I can’t believe that it’s almost April. Just putting it out there! The first quarter of 2017 has passed, and we’ve seen some very interesting progressions here at Wonderworks – a lot of which made me think of writing this insight piece. We’ve been involved in a lot of strategy work recently, and it seems that our clients are returning to the ‘old fashioned’ style of marketing, despite the fact that the fast evolution of the world of communications has impacted strategy’s importance in marketing, and downplayed it in favour of a tactical approach in the last few years.

In light of this viewpoint, I took the time to look into the thoughts and opinions on others who work in the industry. Articles on Marketing Week & Forbes appear to validate this approach of supporting the overarching strategy with tactics (see the links at the bottom of the page to read the articles)

As marketers, we should not lose focus of the strategy, from the moment we define the challenge in the brief, through to the execution of the activation. This consistent strategy will lead to consistency in messaging across all touch points, building the consumer’s relationship with the brand. Whilst the limitations on how we communicate have been lifted in recent years, the strategy is still the same – to communicate with consumers. It’s just that now there are more tactics available to us.…or more aptly put:

“There’s no such thing as traditional or new media, just as there’s no such thing as traditional or social media marketing. All there is media and marketing, and both have always been and always will be in a constant state of tactical evolvement.” *

However, the evolvement of marketing tactics is not a negative thing – it means we have more choice as marketers of how to portray our brand – yet there needs to be a strategy underneath these, rationalising why they are being employed.

Any brand strategy should distil the brand’s essence, whether it be for a week-long activation or a five-year campaign, and with such a wealth of tactics available to us, from the pop-up to the Snapchat filter, there is an endless supply of tactics that scream the brand personality. In a world where authenticity makes up a large part of brand loyalty, it is crucial to create and maintain a strong strategy from the outset, supported by a range of fitting tactics.

Developing a strong marketing strategy takes time and effort to understand the consumer and the market, and this shines through in its implementation. Whilst many marketers have been swept up in the whirlwind of tactical development over the last few years, what pays off the best is the consumers’ belief that they are at the heart of a strategy – developed for them, fulfilling a need that they have. How this shakes out in the tactical implementation should be a natural development, and so should feel genuine.

The move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing will also enhance the importance of strategical thinking for brands – discovering the USPs of the brands, and unlocking the potential to build their personalities further than previously possible. Whilst a tactical approach provides short term wins for a brand, a strategical approach can build an indefinite timeline to build a genuine following, and brand loyalists with a considered method. 

In short, in the face of a constantly evolving realm of marketing tools, we need to go back to basics by putting strategy at the heart of everything we do. A brand execution is great when nobody needs to ask why it is relevant – it simply clicks.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikalbelicove/2013/09/27/understanding-goals-strategies-objectives-and-tactics-in-the-age-of-social/

For more interesting reads, follow the links below:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikalbelicove/2013/09/27/understanding-goals-strategies-objectives-and-tactics-in-the-age-of-social/#522c95ca658e

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2013/04/16/4-principles-of-marketing-strategy-in-the-digital-age/

https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/11/mark-ritson-beware-the-tactification-of-marketing/

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