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Internet marketing strategy is very different from tactics. Many business owners use the terms ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ interchangeably, but the two terms actually have very different meanings.

The Definition of Strategy

Have you ever attended a choral concert? When everyone is singing together in harmony, the resulting music is beautiful. However, when even a few people are out of tune or rhythm, the result is cacophony.

The same can be said of internet strategy versus tactics.  Strategy means that every aspect of your business and marketing is “singing from the same song sheet”; it’s in tune, in harmony.  You have a definite business goal in mind that you created based on your company’s assets and liabilities, the marketplace today, and where you want your business headed. The internet marketing strategy helps you harmonize your online presence with your business goals.

And like any good harmony, all parts must work together. In a chorus, the sopranos, altos, tenors and basses must all be harmonizes (at least in traditional music!) in order to make a pleasing sound. So too should all parts of a marketing “chorus” harmonize to make a pleasing sound for the customer. The online or digital marketing elements should be in harmony with traditional advertising, direct mail, branding and other marketing steps. Otherwise, customers may not be able to follow what you have to say and why they should contact you.


Tactics are the exact steps you plan to take to achieve your strategic goals and objectives. Tactics are things like SEO, running a pay-per-click advertising campaign, writing a blog, creating a print ad, or sending out a postcard. Each one of these activities is a marketing tactics.

When you have a comprehensive strategy in place, the actual tactics you choose for your marketing plan tend to fall into place more easily because you have a clear idea of where your want to get your message across. If your strategy to market your bakery is to target local businesses for catering orders, then your tactics may be to run ads in local business newspapers, plan a targeted local search campaign, run specials on your Facebook page, and similar activities, each underscoring your tasty treats as a great alternative to traditional catered baked goods. The strategy is to target a particular audience for a certain segment of business; the tactics you choose help you achieve your goal.

The Dangers of Focusing Only on Tactics

Why is it dangerous to focus solely on tactics? Think about our bakery analogy. Without an overarching strategy, the marketing tactics would be hit or miss. One day, you’re chasing after people on social media, posting coupons and advertisements; another day, you’re talking to a local advertising rep about placing an ad in a journal, but which one do you choose? And how do you slant the ad if you’re not sure who you’re talking to?  Your tactics will lack focus and direction without strategy.

How Strategic Thinking Helps Internet Marketing

To begin your internet marketing strategy, it helps to understand the marketplace you’re in.  Who are your competitors? How are they marketing their products and services online? Who are your customers, both past and current, and who will they be in the future? What are you selling, and why will they want to buy it?

Only after thoughtfully considering these and others facts can you begin to create a strategy statement, which will guide your choices of tactics, or the actual action steps you plan to take to achieve your sales and revenue goals.

Professional Internet Marketing Strategy

Planning an internet marketing strategy and the resulting tactics is a big job. We can help. The experts at Dashboard Internet Marketing have many years of experience creating internet marketing strategies that achieve clients’ goals. Call us at 800-807-1852 for a free consultation today.

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