Marketing Strategy vs. Tactics

Online Marketing meets Marketing Strategy

Costly confusion, unproductive turf-war, or effective collaboration?!



The question often heard when businesses want to improve their market position ….

Shouldn’t we start with SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media?


Aren’t these activities the core of “online marketing”?  Given all the recent trends, wouldn’t a focus on these tools (and tool experts) – like social media marketing, search engine marketing / SEM, SEO, email marketing, content marketing, ads, PR – be enough to ensure customer & sales growth and financial success?

Before you spend a good amount of money on these efforts,
you need to be asking these 2 primary questions:

Will those marketing dollars & staff time will deliver the promised rewards – and yield a good ROI ?

What are all the factors that determine marketing effectiveness and results?

Marketing Strategy versus Marketing Promotion

Marketing Strategy Analysis ROI Consulting

The short answer to the question above: The items above are messaging activities / tactics. These marketing tactics and the associated planning efforts, are part of the promotion stage, which comes after the creation of a well-defined marketing strategy for the business.

These much talked about promotional tools & efforts are powerful and potentially valuable. But to get the full value out of them, successful businesses have learned the importance of guiding them with a well-thought out marketing strategy.

Further down, we outline the significant costs / negative impact of not doing the above. But first, a little background and perspective.

The image above outlines the 4 key stages of the marketing process – and shows the important step of developing a marketing strategy (deciding on the 4 or 6 Ps) before embarking on promotional activities – online or offline.

Promotion – just 1 of 6 key elements of marketing strategy

Online Promotion is certainly the most visible part of your marketing efforts today – whether it is social media marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, PR, advertising etc. These actions / tactics all fall under the umbrella of promotion – just one part of the marketing process.

It is simply one of the 4 Ps of the classic marketing mix, or 1 of 6 Ps of the updated marketing mix. The other 5 of the 6 Ps –

  • product strategy
  • pricing strategy
  • place (distribution & sales channels)
  • partners
  • processes

– play as critical a role, if not more, in ensuring the long term growth and success of your product, brand, and business!


Focusing on one of these gears while neglecting the others will not get you very far in a competitive environment!

So, how do you define these 6 Ps – the key components of a marketing plan that delivers results?   Read on below …

To see how a marketing strategy focus (vs. tactics) can bolster your results, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

How to get results from Online Marketing Promotion

Inputs and insights that can maximize its power, effectiveness, ROI

Marketing Promotion Communications PR


SWOT Analysis for Online Marketing Strategy

Online promotion has undoubtedly become a powerful element of the marketing mix – with an explosion of easily available tools, platforms, and social media channels.

However, as companies have learned, sometimes after spending millions, that quantity (enabled by new tools & channels) cannot make up for a lack of quality, that messaging efficiency is not the same as marketing effectiveness!

To make promotional activities and marketing communications relevant, focused, and effective, they need to be designed & targeted with the help of insights from strategic marketing analysis – and the overall marketing strategy for the product or the business as a whole.

In the next section, we show how these promotion activities are connected to and driven by marketing analysis and strategy – seen from a wider perspective!



To elevate your focus from tactics to strategy, from activity to results, from short-term / random blips to sustained growth, please contact us for a free initial consultation.


How successful Online Marketing (= Online Promotion)
is driven by Marketing Strategy & Innovation

Here is a visual showing how marketing promotion activities / tactics shown in this triangle

online marketing promotion activities

… fit within the overall strategic marketing process. Aka – the value of perspective!


This visual summary/ marketing blueprint illustrates the foundations and pillars of strategic marketing – how it shapes and influences product strategy ( product innovation ), as well as the articulation of key marketing messages (including benefits, customer value proposition, USP, brand promise).

These foundational layers subsequently guide the creation of an effective website (not just an attractive site) – and a variety of compelling marketing messages promoted in various formats on various media channels.

From the strategic marketing map / blueprint above, it is easy to untangle and clarify the relationships of the critical elements of business & marketing strategy – as shown below.

business marketing goals strategy execution




Based in Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area, CA





Strategic marketing vs. tactical marketing / promotion

What are some significant costs that arise from this confusion?

So, what’s in a name …

It has become very common to call the last 2 boxes (promotion goals and promotion plans) marketing strategy – or even just marketing – instead of promotion! Well, what’s in a name.

Just that, for real-world results and ROI, you need the real stuff – sharp marketing analysis that leads to a solid marketing strategy – that informs, guides, and aligns all your marketing tactics, tools, activities – including social media promotion and search engine “marketing”.

business marketing goals strategy execution

How strategy pays off

Or the costs of ignoring strategic insights and inputs!

If you are aiming in the wrong direction (or not clear on what customer segment or market niche you are specifically targeting), the best promotion tools and the best experts for those tools – won’t make much of a difference!

If you do not spend the effort to become completely familiar with the nature of the problem that your product is aiming to solve (from your customer’s point of view), and the availability / adequacy of other options, then your marketing communications and promises will ring hollow – no matter how attractively or widely they are presented (i.e. variety of media or channels).

If you are not sure which aspects of your product are most valued by your target customers – and which aspects help your product stand out from other competing products – then no amount of polished communications can overcome this fundamental hurdle in connecting with your customers and users – and creating the customer engagement you need – both pre-sale and post-sale.

Strategic Marketing Analysis 101


If you are knocking on the wrong door,
it does not matter how hard or how creatively or how persistently you try!

These key questions, from various angles, in the early stages (and on an ongoing basis) make a difference between activity and results, between short-term spikes and sustained growth.

To explore how a marketing strategist with an objective, observant, and insightful perspective can help boost your results, please get in touch!


Strategy vs. promotion / communication tactics

An illustrative example: The President vs. WH spokesman

Here’s a good example – from a very visible and well-known American tradition. It clarifies the difference between developing & refining strategy and talking points – and the task of communicating them in a polished, attractive way to the target audience.

The White House spokesman delivers well-crafted messages on behalf of the President, effectively leveraging his (i.e. the spokesman’s) communication & people skills to verbalize short or long answers, serious or light-hearted replies, based on previously determined themes / core messages, and the mood / needs of the situation.

But those “talking points” (core messages), and the strategies, plans, and actions being publicized, are developed by the President and other elected officials (we hope!) – and then communicated to the media / public by the spokesman – with the right tone and polish.

Yes, a good spokesman is worth the investment – as long as there is an appropriate recognition and investment in the strategy and core message development, which the spokesman can then leverage and build from!


Achieving online marketing success and sustained results

If you are keen to harness the rich and often untapped potential of those first 2 boxes (business & marketing goals and strategy), and see how strategic insights can be used to improve or overhaul your products & services, web communications, and promotion / messaging efforts, please get in touch to explore & discuss what we can achieve together.


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Online Marketing Strategy 101
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A competent, innovation-focused, strategic marketing consultant can help you address these top priority areas – leading to the achievement of core business and marketing goals.

Contact us today to schedule an initial discussion of your needs and how we can productively partner together.

Based in Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area



Contact Online Marketing Strategy Planner

When you need an objective sounding board, a sharp, creative thinker & strategist to partner with you as you enhance or overhaul your brand, messaging, and product innovation efforts, drop me a line.


Auri Biswas

MBA, Duke University

Silicon Valley / SF Bay Area


Marketing Strategy & Product Innovation

  • Big-4 Management Consulting firm experience
  • Fortune 500 and other leading global corporations
  • As well as SMB, small business, entrepreneurial startups.




Top-tier business consulting services in Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area for marketing strategy & product innovation-driven growth.

Serving small businesses, SMB firms, startups to large corporations in a variety of industries. Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, Menlo Park, San Jose, Fremont, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Oakland, Berkeley.

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Online Marketing Strategy 101
Get started today!