Business Development

Marketing Strategy Before Tactics: A Guide To Smart Business

Why is it important to strategize before implementing a tactic? I’ll tell you why: companies must fully understand their organizations consumers before they implement tactics in order to fully capture value. In business school, students are taught about how “the marketing mix” is a crucial tool to help businesses understand what the product or service can offer and how to plan for a successful product offering. The marketing mix is most commonly executed through the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.

However, each industry has a different take on the market mix and while some marketing strategies are constant from one industry to another, some are trade specific. Understanding each of the 4 P’s of marketing will lead to better insight into tailoring strategies that are appropriate for the companies specific target audience based off of their position in the market.

If a company decides to implement an email system, social media competition, or customer rewards program, they must have evidence to ensure that these systems that will be put into place will be successful. Careful planning and research – through focus groups, customer interviews, or some kind of market research – are paramount to ensuring that the tactics implemented are carefully selected to capture the most amount of value.

Professor Mark Ritson, an associate professor of marketing and columnist for UK-based Marketing Week, truly hits the nail on the head:


“Marketing strategy is where we play and how we win in the market. Tactics are how we then deliver on the strategy and execute for success. In traditional military strategy, the generals of old would gather, survey the battlefield in depth, review the enemy’s forces and then decide exactly where to attack, at what time and with which forces. Strategy agreed, the orders would be sent down to the various battalions who then concerned themselves with the tactical business of executing their respective objectives. A troop charged with taking a hill, for example, might deploy its archers and then send in the infantry to finish off the enemy.”


Ritson’s metaphor to the battlefield showcases the precise nature of strategy and the implications of organizing. The tactics are principal; however, they are random in their success without careful planning with strategy.

If your marketing plans are under-delivering, step back and ask yourself a few questions:
  1. What’s the business problem I am trying to solve? Why?
  2. Who is my target, and why?
  3. What is my strategy for connecting with them (where you play)?
  4. Why should they care about my product/service (how you win)?

These questions are pivotal in the success of your business. Audit the tactics you implement regularly and see what change you can bring to your company.


Joe Benson

Director of Marketing & Product Development



Affinity Marketing and Web Solutions is a cutting-edge tech startup who specializes in website development, graphic design and marketing strategies. We love working with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in this world.


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4 thoughts on “Marketing Strategy Before Tactics: A Guide To Smart Business

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