Marketing definitions – commonly misunderstood terms

In my Marketing Warfare series of posts I’ve frequently referred to terms such as ‘marketing strategy’, ‘marketing tactics’, ‘objectives’ and the like, and it occurred to me that these terms are commonly misunderstand even by marketers. So I figured I’d define them in this post so at least when you see them referred to on this blog you know exactly what I mean.

Marketing Strategy:

An overview of how you intend to market your products and services to customers and reach business goals. It’s essentially high level rules that direct your marketing activity. Some key elements of strategy:

  • It’s long-term
  • It’s based on optimal use of limited resource
  • Takes advantage of the best opportunities available to you

Strategic marketing plan:

Detailed plan involving marketing research and developing an optimal marketing mix to satisfy company goals, in line with your marketing strategy.

Marketing tactic:

An action you take to execute your marketing strategy. Your strategic marketing plan should include a range of marketing tactics.

E.g. TV advertising, magazine ads, social media, website etc.


A desired end result that a course of action is aimed at achieving. They are typically long-term and not measurable.

E.g. Sell more cupcakes than any of my competitors and be the most well known cupcake bakery in Windsor.


Precise and concrete end result that a course of action is aimed at achieving.They are typically short-term and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).

E.g. I want to sell 5000 cupcakes a month within the county of Bedfordshire, achieving a turnover of £20,000 per month.

As always feel free to contact me with your comments and questions :)

Speak soon,

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