When it comes to making decisions at work, you may feel a sense of fear or uncertainty. As marketing professionals, we are relied on to make these decisions each and every day that affect people’s lives and businesses. The first step to achieving a goal at work is to choose an appropriate marketing plan. I know you’re probably thinking there’s more than one type of marketing plan?! Well, think of it this way: would this specific company goal be attainable with a long-term plan or a short-term plan? These two distinct plans are also known as strategic vs. tactical plans. Let’s dive in…
Strategic Marketing Plans
If you are striving to bring awareness to a general product, brand or service, you may want to take the strategic marketing plan approach. This long-term approach will involve multiple parties such as sub-teams or departments and more than one marketing channel, i.e. social media, email, search engine optimization or website.
Tactical Marketing Plans
If you are aiming to quickly raise sales or profit from a specific product or service using one team and one marketing channel, you’d want to take the short-term tactical route. Tactical Marketing Plans are straight forward and to-the-point, allowing marketers to determine the reasons behind the results.
Apply the Marketing Magic
Take the healthcare industry, let’s say you are asked to market your hospital to the community because you want to increase awareness of your hospital. Which plan would you choose? How would you achieve this goal? If you answered strategically, you’re correct! You would want to set up several sub-committees to work on different projects. You may have the video production teamwork on a general patient testimonial video each month for a year. You can have the social media team post an employee recognition or mission moment post. You can have the website team post media pitches on their pages. These are all things that are on-going and will, in the end, help achieve your long-term goal of increasing brand awareness.
Now let’s say your hospital on-boarded a new colorectal surgeon a few months back in December and you are asked to increase his number of appointments for colonoscopy on the website by a 5% by April. Which marketing plan would you choose? You’d choose a short-term tactical plan. How would you achieve this? You may want to consider work with the email marketing team during the month of March which is National Colorectal Awareness Month. You’d have the team send out an email blast to a targeted list of men and women in their 50s, which is the appropriate age for colonoscopy screenings. You’d make sure the individuals in your targeted list also live in the surrounding zip codes of your hospital. Lastly, you’d make sure there was a call-to-action button linking viewers to make an appointment on the physician’s website page.
Good marketers think ahead. Good marketers analyze a need and identify the appropriate and most efficient way to satisfy that need. Consider these two types of marketing plans when you are asked to develop a marketing strategy and you too, will be a good marketer.