As a marketing agency, we have many clients come to us with the same hurdles that many marketers face in digital marketing, distinguishing the difference between marketing tactics and marketing strategy.
Thanks to the vast amount of misinformation available on the internet around digital marketing, it’s clear to see why there is a confusion between the two. Unfortunately with the huge volumes of “digital marketing experts” producing content, some have started to use the words “strategy” and “tactics” as if they are interchangeable, when they’re not. And so, it is easy to see where the confusion has come from! However, with a few baking analogies, I’m hoping we can clear up the confusion!
If your goal is to bake a cake, then you’re going to need two things, a recipe that outlines exactly what you need to do, and the ingredients that your recipe requires. The recipe represents your whole strategy, whilst the ingredients are the individual tactics that you’ll be using to reach your goal.
For example, your goal may be to increase sales by 20% in the next 12 months. Your strategy is then to create more customer centric content to drive users to your website and create more lead generation opportunities through the website.
Whereas your tactics will be the blogs and content offers that you’ll be creating, the SEO across the website to give your content the best opportunity to be found organically, the social media to promote the campaign to your audience, paid media to push it out to more of your target market and any other actions you’ll take to implement the focused strategy, to achieve your business goal.
However, if you were to change the recipe halfway through the baking, you can’t expect the same cake! The same goes for your marketing strategy, if you add or remove tactics as you go, it’s going to affect the overall performance of your marketing campaign. Therefore it’s important to make sure you any changes you do make through your marketing campaigns (as we marketers do like to optimise as we go) still fits into the overall goal of your marketing strategy.
Just like in baking, measurements will be key to the success of your digital marketing strategy. From the prep work, such as keyword research and creating buyer personas to target and understand to the metrics you’ll want to measure once you start implementing your strategy to see how well its working and if there are any tweaks or optimisation that can be done to improve the strategy as you go.
You might be looking at the marketing activity you’re currently doing and thinking my tactics are working well. But if you’re not relating your marketing results with your overall business goals, are you sure you’re focusing on the right metrics? If you’re analysing the traffic that your blog is driving to you website, but not reporting on the quality of the leads being generated, how will you know if you’re focusing on the right keywords?
If when you start looking reporting on your marketing efforts against the goals you set at the beginning of your strategy, and its not going the way you expected, go back to your strategy. Rework on your buyer personas, understand their needs and pain points and analyse the content you’re writing then, if you need to, don’t be afraid to throw the whole mixture out and start again.