Strategy Plus Tactics Makes a Plan
As a new year dawns, it’s so relaxing to sit back, sip a cup of hot cocoa and ponder the differences between “strategic marketing planning” and “tactical marketing planning.”
Unless this is your first month on the job, you’ve learned from experience that your year has an ebb and flow – which makes it sound so fun, like a rhythmic see-saw. But if you’ve seen the other side of those ebbing days, and been paralyzed because you didn’t know what to do, here’s what else you’ve learned: putting your plan in place this month will help you relax for the rest of the year. With or without that cup of hot cocoa.
Strategic marketing planning is first; this is the compass, the direction you want to take your business. Think of your vision for where you’d like to be at the end of 2015, but within the context of the reality of your market, your competition, your mission and other pertinent factors that can advance your market position.
Tactical marketing planning involves the activities – the action steps, plus timetables. This is everything you do, including ad campaigns, ad purchases, social media, public relations, retention communications, signage, vehicle wraps. All of your tactics should be developed in support of your overall strategy, so as not to divert precious time and resources across a scattershot of hopes and wishes.
Strategy is built on ideas from which you develop your goals; tactics are created for action to pursue your goals. These actions are fueled by your marketing budget, which reflects your financial goals. One size does not fit all. If you’re a startup, you may need to devote a higher percentage of sales to your marketing efforts. If you’re older and established, a smaller percentage might do the job.