Often, small business owners take a tactical approach to their marketing. They think in terms of HOW they are going to reach a specific audience segment, when they should first be thinking in terms of WHY.

This is one of the primary reasons we created the Make My Marketing Work “bookinar” program, and one of the reasons we are about to launch a new coaching program to help small business owners grow their businesses strategically, over the long term.

So why is strategy so much more important than tactics?

Tactics – like creating a display ad in your local or regional newspaper or writing copy for your website – need to be fueled by the information that strategy provides. And when the results of your tactical efforts come in, the only way to truly analyze them properly is to compare them to an underlying strategic objective.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that one of your marketing strategic objectives is to increase the percentage of your sales that are processed through your website. To get this result, you decide to modify your current weekly newspaper ad with a web-based call to action.

When the ad finishes its run, you can then look specifically at your website traffic and online conversions to see whether your efforts generated the results you intended. And you can compare those results to the results you were getting when the ad called people to visit your store or phone you to place an order.

The results of your analysis will then help you determine if the ad modification was successful or if you need to make changes to it in order to improve the results you are getting online.

In this case the tactic, creating an advertisement, could do any number of things. Without a strategic objective, you could certainly place an advertisement, but how would you know if it is successful?

Simply put, you wouldn’t.

Having a strategic underpinning to your marketing efforts is crucial for small business owners trying to grow their business. Strategy determines the tactical course of action and provides the context to understand and analyze your results.

Source by Paul Keetch