With Your Marketing Plan in Place, It's Time to Talk Tactics

Identifying the tactics of your marketing plan should flow smoothly out of the strategies you've identified that will drive your business forward.

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By Jim Joseph

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Tactics are important because they're ultimately what engages our customers and motivates them to purchase. But honestly, you can't possibly outline your tactics until you've completed all the necessary steps in writing your marketing plan first. Otherwise your tactics may not work.

Fortunately, if you've been following this series the last few weeks, then you know we are finally ready.

It's time to outline our tactics.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Since we've created core strategies that will drive our thinking, the process should be fun, easy and tangible. Identifying the tactics of your marketing plan should flow smoothly out of the strategies you've identified that will drive your business forward.

In fact, as you brainstorm your tactics, the marketing plan we've been assembling should be the filter you use.

If something doesn't address one of your core strategies, then it's not a viable tactic for your plan. If it doesn't address an area of your SWOT analysis, then you should toss it aside for something that does. If it won't resonate with what you know about your target customer, even if it seems to fit one of your strategies, then you should keep thinking until you create something more meaningful.

While brainstorming tactics should take you far and wide, the filters you apply should also start to narrow down to the few that will really make a difference based on your marketing plan.

Even though in brainstorming, "no idea is a bad idea," there are bad tactics if they don't flow from your strategies.

Related: Make Plans, But Remember That Success Comes to Those Who Execute

So in continuation of last week's post where we outlined some hypothetical strategies for a small retailer, this week we will take the marketing plan one step further and put tactics against each of those strategies.

  • Expand your presence into three more markets of similar makeup to your current location. Tactics would include picking those locations and designing a retail presence that would be appropriate to the space and to the location.
  • Establish an ecommerce site to reach and attract those who wouldn't come to your brick-and-mortar location. Here we would create the url and website that compliments the brand's existing brick-and-mortar branding, and put elements in place that make the online purchasing process easy.
  • Create a social presence that will help your current customers become more engaged in your business and motivate them to share their experiences in their networks. We would tactically decide which social channels are most relevant to our customers and then create a presence on those channels that fuel engagement.
  • Develop a content marketing strategy to add more value to your customers' lives beyond the products that they buy from you. A content strategy includes the tactical elements of creating your brand voice in social channels, outlining a content calendar for the year and designing social campaigns to fill that calendar.

Obviously, these are generalities and your own tactics would be much more specific and unique to your marketing strategies. But it's important to note that it's your tactics that your customers see. This is the first time that your marketing plan becomes public facing so make sure that they are relevant to them.

Start brainstorming, and start applying your filters!

Related: 8 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan Right Now

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is a commentator on the marketing industry. He is Global President of the marketing communications agency BCW, author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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