How Marketing Strategies Differ From Marketing Tactics

February 15, 2023
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Humans often default to using patterns in everything, from work routines to the ketchup brand they buy for their home. It is possible to anticipate a significant amount of consumer behavior. This is where marketing strategies and tactics come into play.

Though people sometimes use them interchangeably, marketing tactics are distinct from marketing strategies. Tactics are actions aimed at maximizing sales and maintaining competitiveness. Meanwhile, your marketing strategy is the overall direction you take towards a goal. Your strategy is the plan you have for achieving a business goal, while the tactics are how you will execute your strategy. 

Marketing Goals: The Basis Of Strategy And Tactics

People have brand awareness when they are familiar with a particular company's name, logo, characteristics, and anything that links it to its products or services. In the early days of a business, it is vital to establish brand awareness among consumers. A company cannot leave things at the awareness stage, however. They have to guide prospects through a buyer's journey that influences their decision to purchase.

When you start implementing marketing tactics like SEO writing services or PPC campaigns without thinking of a marketing strategy, it is like you're building a house minus the blueprints. Going all-in without having a framework for your actions is a recipe for disaster; when you create a marketing plan, the strategy should come first since it provides a direction for your business growth. Strategies also account for your broader business goals and how all of these relate to your competitors.

Once you have the strategy, you can proceed to the details. Marketing tactics are the details of your strategy; if the strategy provides the concept, the tactics are the actions.

What Is A Marketing Strategy?

The marketing strategy considers the company's long-term goals and builds a framework for realizing these. Strategies should support the business in exploring new demographics, creating a new brand, expanding current offerings, or accomplishing its goals. To build a strong marketing strategy, you need a thorough understanding of your customers' profile and buying habits. Updating yourself on industry trends and your competitive position will allow you to develop a strategy that puts your business goals first.

Once you've set a general direction for your marketing plans, you need to do a SWOT analysis of your company. Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and see how they affect your goals. Watch out for threats and opportunities as well; these are the external factors that could help or hinder you from achieving your marketing goals. When creating your marketing strategy, consider the company's financial capacity to tackle threats and grab opportunities.

Since no company has infinite amounts of resources, you cannot create a strategy that addresses all your threats and opportunities. Focus on something you can deliver, a threat or opportunity you can concentrate your resources on, one that gives you an advantage.

What Are Marketing Tactics?

If a marketing strategy looks at a company's goals, the marketing tactics focus on the details. Strategies provide the direction for your tactics or actions. If strategies involve broad strokes and preliminary profiles, tactics contain detailed information on your customers. You should know everything from the most effective marketing channels to the format that elicits the most reactions.

Tactics include specific sales, promotions, and advertising activities you use. When you build a website, place ads, hire SEO writing services, or engage in lead generation efforts, you are using marketing tactics. You should also have a budget for your marketing tactics, one that aligns with the allocations you set during your strategic planning sessions.

Strategic and tactical marketing are separate but related functions. Your marketing plan will succeed if you employ both forms; otherwise, you won't see your brand grow.

Business Growth Through Strategic Marketing

In many instances, marketers start by choosing the tactics. They decide to employ SEO or social media because it is "in." However, approaching marketing from this direction is a mistake. If you choose the tactics first, you're building a structure without a plan. 

Starting with tactics instead of a strategy means you are essentially basing your plans on wishful thinking. Ensure that you get the most out of your marketing spend by being mindful of the measures you use. When you have a marketing strategy, you can go for activities that you know your audience responds to, eliminating the fluff and allowing you to focus on what matters.


Great strategies do not need to be flashy or never-before-seen. You also do not need brilliant or expensive tactics to succeed. What you do need is a strong idea and a sense of who your customers are. When you know who you are serving, it is easier to create a strategy and choose tactics that will work. Note, though, that the opposite cannot work; you cannot have great tactics if you have a bad strategy. Don't waste time thinking of novel ways to capture people's attention; get to know them first. Then, give them what they're looking for in companies.

Cut through the clutter and hone in on what matters when you hire Ranked. We provide data-driven SEO writing services to more than 2,500 clients, helping them refine their marketing strategies for success. Book a call with our team or activate your account today!