Marketing Tactics vs Marketing Strategy
Why the best marketing tactics may have failed you up until now….
Ever wonder why some marketing tactics work for some businesses but not others? Maybe you heard about a business that paints their company website’s URL on the top of their delivery trucks and increased sales by 25%, yet when you try the same tactic, sales remained flat.
The reason most marketing tactics fail is that they are not part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. A comprehensive marketing strategy helps you to choose which tactics will work for your business and keep the sales coming in like clockwork no matter what the economy.
When I begin working with individual clients, one of the first things we discuss are the various marketing tactics that the business owner has used in the past.
Many of my clients are in the business of making Major Sales. Often, these clients have attended many free online classes with various marketing experts. They listen, they takes notes and they faithfully set out to implement the marketing tactics offered by these classes as a way to promote their business.
One of the first topics for discussion is to help these business understand why they can try tactifcs that are successful for other businesses yet when they put those same tactics to work in marketing their practice, they failed to see results.
The overwhelming reason these marketing tactics have failed for my clients is that these tactics were designed to be successful for a business making the MINOR SALE. Since these business owners were making a MAJOR SALE, it was possible for them to do everything “right” and still not achieve success.
Creating a marketing strategy is essential to marketing success.
Let’s begin by defining marketing strategy. Marketing strategy is very different than marketing tactics. To help illustrate marketing strategy, I use the following illustration.
Marketing your business is VERY similar to process of going fishing.
If you’ve ever fished, you know it’s possible to sit with your line in the water for HOURS without so much as a single interested “nibble”. What’s even more frustrating is to watch nearby fishermen pull in fish and fish as you sit just a few yards away. The question which BEGS to be answered is this…”What is the successful fisherman doing that I’m not?”
Of course, you can ask the fisherman… but people who fish are sometimes weird about sharing that type of information. If they tell you, then EVERYONE will know and their “secret spot” or “secret method” won’t be secret anymore! (By the way, this isn’t too terribly different than the mentality that affects many successful business people!)
When the successful fisherman heads out on the water, he (we’ll assume a male, though I know women fish too!) knows EXACTLY what kind of fish he is “targeting. ” While the newbie threads a worm onto the hook and tosses it into the water, the experienced fisherman as carefully chosen the bait he is going to use. He then carefully positions himself water where the fish are so you can “present” the bait to the fish in the course of their daily living.
The experienced fisherman know that the type of fish you’re targeting determines your choice of fishing pole, line, the size of your hook and even whether you take your boat into salt or fresh water!
So as a business owner, it’s important for you to determine IN ADVANCE who your customers are.
Marketing TACTICS are the kinds of bait you’ll use. Marketing STRATEGY is where you’ll position your boat!
Developing powerful marketing strategies
STEP ONE – Research, research research
This is where you find out what you do not know. The more you know, the better your marketing strategy will be.
Be certain you define the following:
- What is their age?
- What is their income?
- What is their level of education?
- What is their marital statues?
- Do they have a religious preference?
- What is their comfort level with technology?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- What do they drive?
- How far do they drive?
The list goes on and on. You just cannot know too much about your customers.
- Who are your competitors?
- Are they only in your industry?
- What is their USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
- Why do their customers choose them?
You may be surprised to discover your competition may not be another business after all. Consider the car wash chain that discovered their biggest competitor was their own customer! Instead of looking to annihilate the other car wash facilities, this chain began focusing their marketing efforts on educating their customers on the benefits to bringing their car to them instead of washing their cars at home. Sales increased significantly once this chain realized where to point their marketing strategy.
STEP TWO – Determine the problems your customer has and the solutions you offer.
Everyone has problems. Marketing is merely the act of bringing your solutions before the people who need it most and are ready, willing and able to pay for it.
Once you know everything about your customer, you already know the solutions he or she is seeking.
STEP THREE – Determine the emotional triggers that will ignite your sales.
The act of buying is a complex and emotional decision. The reason your customer is making a purchase is not always readily apparent. While you may think that you are selling candles, your customers may actually be buying:
- Emergency lighting
- Aroma therapy
Notice, not once above is the customer buying candles. They are instead, purchasing a function of the candles.
Find out why your customers are buying and you will be on your way to marketing success.
STEP FOUR – Creating a marketing strategy and THEN choose your marketing tactics.
Now it is time to take the information gathered in the first three steps to create a precise marketing strategy for your business or product.