This would seem like an obvious statement. But when we look at it within the context of marketing, it translates into the fact that strategy should precede tactics. And this is something that doesn’t happen that often, especially in an intensely competitive scenario characterized by continuous change in the marketplace. In their desire to stay afloat, companies often indulge in tactics to stave off the competition. While action is always necessary, it more often than not leads to temporary short term benefits unless it occurs within the framework of a cohesive marketing strategy.
A lot of times, tactics are employed under the guise of strategy since marketers themselves do not understand this phenomenon. For instance, conducting a social media campaign is a tactic. The strategic part would be the planning that goes into orchestrating this campaign. It could be integrated with an ad campaign to add more teeth or it could be timed to coincide with an event. This ensures that the action creates more impact. A strategy always involves thought that aims at maximizing the benefit in a dynamic scenario using the resources at hand. And that is precisely why it should precede tactics.
As always, there is a flip side to this argument as well. There is absolutely no doubt that today’s markets are turbulent in nature, fraught with uncertainty and strife. Hence, simply indulging in lengthy thinking sessions may result in outdated strategies even before they reach the implementation stage. Hence, it becomes critical that a balance is struck between the two and an appropriate amount of time is devoted to both. After all, a scenario where the strategy remains confined to the realms of the mind is absolutely worthless. It can only show its mettle when it is acted upon.
Ultimately, a paradigm driven by strategy and fueled by action is the best way forward.
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