Strategy Before Tactics

Whether you own a business, play a sport, or are investing in the stock market, strategy before tactics is the simplest and best roadmap to success. This is true for one primary reason: there are countless tactics to choose from, and not all of them will help you. You must have a strategy to help you pick the right tactics that will help you accomplish your goals.

A “strategy first” mindset will help you choose the right tactics for your unique context. The Inbound Guide helps businesses in the luxury tourism industry implement the “strategy-first” model of marketing so they can achieve the greatest success.

“Strategy before tactics” clarifies the marketing processes

Becoming a “strategy first” business will help clarify your marketing vision and simplify the procedures for both you and your customers. There are dozens of ways a potential customer can discover your business, from social media and paid advertising to web content and offline marketing. Probably, your website is not the first place they will interact with your brand.

The process of moving from discovering your business to loving your services so much that they refer their friends is called the “customer journey”, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a well-designed plan where all the tactics work together.

With a well-designed marketing strategy, every tactic you use (social media content, paid advertising, offline marketing, etc.), work in unison to move people toward becoming loyal customers.

A good marketing strategy helps you guide the customer journey

Potential customers may discover your company anywhere, but your goal is to bring them to your website, where you have complete control over the customer experience. Think of your website as the hub and every other platform (social media, paid advertising, blog content, etc.) as a pathway leading to your website.

Someone might discover you via your facebook page, and like the content, they see there. Your tactic of using quality facebook content has drawn them in, but without a good marketing strategy that moves them to the next step, it is all a waste.

Once a potential customer is aware of your business, your website can help build trust and curiosity until they decide to try your product or services. There are many tactics you can use to build trust with a potential customer.

Case studies and testimonials demonstrate the value of your services and allow your satisfied customers to sing your praises for you. It is far more impactful to let your biggest fans share their stories of working with you.

Your online content also helps build trust. Blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics, and other creative content educates and informs potential customers and empowers them to make well-informed decisions about trying your product or services. Your website should be a wealth of helpful, creative content that establishes you as an authority on your subject.

Once your audience likes and trusts your brand, they are ready to give your product or service a try. An appropriate call to action guides them to buying your product. A good marketing strategy will even include tactics to make the buying process comfortable and easy for your customers.

The customer journey doesn’t end there! Now that you’ve won them over and (hopefully) they are your newest, biggest fan, it’s time to turn them into a lifetime customer who refers their friends and family to your business. A quality marketing strategy includes tactics to continue engaging your customer beyond their first purchase.

Becoming a strategy-first business

Here are three questions to help you make the shift to the “strategy before tactics” business model.

What do you want to do?
This question is really asking what the mission and purpose of your business is. What is the “why” behind your business? What in your business brings you the most satisfaction? (Hint: your answer should not be “making money.”)

If you work in the luxury tourism industry, perhaps your answer to the question is, “We are satisfied when we know our client had the trip they dreamed of and no detail went overlooked.”

You cannot fake or “strategize” your purpose or mission. This is the core of who you are and what your business is. Spend as much time as necessary to figure out your business’s core purpose and mission.

Whom do we serve?
Put another way, “who is your ideal client?” If you answered the first question well, then you understand that not everyone is your ideal client, and the answer to this question should be as narrow as possible. It is essential to be as specific as possible so you can truly understand your target audience and who gets the most value from your product or service.

One way to explore this question is to identify your most profitable customers who refer business to you. What do they all have in common? Be as specific as possible when answering these questions, to the point of excluding good customers in favour of great customers.

What makes your business unique, and what are your customers attracted to?
What do your ideal clients find the most attractive or remarkable about your business? It’s essential to understand what your customers love about you because that is probably your core difference that sets you apart from the competition.

Don’t be afraid to ask your best customers to help you answer this question! Most businesses don’t take the time to understand what their customers value, so they miss out on valuable marketing content.

All of your decisions about marketing tactics should flow out of the answers to these three questions. These questions help you form a strategy for attracting and working with your ideal customers and choosing the right tactics that will accomplish that goal.

The marketing experts at The Inbound Guide have years of experience helping businesses in the luxury tourism industry build the right “strategy-first” marketing plan for their business. Contact us today to learn more about our process.