It is one of the most common questions that emerges when many Vietnamese businesses begin to pay more attention to strategy, branding, brand positioning, etc. in the development and implementation of strategic marketing plans for businesses.

Watching: What are Tactics?

Not surprising, since the difference between these two operations is usually not that different. However, this is an important question to answer because in the process of contacting businesses, we see a lot of businesses that do not have a clear marketing strategy or plan* . Without a clear strategy or business model, it’s possible that some of your campaigns may be poorly directed, which in turn may not propel the business in the direction it should. In addition, the implementation of short-term operational activities also causes conflicts, creating negative long-term consequences for enterprises.

In this article, we will show the difference between marketing strategy and tactics by looking at the salient features of marketing strategy, which distinguish it from tactics. And provide examples that help demonstrate the difference between the two concepts based on essential strategic operations.

Table of contents

10 Marketing strategies that help guide activities through governance

Strategy is determining the direction of all marketing activities in the future

Surely we are used to seeing businesses use operations to run their marketing activities, but with marketing strategy, it is often not clearly expressed, directly expressed. Marketing strategy requires a proactive effort to define and communicate through the day-to-day operations from marketing to sales. It is important to define a strategy because ultimately this is what will make the business successful through differentiation from competitors.

You can immediately refer to PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Framework that clearly shows the difference between strategy and tactics. This illustration shows that strategy is the answer to the question ‘How do we get there, get there?’ while the tactics are the ‘details, the way of the strategy’:

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This model Paul Smith gives various examples of tactics. These include: Marketing mix 4Ps: product, promotion, place and price.

Strategy is defining competitive advantage

A marketing strategy that sees exactly how a business can compete with its competitors is a good way to distinguish between strategy and tactics.

Sun-Tsu (Sun Tzu) was definitely the first to write about this and Sun-Tsu’s strategic thinking can easily be applied to marketing strategy, the famous, but potentially doomsday quote His work clearly illustrates this:

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest way to victory. But only tactics without strategy are messed up before they fail.”

Strategy is the determination of top-level resource allocation

Every business has limited resources in terms of budget, people and time. So an essential part of the strategy is how to harness and deploy these resources to make the greatest impact. Especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, these resources are even more limited and must be carefully considered.

Your marketing strategy will tell your business where your company should focus and invest, thereby making decisions about what you do NOT invest in in addition to deciding where you will focus. In the Harvard Business Review, it was suggested that many business strategies fail because they are not a strategy at all, but rather simply emotions.

“Because a true strategy consists of a clear set of choices that define what the company will do and what it will not do.”

Strategy is to set a specific long-term vision

With SOSTAC®, the letter O stands for goal and vision. It is clear that businesses always need specific goals to work towards and see how effective they are. Lack of specific goals is a common problem when there is no clear strategy and everyone in a business focuses on short-term operations.

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Having a softer idea of ​​the future vision is important so that the joint can interact with each other and beyond with its partners and other stakeholders. Your strategy should define the link between the vision, goals, objectives, and how it will be achieved through the allocation of resources.

Strategy is about setting specific long-term goals

In general, operational activities should support the overall direction of an enterprise. Such activities should contribute to the overall goals of the business. The best way to ensure that operational activities are contributing for overall strategic goals is to align goals that support the overall strategy.

Strategy is to define priority markets, audiences and products

This is where Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning come in. Tactics will involve coming up with the best way to communicate these to the audience, but typically won’t involve a strategic assessment of the best audience or best product/market fit.

In a larger business, using the BCG Matrix to review your product portfolio and prioritize future growth is an important technique.

Another important part of STP is identifying key audiences and marketing personas that will inform tactics for how you reach and communicate with these audiences.

The strategy is to define the brand positioning

Once the characteristics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience are identified through persona, strategies are involved in determining how you want your brand to be perceived relative to your competitors. This involves looking at the general strategic factors that Michael Porter identified *** based on price and market variance.

Strategy is determining how to engage the target audience through the brand

The implementation of branding activities can be considered at the operational level, such as brand ideas and color usage. But branding should also be thought at a strategic level, to consider how a business can engage its audience through key messaging including message structure, images, part of its positioning. with competitors.

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The strategy is to define a long-term roadmap for investment in technology and other major investments

In today’s marketing, we also need to harness data and technology to get better feedback from our tactics, that’s why marketers must ‘Plan, Manage and Optimize’ that plan. Marketers should have techniques like AB testing available through conversion optimization tools to get the best results from the tactics we use. But implementing this modern marketing strategy requires a marketing technology stack to achieve this

In this era of digital transformation, many organizations are running change initiatives to use marketing technology to improve their processes and utilize customer insights and data. Investments in digital experiences, marketing automation and, in the future, artificial intelligence and E-learning will be substantial. So, often, it would not be realistic in terms of the technology cost or the complexity of the investment to get everything needed in one year. Therefore, martech long-term roadmaps for building an integrated martech stack need to be defined to support marketing objectives.

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Marketing strategy helps direct activities through management

Finally, the marketing strategy should link through to give the business overarching control over operational techniques. This concerns the Actions and Controls sections of PR Smith’s SOSTAC® framework. As part of strategy planning, marketers need to ensure that business processes are implementing best practices to ensure tactics are aligned with strategy to ensure they are tracked, evaluated and measured. effective

Therefore, it is necessary to understand the remarkable points, the difference between marketing strategy and operational activities. It is hoped that businesses will benefit from having a marketing strategy in addition to using day-to-day operations.

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