For the purpose of achieving growth online, a marketing strategy is more useful to a business owner than marketing tactics. Yet the vast majority swing from one tactic-of-the-month to another. To be successful in the digital space, it's essential for companies to have a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy that takes into account their target audience, objectives and budget.
However, many people don't understand the difference between defining a digital marketing strategy and tactics. In today's digital age, it is vital to understand the difference between a digital marketing strategy and tactics in order to maximise marketing efforts. Knowing the difference can help businesses create a successful digital marketing plan that will reach the right people at the right time. Furthermore, understanding these two concepts can increase efficiency in terms of both time and resources.
Waiting for people to come to you is definitely not a strategy. A wish list is not a strategy, nor is a mission statement, or a set of quick-wins or objectives. A digital marketing strategy is the overarching plan that outlines the goals you want to achieve through your online campaigns, such as increasing brand awareness or driving more sales.
A marketing strategy should provide the direction on which tactics you should use, and how they will fit together in order to reach those goals. Tactics alone are not as effective as when you have a strategy. It's like trying to build a house without a blueprint - you may be able to make some progress, but it won't be as successful as if you had a plan in place.
Goals, missions, and objectives are nice, but how you plan to achieve them—otherwise known as strategy—paired with a logical set of tactics, is the surest route to digital growth.
Defining Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital marketing strategy consists of long-term goals and objectives, whereas digital marketing tactics are more immediate activities used to achieve your goals. This is why digital marketing strategy and tactics are two different things. However, these are two elements of a digital marketing strategy that should be used together.
If you think about it, digital marketing tactics are the implementation of the digital marketing strategy. The strategy is the process by which businesses develop tactics. The digital marketing strategy, in turn, is the product of a company’s overall business strategy.
Emeritus advises: “using online resources to reach the target customer. Identifying where, why, and how a company makes a profit is one of the building blocks of a digital marketing strategy. It helps formulate a marketing plan that aligns with the business goals and customer requirements.”
Defining Digital Marketing Tactics
Digital marketing tactics involve specific plans of action that can help you achieve your overall objectives, such as:
- Social media posts (organic)
- Social media ads (paid)
- Content Marketing Techniques
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email Campaigns
- Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC)
- Video Advertising
Benefits of Integrating Strategy & Tactics
The ability to effectively utilise both strategy and tactics is one of the most important skills for digital marketing. As outlined above, strategy and tactics are two vastly different approaches to achieving a desired outcome, but they can be used together as part of an overall digital marketing plan.
Having a successful strategy in place will define the direction of your digital marketing efforts and provide you with a roadmap that ensures each step is taken in the right order. Tactics, on the other hand, are the specific actionable items that need to be carried out in order to reach your desired goal.
A well-executed combination of both strategy and tactics can help you achieve results more quickly while also making it easier to track progress and achieve a Return on Investment (ROI).