Strategy vs tactics

The following excerpt is taken from a Seth Godin blog post titled ‘The difference between strategy and tactics’:

“Here’s the difference: The right strategy makes any tactic work better. The right strategy puts less pressure on executing your tactics perfectly.

Here’s the obligatory January skiing analogy: Carving your turns better is a tactic. Choosing the right ski area in the first place is a strategy. Everyone skis better in Utah, it turns out.”

Strategy is the long game. It’s the broad, overarching direction. It’s the big decisions. Tactics is the short game. The individual moves. The many, small decisions that move you towards the bigger goal.

Dave Trott puts it best:

The best strategists do the ‘what’ and let the tacticians do the ‘how’.

The types of advertising

In a recent blog post, Seth Godin described the two types of advertising.

“Two kinds, it turns out: Brand ads and direct ads. Brand ads are the unmeasurable, widely seen ads you generally think of when you think of an ad. A billboard, a TV commercial, an imprinted mug. Direct ads, on the other hand, are action-oriented and measurable. Infomercials, mail order catalogs and many sorts of digital media are considered direct marketing.

It takes guts to be a brand marketer.

What’s the return on a $75,000 investment of a full-page ad in the New Yorker?

What’s the yield on a three-million dollar Super Bowl commercial?

We have no idea. Brand marketers don’t do math. They pay attention to the culture instead.

On the other hand, it takes math to be a direct marketer.

What’s the yield on this classified ad? How many people used that discount code? How many clicks did we get?”

This concept of brand and direct ads has been expanded by Shelly Palmer (pictured above) who divides direct ads into two different camps:

“When asked about the “future of advertising,” I am always struck by the lay notion that there is a single thing called “advertising.” There isn’t. There are at least three different general categories of advertising: call to action, direct response and brand/lifestyle.

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