The AJC has been running an ongoing advertising campaign featuring a street entertainer (or so-called “sign spinner”) and one of those directional signs under the headline stating this is not a marketing strategy.
The ads are eye-catching and entertaining so they work well in drawing the reader into the ad where they go on to promote their digital media services. Kudos to the creator. The problem is that digital marketing isn’t a strategy either and there’s the rub.
All too often business owners are lured into purchasing marketing tactics veiled as strategies, essentially purchasing solutions for problems they had not yet identified.
True marketing strategy defines a plan for reaching a specific goal. For example, a strategy might be: to increase the number of eyeballs to the website or foot traffic to your retail door as a strategy for increasing sales.
A marketing tactic is the highly practical thing you do every day to execute against that strategy. In this instance it might be hiring that street performer with the sign or the leveraging the digital media offerings of the AJC.com. Both are valid tactics to help execute against the strategy for increasing sales.
Take the time to develop a vision and the corresponding strategies first before you sign a contract for ongoing tactics. It will pay dividends in the long run and prevent you from finding yourself at year end with a significant marketing outlay for something that doesn’t align with your goals.