What is tactical marketing? (Strategies and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 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.

A marketing strategy enables a business to focus its resources on opportunities that increase brand awareness and sales while carving out a competitive advantage over competitors. Tactical marketing is a strategy that lays out a specific goal to achieve results within a certain timeframe and is part of an overall strategy. Learning the answer to 'What is tactical marketing?' can enable you to implement it in your marketing strategies and improve a company's brand awareness. In this article, we define tactical marketing, outline the strategies to follow, explain its benefits and provide an example.

What is tactical marketing?

Understanding the answer to 'What is tactical marketing?' can help a business focus on actions to support its goals across the business. Tactical marketing looks at actions that happen soon and has a shorter-term focus. Things to include in a strategy are ways to achieve wins on a product, such as creating a social media campaign.

Creating a tactical marketing plan can be part of an overall marketing strategy. This type of marketing is action-orientated and provides clear steps that members of a marketing team can take to achieve results. It involves looking at channels available to a team so they can take strategic steps and see results. Tactical marketing can include the following elements:

  • creating lead magnets to gain new subscribers

  • creating an email newsletter and planning a sending schedule

  • providing free online training to gain new audience members

  • holding a press release on the benefits of a product or service

  • developing advertising campaigns online

  • updating social media channels with new content regularly

  • ensuring optimisation of the company's website and usage of highly relevant keywords

  • writing and posting content that speaks to the relevant audience

Related: How to write a marketing message (including examples)

How to create a tactical marketing plan?

A tactical marketing strategy can motivate teams to achieve results within a defined period. Many companies use tactical marketing around Christmas, New Year, Halloween or other major holidays. The team tasked with carrying out the plan has a set timeframe to perform the work and can evaluate it once the results come through. Having timeframes provides a daily reminder to team members that daily marketing actions can bring huge rewards. Marketing managers assign different tasks to team members with strengths in those areas.

Tactics in marketing can help translate plans and ideas into action-based steps. The results build step by step and undergo evaluation, highlighting tasks worth repeating for another tactical marketing campaign. These smaller timeframe marketing efforts play a bigger role in the overall marketing strategy of a business. Each tactical marketing plan is going to look different after development. When marketing managers and executives develop a plan, these are some things they consider:

1. Timeframe

It's important for a company to set a start and end date on the plan. Some factors that usually determine a timeframe are a launch of a product, a special time of year or when a company offers a sale. During this timeframe, it strategically places a set of realistic actions throughout the period to build momentum and gain visibility and sales. It's important that there's scope to extend the timeframe if required to ensure further success or to tweak activity.

2. Tools

A marketing team receives a notification about what tools they have at their disposal to use and which ones require creation. At this point, deciding whether to outsource some design work to ensure the team reaches its targets is an important consideration.

3. Resources

What resources does the team have? Marketing managers compile a list of resources that are available to the team. These include lead magnets to gain subscribers, emails and sales funnels. Knowing the resources available is vital to keep the team motivated and to reach and surpass their goals.

4. Budgets

One reason for putting this plan together is to engage on a deeper level with existing and new audiences. It's important to decide where to put the focus, whether video or written content or a mix of both, as it affects budget requirements. Placing a budget on activity is important, so a company invests enough to achieve its goals.

5. Audience engagement

Research into optimal engagement times is an important consideration. Several online tools provide insights into optimal engagement times for a company's content. It's essential to follow this information and post when it's likely that content can get good engagement. Following up on comments posted on social media and other platforms forms part of the plan.

6. Channel type

Knowing what channels a business focuses on helps keep team members focused. Instead of spreading resources and attention too thinly, it's wise to know the audience's needs and where they like to consume content. Focus on these channels and create a strategy that builds momentum on that channel. This can be through a blog, video series, weekly email newsletters, training packages or daily social posts. The strategy also requires consistency.

7. Measurement

If a company tries a tactical marketing approach for the first time, it requires analysis to see what worked and what it could improve. As a company grows, it gets to know its audience better and can tailor content to their needs. All companies doing marketing or securing outside services require a reporting mechanism to analyse and present campaign reports.

8. Future development

When a company completes a tactical marketing approach, the next consideration is how to build on the successes achieved. Marketing teams can often overlook this vital point can often get overlooked they move on to the next project. It's important to acknowledge that marketing is a constant process that requires consistency in planning and execution. Developing a connection with audiences is important, yet it's even more important to continue speaking to their needs and meeting them.

Related: 20 marketing activities to enhance any marketing strategy

Advantages of tactical marketing

The advantages of tactical marketing include:

  • goals forming part of a set schedule

  • team members deliver parts of the process and work together to carry out the plan

  • future decisions focusing on elements that achieve success

  • plans becoming flexible and adaptable as the schedule progresses, promoting the best results

  • management and stakeholders understand results

  • strategies facilitating the development of new products or services

Related: What are strategies vs tactics? (Definition and differences)

Tactical vs strategic marketing

The basis of marketing is the messaging and delivery of a message that speaks to its target audience. Yet, there are different ways of doing this. Companies prefer tactical marketing if they'd like to centre activity around a product launch date or a celebrity visit by determining a timeframe for the activity.

Companies focusing on longer-term goals and campaigns look towards strategic marketing, or when a marketing team gets together to lay out a strategic plan around a larger goal. This can include a brand revamp, gaining high-value backlinks to the website or writing content that secures a link on the first page of a search engine. Targets reflect a longer-term strategy that requires continued effort over a year or longer.

Related: Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business

Example of tactical marketing

Having a plan is a great first step, but if you don't act on it, all the work can go to waste, and team motivation can decrease. Here's an example of how to implement a tactical marketing plan:

You're a marketing executive for a marketing consulting company, and a client requires help with a content strategy. The client is asking for help because the team finds executing tasks challenging and is not achieving results. As a marketing professional, you can ask the client for customer testimonials, success case studies, important dates in the business, product or service content, access to a subject expert in the company, goals for the campaign and channels to use. With this information, you design a content strategy that includes the following:

  • written content on the company's blog and social media

  • articles such as listicles, how-to guides for submission to media outlets

  • subject expert who can conduct media interviews

  • press release about a new product or service launch

  • metrics to show the company channels on which posts perform best

  • timeframe for completing the work

  • weekly activity schedule

  • proposed budget

  • campaign start and end dates

  • tools available to measure it

  • ways to deliver the report on the plan's activity

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