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Tactics should never come first in marketing

September 22, 2009

“We need a billboard.”

Imagine a marketer comes to you and tells you this. They must have a billboard. Obviously, your question will be “why”.

Why.

Because in marketing, we don’t put tactics first (for the most part. There are exceptions — a Super Bowl spot, free space, etc).

But for the most part, we think strategically, then execute tactically.

Then along came the internet. And all of a sudden, people just needed a website. They didn’t ask why they needed a website. They didn’t ask who would come, and what would they do there (and more, what is the desired response from people).

For the most part, the website just was. It was there.

So cue social media. The Facebook page is one of the most simple marketing things to create. My mom could create a Facebook page (she couldn’t create a billboard).

The ease in which a social media tactic is created is one of the reasons that it seems quite logical to get one. It’s easy.

But then, so is standing on the street corner handing out pamphlets. So is standing outside of your facility and giving a speech. These too are easy.

And in reality, they are the same thing. Because unless one figures out what one wants to say and to whom, then one might as well be standing on the street corner talking to no one.

If you started your Facebook without a goal, then delete it. If you have a Twitter feed and you’re not sure what it’s doing for you, park it. Get a goal, and have it fit with the overall marketing objectives (or at least connect in some way), and then go out and stand on the corner and shout.

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