What Is Tactical Marketing? (Plus Importance and How-to)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 2, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

To gain more customers and improve sales, it's crucial that businesses invest sufficient time and resources in marketing. Businesses often create clear tactics to improve its brand awareness and patronage. Understanding tactical marketing can aid your career in sales, marketing, or public relations.

In this article, we discuss the tactical type of marketing, highlight its importance, consider how it differs from strategic marketing, outline how to create a tactical strategy for marketing, and provide examples of tactics that you can use.

What is tactical marketing?

Tactical marketing is developing, planning, and executing specific approaches to improve brand awareness and increase profits. It's the practical technique businesses use to reach customers with a brand message and encourage patronage. After companies develop a marketing strategy, it uses this principle to select the proper channels and content to execute that strategy.

Related: A Guide to Marketing As a Career

Importance of developing marketing tactics

It's important to develop and plan marketing tactics because it guides the business's efforts. It ensures that it can use its resources more effectively by focusing on a comprehensive marketing plan. Additionally, preparing market tactics can motivate the business to take practical steps to achieve its goals. It also makes it easier to define employee roles and responsibilities while monitoring their performance.

Difference between tactical and strategic marketing

All marketing efforts are either strategic or tactical. While these two categories aim for the same goal, they mean different ideas. Strategic marketing is for developing the business's marketing goals and objectives. It answers what the business aims to achieve with its marketing efforts. It involves planning details like target audience, brand message, and value proposition.

Contrastingly, tactical marketing details how the business wants to achieve its marketing goals. It involves answering questions like marketing channels, frequency of releases, and nature of the content.

Related: What Is Strategic Planning? (With Benefits)

How to design a tactical strategy for marketing

Here's an overview of how to develop a tactical strategy for marketing:

1. Conduct a business assessment

The first step to developing an effective tactical strategy is to conduct a business assessment or analysis. Business analysis is the process of understanding and highlighting a business's goals to determine the best way to achieve them. Here are some important items for business analysis:

Corporate goals

These are the outcomes a business hopes to achieve within a certain period. A business's corporate goals vary according to its nature, level, and available resources. To determine a business's goals, you can speak with relevant stakeholders like the CEO and other members of the C-suite. For example, the goal may be expanding the business's market share, making more profit, or reducing operational costs.

Audience

A business's audience includes its customers and members of the market that are likely to want its products. Understanding a business's audience can help you develop more effective marketing strategies. When assessing the market, evaluate the business's existing customers and the strategies that helped gain their patronage. You want to ensure you define the business's target market, where you can find them, and how to reach them.

Threats and weaknesses

For businesses, a threat is any external factor that makes it difficult to attain corporate goals. Contrastingly, weaknesses are internal factors that hinder business performance. Understanding a business's threats and weaknesses can help you develop preemptive strategies to avoid them or mitigate damage. Examples of threats include bad governmental policies, aggressive competition, and civil unrest. Examples of weaknesses include fund shortages and unskilled labour.

Opportunities

Opportunities are situations that businesses can leverage to achieve or exceed corporate goals. An opportunity can be anything from a favourable government policy to the acquisition of a competitor. By identifying opportunities available to a business, you can prepare plans to make the best of them.

Market position

A business's market position is its current status in the market. It includes its market share and the general perception of its brand. Understanding a business's market position can help you determine what areas require extra attention. It may also offer some direction regarding the parts of the brand to highlight in your marketing campaigns.

2. Determine your marketing goals

After assessing the business's overall state, you can use those insights to develop its marketing goals. Ensure that the goals you develop cater to the threats and weaknesses you identified in your analysis. It's equally important that the goals leverage the business's strengths and available opportunities.

For example, your analysis may reveal that a business has a low market share but competitive prices. In that case, the marketing goal can be to increase brand awareness. To do that, you may aim to highlight the brand's low prices in your campaigns.

3. Outline your marketing tactics

After developing the business's marketing goals, you can determine the most effective tactics to attain those goals. The best marketing tactic depends on several factors, including the nature of the business and its products, the market, and available resources. Regardless, ensure you include a clear timeline for the tactics you select. Generally, the two types of tactics are:

Foundational tactics

These tactics are the basis of the business's value proposition and usually align with its mission and vision statement. Businesses typically develop these tactics from inception to help propagate its brand and values. Examples of foundational tactics are developing a brand voice or building a website.

Related: Top 10 Skills of a Marketing Manager

Ongoing tactics

These are all other marketing tactics that businesses develop and apply over time. They often change as the business' goals change. Examples of ongoing tactics are marketing campaigns, billboards, and sales offers. It's equally important that ongoing tactics align with a business's foundational values, even if their focus changes with time.

4. Implement your strategy

After determining the tactics you want to employ, you can begin implementation. Then, using the timelines and strategy you developed, start execution. One of the most effective ways to guide your marketing efforts is through a sales funnel. By understanding the three stages of a sales funnel, you can develop tactics that cater to each. They include:

  • Awareness: This refers to how many people know of a business's product and to what extent. You can group effective tactics like brand events, marketing campaigns, and social media advertisements under this stage.

  • Consideration: The consideration stage involves when buyers are trying to decide if they want to buy a product. Effective tactics to deploy at this stage include discounts, sales offers, and informative marketing campaigns.

  • Decision: This is the last stage of the sales funnel when buyers decide to purchase a product. At this stage, you can consider tactics like customer helpdesks and warranties that help retain customer loyalty.

5. Review your plan

After executing the plan, ensure you monitor it to determine its effectiveness. To do this, it's important that you have clear metrics for measuring performance. Your metric may be the number of new customers you gained or the percentage of increase in sales. Whatever they are, ensure they align with the marketing goals you developed earlier. Then, assess the effectiveness of your strategy based on how well it's helping you attain your goals. If the strategy appears ineffective in any regard, you can correct it and try again.

Examples of marketing tactics

There are various marketing tactics you can apply, depending on the nature of the business and its products. Here are some examples of tactics you can employ using the four major Ps of marketing:

Price tactics

Price refers to how a business sells its products to customers, and it's one of the most important marketing tools. Businesses can influence how customers interact with its brand and products by being tactical with pricing. Still, it can be difficult to use this tool correctly. There are various pricing strategies you can try, depending on your goal. An example of a price tactic is lowering your prices to attract customers before increasing them.

Place tactics

Place refers to where and how companies present products to customers. The place in this context can be physical like a store or virtual like a website. Alternative distribution channels like mobile stores and brand events are also examples of place in marketing. To encourage patronage, ensure the place is attractive and comfortable for customers. Examples of place tactics you can consider are selling a franchise to resellers, home delivery services, and having refreshments at a walk-in store.

Related: Key Marketing Skills for Your Resume (With Examples)

Promotion tactics

Promotion refers to all efforts businesses undergo to raise awareness about their brand and products. It includes various public relations, marketing, and sales strategies. Examples of promotion tactics for advertisement that you can consider are leveraging social media, sending regular newsletters to customers, or using celebrities as brand ambassadors. Similarly, you can also use sales promotion tactics like customer loyalty programs, free returns, and warranties.

Product tactics

The product refers to what the business is selling to the market. It's one of the most important marketing tools, as it's the focus of all your efforts. It's important that businesses develop products that solve real problems for customers. Additionally, it's equally essential that companies make the product attractive and easy to use. Examples of product tactics you can consider are offering various colour options, improving product packaging, or offering sales bundles on certain purchases.

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