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Create a Tactical Marketing Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Larry Elder

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Strategic Marketing vs Tactical Marketing: These Are Not the Same Thing

Many brilliant marketers develop an effective marketing strategy without every accomplishing their revenue goal. Understanding the difference between  strategic marketing and a tactical marketing can be the difference between success or failure.

Strategic Marketing Plan

A Strategic Marketing Plan is the overall campaign plan, it’s the big picture that includes a need to execute many details condensed in overarching summaries.  Examples could include “we’re going to nurture our prospects with emails” or “we’re going to  automate our lead flow management.”

Tactical Marketing Plan

The Tactical Marketing Plan is the real world blueprint that makes the strategy possible. It’s laying out definitions, triggers, dependencies, and measurable objectives that allow your marketing vision to become a reality. Examples could include “we’re going to start a 15 step email nurture campaign after one of these forms is submitted that runs for 8 weeks using this set of emails.”

How to Build the Right Plan

Building a actionable marketing plan requires a lot of time and attention to detail, as well as the right tools.  We start with our strategic marketing objectives printed and then brainstorm the tactics on a white board and convert this to comprehensive mind maps.  Once the mind map is built, we convert each project and its specific marketing tactics to a thorough Gantt Chart with role assignments, due dates, and dependencies.

What Do You Need for Your Tactical Marketing Plan?

A Marketing Strategy

In order to develop effective tactics, you need the overall strategy laid out.  You have to know who you are targeting, the channels you are targeting them on, and the message you are targeting them with.  These components are critical before you develop your project.

Marketing Objectives

Simply hoping for “more leads” is a bad marketing objective.  Your plan should include defined objectives for each asset, channel, and email campaign.  In order to build predictable revenue growth from your marketing, you have to measure what works and what doesn’t.  If you can’t define “works”, you can’t measure it.

A Project Manager

This is a discipline and you will need a person to own the project that has the right skillset. This person will be responsible for organizing the plan, managing the project, and implementing the marketing tactics via the various team resources that will be used throughout the project. When changes to the plan are required (and they will be), this person will organize the response and updates accordingly.

Project Management Software

The move from vague goals to specific tactical marketing initiatives is a giant leap from ad hoc marketing. A sophisticated tactical marketing effort requires details task management, assignment, dependency mapping, and time tracking. This is virtually impossible without dedicated project management software.


The sophistication of a tactical marketing plan facilitates predictable revenue, reporting metrics, and consistent growth, but it also takes a considerable amount of time planning, reviewing, and adjusting. You should plan on a minimum 20% increase in time required to execute tactical initatives.


Things are going to go wrong.  Sure things will backfire, long shots will surprise you, and variables will change without notice. When you are in the midst of executing your plan, the temptation to abandon it and return to ad hoc marketing will be ever present.  You will need the will to stay the course if you want the measure ROI a tactical marketing plan provides

Tactical MA Can Help

We specialize in developing predictable, scalable tactical marketing plans.  We have developed strategic marketing plans for hundreds of organizations and converted those high level ideas to real tactical marketing plans that capitalize on the latest marketing technologies.  If you’re tired of trying the same thing and getting the same result, we invite you schedule a consultation so we can discuss how to do marketing differently and achieve a better outcome.

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