The terms “marketing strategy” and “marketing tactics” are terms commonly used in business. Although most organizations know that both are important, the terms are often mixed up among marketers, clients, and other individuals within organizations. So what is the difference?
Strategies are essentially your organization’s overall goals and the paths that you plan to take in order to achieve those goals. Your strategy will help guide your organization to make sure that the tactics in place are helping you reach your long term and short term goals for success.
Tactics are practical steps that we take toward short term objectives that are part of a larger plan/goal. Think of tactics as initiatives taken, such as serving ads, writing blog posts, or posting on social media.
Goals are crucial when crafting a successful strategy, so the best way to start is by laying out your organizational goals. One of the easiest way to analyze your organizational goals is by using an acronym that you may remember hearing in high school or college: S.M.A.R.T. This acronym, first seen in Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept, helps people to craft goals that are concise and actionable.
Specific: Your organizational goals should be specific and clearly laid out to tackle your organization's challenges or opportunities.
Measurable: Your organizational goals should be measurable so that you can track the organization’s progress and apply it to your KPI’s.
Achievable: Goals must be attainable and reasonable for your organization.
Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to your organization’s mission.
Time-based: Your goals should have a set timeline that is practical so you may evaluate your goals over time in a way that identifies trends.
Marketing Strategy and Tactics in Action Featuring Tampa Bay Lightning
Let’s look at an example of how Mogo Interactive helped Tampa Bay Lightning, a NHL professional hockey team, reach their campaign goals for their 2015-16 season through the use of marketing strategy and tactics.
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Goals:
- Increase season-long and single ticket sales for the 2015-16 season by 10%.
- Drive 15% more traffic to Tampa Bay Lightning’s website during the campaign period.
- Increase awareness for the 2015-16 season.
*Note: The percentages used in the above listed goals are for example purposes only.
Let's take a closer look at the S.M.A.R.T. acronym in action by evaluating Tampa Bay Lightning's first goal. The goal of increasing season-long and single ticket sales was specific because Tampa Bay Lightning wanted to increase season-long and single ticket sales by a specified percentage (10%). It could be tracked by comparing the revenue correlated to the tickets sold on Ticketmaster during the 12 weeks of the campaign to that of previous campaigns, making it measurable. This goal was achievable because the percentage was a realistic number that is obtainable within the three month period. Selling tickets to games is a large source of revenue for professional sports teams, making this goal relevant. This goal was time-based because Tampa Bay Lightning wanted to sell more tickets during a three month period corresponding to the 2015-16 season.
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Strategies:
- Encourage season-long and single game ticket sales for the 2015-16 season to increase revenue.
- Increase awareness to drive consideration for Tampa Bay Lightning ticket sales.
- Target new and existing audiences.
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Tactics:
- Execute a highly targeted, multi-channel campaign, integrating display ads, mobile ads, and Facebook ads to retarget known audiences and prospect to new audiences.
- Leverage Google's advanced DoubleClick online advertising platform and an additional robust social media advertising platform
- Activate the Tampa Bay Lightning’s robust fan database by converting fan data (name, address, email & cell phone number) to target the fans when they are online.
For Tampa Bay Lightning, a $21,000 budget accompanied by the previously stated marketing strategies and tactics resulted in over $500,000 of correlated revenue and a total return on ad spend (ROAS) of 2,432%.
Knowing the difference between marketing strategies and tactics can help your organization have a clear plan for success and stay ahead of the competition.
Click HERE to see Mogo's case study "Tampa Bay Lightning: An integrated digital marketing plan generates ticket sales for the Tampa Bay Lightning."