Marketing tactics are the tools used to achieve the objectives stated in the Business or Marketing Plan and in the Marketing Strategy in particular. In effect they are the actions and planned events within the organisations day to day operations that ultimately lead to the completion of strategic marketing objectives.
Ensuring the tactics are achievable sounds obvious. For example, if the planned tactics need significant funds which the organisation does not have, then the marketing strategy will not be achievable.
Discussions about marketing strategies and tactics should include input from relevant stakeholders to ensure the approach is achievable. It also has the effect of improving the buy in of senior managers.
A marketing action plan allows you to put more detail behind the marketing strategies, by spelling out the tactics – what needs to happen to achieve your set objectives. It also clearly states the budget allocation, including costings for each aspect of the plan.
The formatting and presentation of an action plan will depend upon individual preferences; MS Excel spreadsheets and Gantt charts are two common options. Whatever the format, it needs to be updatable, easy to follow, workable and include the following:
What – Addresses each set objective
How – Identifies the tactics, or what needs to happen, to achieve each objective
Who – Identifies who needs to complete each tactic – identify which stakeholders you need to have on board to implement the plan and who is accountable for each tactic. If the organisation does not have the talent to achieve aspects of the plan, talent from outside the business may need to be sourced.
When – Assigns a critical timeline for each tactic to be achieved. The marketing action plan should be broken down into short and long term goals, for example 3, 6, 12 months. This will help you track the performance of the overall plan and allow you to assess what in the plan may need to be changed to keep you on track. Make sure your marketing action plan timeline corresponds with the timelines you have identified in your SMART objectives.
Metrics – Addresses how each tactic will be assessed and measured to meet the overall objectives. For example, top line sales figures, product distribution costs and so on.