What Are Tactics in Marketing?

A marketing plan typically consists of strategies and tactics to accomplish the predefined marketing goal. Check more at this article.

Updated on March 29, 2024
What Are Tactics in Marketing?

A marketing plan typically consists of strategies and tactics to accomplish the predefined marketing goal. Many people tend to interchangeably use the terms tactics and strategies. However, they are not identical; they have different meanings.

Thus, we strongly feel that most of us have misunderstood both the terms, including even the clients who seem to be least bothered about this misunderstanding. Partly, this is likely because the strategy is taken as the catchphrase by management teams to infer it as some stealthy, superior knowledge.

While the meaning of strategy may be apparent to some, tactics will likely overlap. So, in this post, let’s understand marketing tactics clearly.

What Do You Mean by Tactics in Marketing?

A tactic is a meticulous plan of action to accomplish a specific goal. In other words, tactics are planned ways of doing something. They are practical things that a marketer will do daily.

To be more specific, they are usually a series of actions or methods aimed at advocating a business’s goods and services. The typical goal, in general, is to maximize sales and revenue and sustain a competitive product or service.

According to businessdictionary.com, “Good marketing tactics typically result in substantial customer satisfaction while facilitating the business in focusing its limited financial resources most efficiently to maximize the effective promotion of its products.”

Marketing executives can perform a variety of marketing tactics, such as distributing promotional products, writing blog posts, sending and replying to emails, interacting via social media platforms, making appointments, and placing an ad on TV or radio.

The Essence of Marketing Tactics

Imagine you’re a general in the ancient art of war. Your strategy is your grand plan — the overarching goal of conquering territories. Now, envision marketing tactics as the individual battles, the surprise attacks at dawn, the feigned retreats to draw the enemy into a trap. In marketing, tactics are the specific actions and techniques employed to achieve the broader objectives outlined in your marketing strategy. They’re practical, measurable, and tailored to seize the momentary opportunities in the market landscape.

The Diverse Arsenal of Marketing Tactics

Marketing tactics are as varied as the stars in the night sky, each with its unique shine. They range from digital endeavors like SEO optimization, content marketing, and social media engagement, to more traditional forms like print advertising, direct mail, and networking events. The beauty of these tactics lies in their adaptability — each can be customized to fit the unique needs and goals of a business, targeting specific segments of the market with precision and creativity.

Digital Delights: SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The art of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
  • Content Marketing: Creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.
  • Social Media Engagement: Using platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to interact with your audience, building relationships and brand loyalty.

Traditional Tactics: Print Ads, Direct Mail, Networking

  • Print Advertising: Although digital is dominant, print ads in magazines and newspapers can still have a powerful impact, especially for certain target demographics.
  • Direct Mail: Sending personalized letters, postcards, or brochures directly to your target audience’s mailbox can create a tangible connection.
  • Networking Events: Never underestimate the power of a handshake. Attending industry events and conferences can build meaningful relationships and open up new opportunities.

So, Then How do Marketing Tactics Differ from Strategies?

If there is a strategy but no tactics, the marketing plan will not help in obtaining traction in the teeming, noisy marketplace.

According to a big SMS company, a strategy refers to a powerful, all-embracing vision that reflects the intention to fulfill the set goals and objectives. It is a plan that ensures that all the daily activities that are tactics contribute to the period set business goals (weekly, monthly, and annually).

So, marketing tactics are actions, while strategies are plans. Tactics indicate how the strategy would be. A marketing strategy refers to an idea of how to achieve a specific goal. While a marketing tactic refers to an action to implement the strategy.

A Real-Life Example of Tactics, Strategy, and Goal

To understand marketing tactics better, let us take a real-life scenario featuring a goal that is too simple.

Goal: Increase sales by 30% by the year’s end

Probable Strategy: Drive traffic to the website to encourage more orders from the prevalent customers

Probable Tactics: Post Facebook ads during meal times. Show TV ads in the evening and at night, and add website URLs to TV and social media ads. Moreover, sponsor upcoming popular local events and share videos on Twitter. E-mail new offers and referral deals to existing customers. In addition, 20+ conversations with the target audience should be started daily on Twitter, and the free-delivery limit should be increased.

Strategy vs Tactics for Marketing – What’s the Difference?

The difference between strategy and tactics in marketing is fundamental, focusing on long-term goals versus the specific actions taken to reach those goals. Here’s a breakdown to clarify the distinctions:

Strategy

  • Long-term Vision: Marketing strategy is about setting long-term goals and determining the direction of the marketing efforts to achieve the overall objectives of the business. It’s the “what” and “why” of your marketing efforts.
  • Broad Scope: Strategies are broad in scope, outlining the general approach and defining the target market, the value proposition, and how to establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Guiding Principles: It serves as a roadmap or a guiding principle for the marketing efforts, helping to decide how to allocate resources effectively to reach the desired outcome.
  • Focus on Market Position: The strategy is concerned with how to position the product or service in the market and the brand’s overall image and reputation.

Tactics

  • Short-term Actions: Tactics are the specific actions, techniques, or activities carried out to execute the strategy. They are the “how” of your marketing efforts, detailing the steps to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Narrow Scope: Tactics have a narrow focus, dealing with the execution of strategies through specific initiatives like social media campaigns, email marketing, SEO, content creation, and advertising.
  • Adaptability: While strategies are more stable and change infrequently, tactics can be adjusted more readily based on the performance and feedback from the market.
  • Metrics and Execution: Tactics are measurable and directly linked to execution. They involve setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to gauge the effectiveness of the marketing activities.

In essence, the strategy provides the direction and framework for what you aim to achieve in the long run, while tactics are about the execution and the specific actions taken to reach those strategic goals. Successful marketing requires both a solid strategy to guide overall efforts and effective tactics to implement the plan and achieve measurable results.

What Are Tactics in Marketing Conclusion

Marketing tactics are actions that support a decided marketing strategy. They both are not the same.