We've been executing a lot of strategic marketing plans lately.
This = happy. Happy for us because the work is intensely challenging and rewarding. Happy for our clients because we are almost always more effective on their behalf this way.
Typically if we're approached to execute on an individual tactic or suite of tactics (traditional print, special event design, new media marketing etc.,) there usually hasn't been a connection made between that particular executable and the larger business goals or strategic marketing framework. There's a reason for that.
Tactics are about process; strategy is about results.
Example: [tactic] I'm going to write a series of blog posts and post them on our corporate blog. [Strategy] I'm going to divert company resources from traditional media to blogging in an effort to build a long term engagement machine and relationship platform with five key client segments this year.
Building an engagement asset is strategy. Tweets, RSS feeds, news releases, email campaigns etc., are tactics.
If you're actually committing to marketing strategy, you should be talking about it in terms of your entire business. If actions from your marketing plan are falling on the shoulders of one department or person, you're in tactical land.
It's easy to spot once you understand it. The better you get at executing tactics (the process), the harder it is to abandon them for strategy (it's challenging, and you're too busy.)
If you didn't feel uncomfortable in at least a few of last quarter's marketing meetings, ask WHY.
Embrace a strategic approach to your marketing activities and your business will grow.
Ask your self this:
In the most competitive and economically challenging time of our generation, how does your competition view strategy and what are they doing about it?
You're trying hard not to show it, but baby we know it. You've got that strategic feelin'.
(And if you don't, you should get it.)