken to build and execute a marketing campaign. Or marketing tactics could refer to the actions taken in a specific media channel. In a particular media channel, tactical questions could be related to when a marketing activity is executed, how it is executed in the context of an overall campaign or how many impressions are purchased.

Marketing Tactics and strategic decisions

However, to use a specific media channel could be a more strategic decision. For example, a few years ago, less so now, companies were very fearful of the potential negative consequences to their brands due to the use of social media. It was then a strategic decision to begin using social media. But with how social media is now implemented, whether Twitter or Facebook are used would be considered marketing tactics. Similarly, for a premium brand such as Nike, a strategic decision might be to start offering price promotions and discounts. A marketing tactic would be to choose between 10% off or 15% off. Or for a premium brand, such as Apple, it might be a strategic marketing decision to offer the iPad in Wal-Mart, but a tactical decision to run a promotion in their stores.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy, on the other hand, should be considered much higher level. It can be used to describe the process of determining how much money should be invested in one media channel versus another. Marketing Strategy develops a high-level view of how a brand goes to market, choosing between one type of brand position versus another. It trades off actions in price against actions in the distribution channel or in media. Marketing Strategy develops the overall use of each of the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) to deliver on the corporate strategic objectives of revenue, profit, and long-term position.

Marketing Strategy and the Annual Planning Process

Often marketers refer to the annual marketing planning process as a strategic plan. This is because big decisions about the brand are often made during this process. Nevertheless, these discussions are more tactical as opposed to strategic, since they generally work to put a plan in place, made up of a series of tactics to meet the corporate business plan and objectives in terms of sales and profit.

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Is your company using marketing tactics when developing marketing plans?

Is your company using marketing tactics when developing marketing plans?

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