Tactics should follow strategy. Always. After all, it’s only by homing in on core business needs and goals that an organization can determine the activities necessary to achieve those goals.

Marketing is no exception to this rule. Marketing tactics can support a wide variety of business needs—driving awareness, building interest, converting new customers, fueling retention—but without selecting the goal you want to focus on, you can end up tackling too much or too many disparate things.

By tying your tactics to the broader goal you want addressed, you’ll better isolate tactics that warrant your time, attention, and resources. As an added bonus, you’ll find that by following this rule, you won’t be left scratching your head over what to do. The answer will look obvious!

Mapping Marketing Tactics To Business Needs & Strategy

There are some common stages in every business that individuals must pass through to first become customers and second become satisfied, repeat customers. Depending on the age of your business, historical business needs and challenges, or the life stage of different products and services, you’ll likely find that one core area requires more attention than others.

The first area to consider is driving awareness. At this stage, your business needs people to know that you are out there, and to have a basic idea of what you do or sell. You can’t get someone to buy from you if they don’t know you exist, so this is a key first stage is getting a new customer. The activities that fall under this stage are not about getting someone to buy immediately. While that may happen if the product fits a pressing need, in reality these activities are geared more to creating name recognition and initial interest.

Driving Awareness

Increase the number of individuals that know your business exists and have a very basic idea of what your business does.

  • Traditional advertising (e.g. TV, Radio, Print)
  • Sponsoring conferences + events
  • Traditional PR
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content creation + syndication (e.g. getting someone else to share your blog, eBook, or white paper with their audience)
  • Search engine marketing (e.g. Google Ads)
  • Social media marketing (e.g. Facebook Ads)
  • Organic search

The next stage is focused on driving consideration. At this point, individuals know who and what you are, but they may need more information to keep them engaged and ensure that your business stays top of mind.

Driving Consideration

Keep your category and brand name top of mind, and keep individuals excited about what you have to offer.

  • Content creation + amplification (e.g. sharing content via email, social media)
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine re-marketing
  • Social media re-marketing
  • Webinars
  • Virtual events (e.g. digital roundtables, ask me anythings)

With prospects being kept warm and interested, the next stage is about driving a purchase decision. This means leveraging tactics that will get them over the finish line and becoming a paying customer

Driving Purchase Decisions

Persuade customers that they should buy, and that the purchase should be from you.

  • Content creation + amplification (e.g. case studies, product comparisons)
  • Sales support, live chat
  • Free trials or samples
  • Pricing deals or offers
  • Sales conversations and sales collateral

Of course, you’re not done once someone has decided to make a purchase. Once you’ve won a customer you need to focus on driving satisfaction and retention. This isn’t just to gain incremental purchases from these customers but also increase the likelihood that they will be so satisfied that they will recommend you to others.

Driving Satisfaction & Retention

Keep customers satisfied, retained, and likely to recommend you to others.

  • Customer support
  • New feature + product news
  • Knowledgebase development
  • Onboarding and training
  • Content creation + amplification (e.g. industry best practices, thought leadership)
  • Customer-targeted digital or offline events

How To Zero In On The Business Area That Needs Attention

For extremely young businesses, or product categories, driving awareness is almost always the first area of focus. But for more mature or established organizations, the core business focus may not be so obvious. How do you pick the right area? Measure things, that’s how!

As we’ve written about before, look at the volume of individuals you have in each business or marketing stage, and what percentage move on to the next stage. If you find major bottlenecks—defined as areas with extremely low conversions to the next stage—this is likely where you need to focus your attention. It will be where you can show the most impactful wins, and buy you time to tackle another bottleneck in the future.