Marketing Strategist or Shiny-Object Chasing Tactician?

Become A Student Of Strategy

When it comes to strategy and tactics, marketing strategy and marketing tactics, one of the things that I always teach my students and clients is you really want to become a student of strategy.

Marketing strategy trumps marketing tactics every time.
Marketing Strategy > Marketing Tactics

Strategy is, really, the big picture of what you want to see happen.

For example, let’s say, providing social proof, right?

That could be a marketing strategy.

You might say establishing authority, establishing credibility, tapping into reciprocity.

These are kind of different marketing strategies.

Then, how we actually do that?

How we present social proof, how we demonstrate credibility and authority, how we leverage the power of reciprocity in the execution and implementation?

That is a tactic.

Now, the reason why you want to really want to become a student of strategy is because –

Strategies Never Go Out Of Fashion

The strategy isn’t going to stop working, whereas tactics, the ways that you actually execute on the strategy, those things can go in and out of fashion.

A tactic can work today and then in three months from now, may no longer work… Or a tactic that worked six months ago may not longer work today.

Now let me give you an example to really drive this point.

At one point in time, we had the doodle videos.

There's a difference between marketing strategies and tactics.
The Doodle Video – A tactical implementation of a marketing strategy.

Maybe you’ve seen them, the doodle marketing videos, the hand-drawn videos.

When they first hit the scene, when they first started being utilized I believe in the health and fitness space, they served as what’s called a pattern interrupt.

They were very different from anything that prospects had seen before.

It was very different from what prospects expected at the beginning of the video, and so it was a pattern interrupt, and so it worked really well to get attention and create engagement.

But over time as more and more marketers continued to use those doodle videos, those hand-drawn videos, that approach stopped being a pattern interrupt.

In fact, it was no longer a pattern interrupt, it was just a pattern.

People began to expect those doodle videos, and when they saw the doodle videos, they immediately knew what was coming next.

It was a marketing video, it was a sales video.

They knew they were about to be pitched, and so it stopped working and really had the reverse effect.

Well, the key is to understand it doesn’t mean that the strategy of the pattern interrupt is no longer effective or is no longer viable or is no longer something that you should use.

It just means that tactically, executing on that pattern interrupt should no longer be done with the doodle video.

We now need to find a different tactical way to execute the pattern interrupt.

The pattern interrupt is the strategy.

The doodle video was a tactic on how we executed that strategy.

The strategy will continue to work.

The tactic can go in and out of fashion.

And so when it comes to growing as a marketer, when it comes to improving your marketing chops, you really want to study strategy.

That’s where the gold is.

And as you become more aware of the reasons why the strategy, what it is that you’re trying to experience or generate in terms of outcome, you’ll be able to see more opportunities for different ways to execute on those strategies.

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