Operational Marketing Strategies
A marketing campaign consists of strategic and operational, or tactical, marketing activities. The strategic part is based on research into your competitive environment, target customer buying habits and the characteristics of your products and services within your overall marketing environment. Marketing strategies seek to make your company the customer's first choice. Operational marketing uses tactics that convey the strategic message to meet the strategic goals of your company. Marketing tactics also have their own strategies.
The building blocks of operational marketing are your products, retail price points, discounted price points, promotions, advertising, customer service, point-of-sale locations such as physical stores and online stores, and customer community. These are all tools to use to achieve your company's strategic marketing goals such as expanding the customer base, attracting your competition's customers, introducing new product lines and improving sales volume. Operational marketing combines these tools with marketing tactics to meet company strategic marketing goals.
Operational marketing tactics are things you do to bring attention to your marketing message. Creating a customer community through newsletters and customer events, such as product demonstrations, tastings of food products and even charitable events, bring people into your store and put your business name in front of them so they might remember it when they are considering buying products you offer. Excellent customer service is also a tactic that encourages customers to do repeat business. Anything you can do to make it easier and more appealing for your target customers to buy from you rather than your competition is a strategic marketing tactic.
The most important element of successful operational marketing strategy is supporting it. Your company's marketing tactics must fit with what the sales staff can do, they must produce measurable results and they must fit into the marketing budget. Strategy requires contribution from other areas of the company, which is difficult if management is not supportive. Create strategic tactics that satisfy key needs of timing, budget, inventory availability and customer buying habits.
Strategic tactics include advertising discounted prices to promote new products or to attract new customers. The timing of these promotions is also a strategic matter. For example, promoting ice cream during the winter may not be the best use of your advertising money. Offering deep discounts on products during a similar promotion by your competition, at lower prices, results only in lowering your own profit margin on items you would sell to your current customer base anyway and is unlikely to attract new customers.