There Are No One or Two-Legged Stools…

When it comes to successful marketing, the kind that generates true ROI, there are no one or two-legged stools. The only way to create growth, engagement, and results is to build something with three legs. You need a Marketing Strategy, a Marketing Plan, and finally, Marketing Tactics. When you’re missing any of these, your marketing stool will fall. At a very high level, here’s what we mean…

Marketing Strategy

Think about taking a trip from Point A to Point B. Your Marketing Strategy defines where you are today compared to where you want to go. It sets the tone for all the marketing work you’re going to do to attract the right customers, grow your brand, and create long-term raving fans.

Top-level, your Marketing Strategy needs to answer the following questions:

  • What does our product/service offering include, and what are customers really buying?
  • What is our brand tone, personality, and promise?
  • Who are our target audiences?
  • What does the competitive landscape look like?
  • What differentiates our brand in the marketplace?
  • What are our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)?
  • What’s working today and creating results?
  • What’s not working?
  • What should we be trying?
  • What sales and marketing channels are available?

Marketing Plan

Once you have your Marketing Strategy in place, it’s time to map out how we’re going to get from Point A to Point B. Imagine taking a road trip. Once you know where you’re heading, you need to plan the routes you’ll take to get there, choose what you want to see, decide where you’ll stay, and define how long you’ll need for your travels. Then, you’ll map these details out on your calendar to create the framework for your trip.

This is the same type of framework you’ll use to create your Marketing Plan, and that plan is what will keep you on track and en route throughout the year. Your Marketing Plan captures what you will do, who will do it, and when you will do it, all built on a foundation of data, timelines, and available resources.

Top-level, your Marketing Plan needs to answer the following questions:

  • What are our annual, quarterly, and monthly themes and goals?
  • What specific campaign efforts and tactics will be used to reach these goals?
  • What timelines and calendars will the plan follow?
  • Are there events or seasons we need to include in the plan?
  • What KPIs, data, and analytics will we use to measure success?
  • What resources and budgets do we have available to support the plan?
  • Who will be responsible for executing on each part of the plan?
  • What systems and platforms will be used to support the plan?
  • What dependencies do we need to be aware of?

Marketing Tactics

With your Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan in place, it’s time to put your foot on the gas and start driving from Point A to Point B. Your Marketing Tactics include all of the specific activities required to execute on the plan. This is where we make things happen using the Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan to guide our efforts.

Top-level, some areas your Marketing Tactics need to address include:

  • Brand Messaging
  • Logo and Identity
  • Website Content
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Content
  • Blog Content
  • Video Content
  • Digital Advertising
  • SEO

Three is Key

As we shared in the beginning, your marketing stool needs all three of these legs in place to be strong, functional, and keep from falling over. If you’re missing your Marketing Strategy, and only have a plan and tactics, you’ll get the wrong things done. If you’re missing your Marketing Plan, and only have a strategy and tactics, things won’t get done in the right order, at the right time, or by the right people. If you’re missing your Marketing Tactics, and only have a strategy and a plan, nothing will get done.


Do a quick assessment of your stool. Are all three legs in place, are they strong, and do they support one another? Or, are you missing a leg, or is one leg shorter than the others? As we’re beginning to wrap up 2022 and prepare for 2023, now is the perfect time to have these conversations and prepare for our future success. If you read this and feel like you need to strengthen any of these areas, we’d love to chat. Between our team and our network of strong partners, we can help you create your brand’s three-legged stool.

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