Strategy vs tactics
Understanding the difference between strategy and tactics is absolutely the key to successful marketing.
Strategy is the overall planning you do before executing tactics.
Imagine that you have bought an empty lot and want to build a house. Would you just order a bunch of bricks and then start laying them?
Of course not!
You would end up with the big old mess that probably wasn’t sure it was safe.
So what do you do instead, you hire a builder and an architect first and plan everything from the major things like getting building permits to the type of layout you want.
All of this is planned before a single shovel of dirt is removed.
This is the strategy part.
Then, once you’ve planned your strategy, you know how many bricks you need, where the foundation goes, and what type of roof you’re going to have.
Now you can hire an electrician plumber carpenter mason and so on.
This is the tactics part.
You cannot do everything that is worth doing successfully without strategy and tactics.
Strategy without tactics leads to paralysis by analysis.
No matter how good the builder and the architects, the house won’t be built until someone starts laying bricks. At some point, they’ll have to say okay.
At some point, they’re going to have to say, OK, now the plan is good. we have all the approvals needed to build so let’s get started
Tactics without strategy lead to shiny object syndrome.
Imagine you started to build a wall without any plan, then later you found out that it was in the wrong place, then you start pouring the foundation, then you find out that it is not suitable for this type of building. house, then you start to dig the area where you want. full but that’s not fair either.
It’s clearly not going to work.
Yet, this is exactly how a lot of business owners do marketing. They chain together a bunch of random tactics in the hope that what they are doing will lead to a customer. They make a website without thinking too much about it and it ends up being an online version of their brochure and they start promoting on social media because they heard it was the last thing and so on.
You need both strategy and tactics to be successful, but strategy must come first and it dictates the tactics you use.
This is where your marketing plan comes in.
Think of your marketing plan as the architect’s blueprint for attracting and retaining customers.