With the year coming to a close, your marketing plan for the coming year should be well underway. But as I speak with remodelers about their plans for the future, most just start rattling off a list of tactics that they plan to implement.
When I rephrase the question to ask about their objectives and strategies, I often get a blank stare in response. The unfortunate truth is that many remodelers don’t understand the three basic elements that make up their marketing plan and how these elements work off of one another.
So let’s break them down with an example.
Divide your marketing plan into these three linear components: Objectives first. Then strategies. Then Tactics.
First define the objectives.
Objectives are the goals of your marketing efforts. They must be specific and measurable. In addition, your objectives should be tied to a specific time frame.
For example, your objective could be to “increase market share from 15% to 20% by December 31st.”
Second identify the strategy to achieve your goal.
Strategy is often confused with tactics. But before you get into the tactics you have to conceptualize how you can meet your goal. Strategy, therefore, is the idea of how you can achieve your objective.
In our example objective “increase market share,” some strategies could include:
- Raise brand awareness
- Reposition our brand
- Devise new reasons why customers should choose us
- Get more referrals, and so on.
Note, depending on the breadth of the objective, you may need to use multiple strategies.
Third, lay out the tactics
Now that you know what strategy you will be using to achieve your goal, you can start to identify the specific tactics you can use to make it happen.
So let’s say our strategy is to increase brand awareness. We can now get into the specific tactics which may include:
- Billboard advertising
- Run magazine ads
- Increase social media presence
- Buy better job site signs
- Invest in adwords campaigns
Alternately, if our strategy is to get more referrals our tactics may look like this:
- Send out a quarterly print newsletter to past clients
- Send out holiday cards
- Start an e-newsletter
- Create a referral rewards program
- Have a follow-up satisfaction call six months after close
As you can see, a clearly defined objective allows you to explore all the various ways (strategies) to achieve your ultimate goal. Subsequently, you can easily identify the appropriate tactics required to carry out your strategic marketing initiatives.
What about you?
Have you had trouble differentiating a strategy from a tactic? Do you start with your objectives first? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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