As a CMO or CEO, do you feel your organization’s marketing strategy is effective?If you answered “no,” you’re not alone, according to the State of Inbound 2016 Report. Over 61% of marketers felt their organization’s marketing strategy was NOT effective. OUCH!
That means there should be a great deal of conversation around the c-suite table of why and what the corrective action for 2017 is going to be as budgets are considered.
What is the difference between strategy and tactics?
This one of the basic fundamental elements I find missing from an inbound marketing program when we conduct a digital audit. People have jumped into the “tactics,” such as posting on Facebook or implementing a new website, however, they are disappointed because they aren’t seeing the results they think they should. Why? Because they skipped the strategy phase and jumped to tactics.
Sun Tsu, an Ancient Chinese Military strategist, said it best, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
In this age where access to data and high expectations around measurable outcomes is imperative, understanding the difference between strategy and tactics is imperative for several reasons:
- A strategy establishes a clear vision and in turn elicits higher focus and productivity from your team.
- Clear goals are established so the focus is on measuring what matters, not what doesn’t, which means realistic expectations are established and understood by everyone.
- Money won’t be wasted on “good ideas” that have no relevance to the outcome of the strategy.
Strategy sets the course for the journey. It answers the why, who, what, when and where. Strategy is the road map for how you’ll achieve your goals. Establishing a strategy involves researching, analyzing data and having an in depth understanding of your customers and your competitors to arrive at a measurable plan.
Tactics are the how, the actions necessary to implement and manage in order to achieve the measurable goals.
Is an Inbound Marketing Strategy Effective?
“Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.” – Wikipedia
Basically, an inbound marketing strategy methodically covers every stage of the buyer’s journey from stranger to brand advocate. It delivers the right information, in the right channel at the right time the way your potential lead, prospect or customer wants to receive it. And when aligned with sales, generates even greater returns.
According to the State of Inbound 2016 Report, 81% of marketers who indicated they had a successful strategy credited it to inbound marketing.
In addition, 67% of marketers indicated their inbound marketing strategy provided the highest quality of leads for their sales teams.
What’s Your Strategy?
Whether you’re just getting started with an inbound marketing program, or you’re already on your journey and questioning the effectiveness of your inbound program, step back and evaluate your strategy.
Did you jump in without a plan? Did you start posting content without a connection to the buyer’s journey?
There is a reason that companies that are using an inbound strategy are four times as likely to rate their marketing strategy highly. In addition, companies using inbound marketing tactics gain the additional bonus of saving an average of 13% in overall cost per lead, according to Hubspot.
The Secret Ingredient
There is one more secret to a successful inbound strategy -- having a strategic partner with proven results.
According to Ascend2, 62% of companies outsource all or part of their digital marketing tactics, primarily the most difficult types to execute. Outsourcing supplements internal skills to improve performance.
Is it time to rethink your marketing strategy and align with a strategic inbound partner to help you achieve your goals?
Don’t spend another dime on marketing tactics without a solid strategy in place. Schedule your free strategy session with a Marketing Essentials today!