What’s the difference between tactical and strategic marketers?

Marketing Tactics Vs Strategic Marketing which is best for me?

In this article, we’ll review the differences between marketing tactics and marketing strategy, how both a tactical marketer and a strategic marketer differ in thought and in responsibilities, and how to define which type of marketer is best for your situation. So read on to learn more!

Why do you need both tactical and strategic marketing?

A company’s marketing strategy is usually tactical (short-term), strategic (long-term), or a combination of both.

Tactical marketing focuses on maximizing the results of every customer touchpoint in the shortest amount of time.

Strategic marketing was designed by strategic marketers to build a strong foundation for long-term growth and profitability, using tactics as stepping stones along the way.

Strategic marketing and tactical marketing are not mutually exclusive; they work best when used together to form a complete marketing strategy that delivers continuous customer engagement and measurable business results based on overarching marketing objectives.

strategic marketers

What is tactical marketing?

Tactical marketing is characterized by intense, short-term marketing efforts aimed at reaching a company’s marketing goals. Tactical marketers might, for example, launch an intense marketing campaign on Facebook to promote one specific product or service. They might run a TV ad or send out an email blast to promote that product.

Looking for marketing initiatives to try this year? Check out our article where we cover all the latest and greatest marketing tactics.

Tactical marketing is “tactical” because it reacts to immediate opportunities and challenges within the market and responds with calculated, short-term action.

Tactical marketers are typically concerned with generating leads and making immediate sales; their main objectives aren’t necessary to create an overall marketing strategy or build customer loyalty over time.

In practice: A tactical marketer is typically in a co-ordinator role, someone doing the boots-on-the-ground grunt work.

What is strategic marketing?

Strategic marketing, on the other hand, is a more long-term vision of your company’s future and what you need to do to get there. Strategic marketers might implement marketing best practices, work to increase your organic traffic, or use things like networking and even email outreach as their primary tactic because those channels will help them nurture long-term relationships with their prospects.

The tactical marketer might be your first line of defense, but you’ll need someone who can look at where each tactical marketer is going in order to make sure they’re all working towards the same company vision. This way every marketing channel contributes to that long-term goal.

In practice: A strategic marketer is performing higher-level thinking and will coordinate and lead the tactician with longer-term plays. This role can be served by a manager, a director, or a VP. If the marketer is operating alone in a one-person department chances are they’re going to play both roles.

Difference between strategic marketing and tactical marketing

Strategic marketers tend to focus on long-term relationships and depend on large teams of people.

Tactical marketers tend to focus on strategies that produce quick results. They are important players, but their role is often short-term in nature; they generate ideas that can be quickly implemented by others for maximum impact.

Together, tactical and strategic marketers form a balanced team that is able to both form and maintain relationships with customers and drive impressive immediate results.

tactical vs strategic marketers

What are tactical and strategic marketers

Who are strategic marketing professionals?

Strategic marketing professionals can aid companies in their long-term grand marketing strategies. They emphasize macro tactical marketing plans that will lead to achieving the objectives of the company. But are they the best fit for your company? Want some tactical marketing plan examples, check them out here.

Pros:

  • Strategic marketers are the “top dogs” in the marketing world.
  • They have a lot of experience and can offer insider perspectives on what works best for certain industries.
  • These professionals know how to do overall planning, so they usually have a roadmap of sorts already drawn up for their prospective clients.
  • If you invest in strategic marketing, you can expect higher ROI and better campaign performance data over time because there is usually a greater focus on creating content that lasts, building relationships with potential clients, and leveraging outreach.

Cons:

  • What’s right for one company might not be what’s right for another, so it can be hard to give advice that will support every marketer’s situation.
  • Strategic marketers might not always be the best when it comes to tactical details, such as coming up with a marketing plan that can be executed in a specific timeframe.
  • While they are usually competent in their roles, strategic marketers can be expensive to hire and might not have the right connections for your business needs.

Who are tactical marketing professionals?

Execution is a tactical marketer’s main focus. Tactical marketers can provide marketing on a small scale and often incrementally, such as sending newsletters or blasting out social media posts.

Strategic marketers look at the big picture and identify what needs to be done in order to advance their client’s objectives. Ultimately, tactical marketers may need support from strategic advertisers to accomplish these objectives.

Pros:

  • Tactical marketing professionals are capable of making very quick decisions that can produce immediate results.
  • They are more hands-on. They can take a situation and quickly find the best solution for it without too much planning, which is necessary when strategic marketers approach their projects.

Cons:

  • On the other hand, tactical marketers don’t always have a clear vision for what they want to accomplish as far as marketing objectives in the long term.
  • They usually handle one project at a time and may not always be able to see the big picture when it comes to how their work will impact other projects in the company or organization.
  • Tactical marketers are sometimes not prepared to move with the times and may rely too heavily on old tactics that are no longer effective.

How do tactical and strategic marketers differ from each other

In short, strategic marketers build long-term goals, and tactical marketers execute those goals. On one hand, the tactical marketer plays a key role in the conversion process, while strategic marketers are more concerned with building brand awareness and implementing a long-term marketing strategy.

To put it differently, strategic markers are pro-active, while tactical marketers are reactionary. Both play a vital role in the success of a business.

what's the difference between marketing tactics and marketing strategy

How do I build a tactical marketing plan?

To start implementing tactical strategies and following the tactical marketing process in your marketing plan, you need to do the following:

  • Identify tactical campaigns that would work best for your company’s marketing objectives, such as paid social media advertising, publishing blog content to drive organic traffic, launching drip campaign email blasts that nurture your audience, or guerrilla marketing.
  • Increase brand awareness by implementing some of those strategies into your daily or weekly routine.
  • Monitor the results of tactical campaigns to see if they are helping you reach goals and objectives set forth. If not, go back to step one and find other tactical campaigns that might work better for you!

How do I build a strategic marketing plan?

There are many different ways to approach developing a strategic marketing plan for your company.

One way of developing the plan is to ask yourself this question: “What do I want my clients and prospects to say about me?” The answer to this question will guide you through your marketing strategy. To start building your strategic marketing plan, you should:

  • Understand what your target audience looks like, what they want, and why they buy.
  • Know how your company is different from other competitors in your field and be prepared to develop strategies that will market those differences.
  • Know what value you are providing to prospects in terms of the benefits they receive when doing business with you.
  • Develop a tactical marketing strategy to communicate who you are and why consumers should buy from you.

How to Decide Whether Tactical Marketing or Strategic Marketing is Right for You

The answer depends on who you are as a person, what your business is about, and what you want to do with it.

For a tactical marketing strategy, the objective is to find quick wins in the market now to boost short-term results. For tactical marketers, one of their objectives is often to shorten customer decision cycles or show value quickly for transactional-type business models.

Strategic marketers are looking for long-term relationships that improve their futures rather than focusing primarily on tactical efforts needed today. In short, they are focused on building trust and investing in the future.

A marketing team or most marketing agencies could benefit from utilizing both tactical and strategic marketing plans. This allows marketers to meet the needs of tactical marketing demands but also use long-term strategic plans as a way to stay ahead and grow their business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a strategic marketer do?

Strategic marketers use their knowledge of their target audience and creativity to map out a vision for the future of the product.

Everything from expanding sales potential, aligning with strategy, and exploring new avenues are taken into consideration as well as tactical marketing objectives such as consumer psychology and advertising costs.

Is tactical marketing more expensive than strategic marketing?

Tactical marketing is not intrinsically more expensive than strategic marketing, as tactical marketers can work with any budget.

But tactical marketers tend to carry higher overhead because of the need for frequent communications and collaborations between remote participants.

Therefore, tactical marketing is usually costlier when compared to a marketing strategy executed by a single person or team delivering a long-term plan with minimal collaboration and feedback loops. However, this may be worth the investment if you want faster results that drive revenue quickly.

Are you evaluating whether to hire an outsourced marketing agency vs building an in-house marketing department? If so, check out our blog on the pros and cons.

Final Thoughts on Tactical Marketers vs Strategic Marketers

The best marketing plans aren’t tactical versus strategic, they’re both. Marketers should use tactical marketing campaigns to get leads, while also using strategic initiatives that will help them turn new leads into loyal customers.

The tactical and strategic marketers of the world have a lot in common. They both want to create relationships with clients who will continuously do business with them. However, they differ on how best to accomplish this goal.

Tactical marketers focus more on lead generation with tactical campaigns that create new leads for their company. Strategic marketers focus more on turning these leads into happy lifelong customers by using strategic initiatives like loyalty programs or email newsletters.

The two types of marketing are complementary rather than competitive when used together effectively – so don’t be afraid to mix it up!

Taylor Wise

Taylor Wise

Taylor is a seasoned entrepreneur and the mastermind behind Wise Growth Marketing, dedicated to helping businesses reach their peak. With over a decade of experience, he's on a mission to guide owners towards profitable transitions or sustainable, hands-off models. When not immersed in strategizing, he shares his travels and artistic prints at wisetaylor.com, or you can find him exploring the great outdoors and dispensing camping wisdom at campingtentexpert.com. His life's work reflects his belief in growth, adventure, and the freedom to enjoy the fruits of one's labor.

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