The Difference Between Digital Marketing Strategies and Tactics

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Do you know the difference between strategy and tactics when it comes to online marketing? Many businesses owners and marketers mistake tactics for strategies and that causes many online marketing efforts to fail. This post is going explain the difference between strategies and tactics so you can create a successful marketing plan that includes both and will be set for success.

Strategies are larger visions that tie back to bigger business goals or objectives. Strategies are usually more defined and long-term than tactics. Tactics are the day to day operations and tasks to support the strategy and push it forward.

Strategies require big thinking and tactics require actions. But the two must work together for a cohesive digital platform.

Still confused? Think of it as a triangle: goals are the top pinnacle, strategy is the neck and tactics are the base.

Let’s look at a common strategy vs. tactic mistake we see. We often hear business owners say: “Our strategy is to use social media.” Social media isn’t a strategy. It’s a tactic because it’s smaller, day to day action that can’t be tied back to a specific goal.

Let’s use an example. If your goal is to increase online sales by 20% this year, than a strategy would be to drive new online users to your website. You can measure that by using analytics on your website. A tactic of this strategy would be to post sale items on Facebook or run Facebook ad campaigns.

Let’s do another example. Let’s say you are a restaurant and a goal of yours is to boast 75% reservations on weekends. A strategy would be to engage customers through an online reservation book on your website. A tactic would be to use Yelp and Google+ pages to increase reviews and drive traffic to your reservation book.

The idea is to go from large scale, big plans to smaller, more finite actions. Strategy is a plan for achieving a goal and tactics implement that plan. When planning out your digital marketing, make sure that strategies always tie back to goals and that tactics fit within the strategy. Miscellaneous tactics or strategies unrelated to business objectives will just cause more work with less results. Understanding the difference between strategies and tactics will help your business reach your goals.

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