Operational Marketing VS Strategic Marketing

Marketing consists of two completely different, but undoubtedly complementary dimensions. The first, strategic marketing, deals with working on the strategic part of marketing and is focused on the long term. It is a methodology that is responsible for studying and analyzing the market in order to detect new business opportunities, and subsequently launch value propositions that help meet the detected demands and needs. The main functions of strategic marketing are: detecting new consumer needs, analyzing the competition, studying demand, adapting the company to continuous market changes, evaluating opportunities and threats, creating a competitive advantage and defining a marketing strategy that achieve the business goals we have set. If you want more information you can access the following article: «Strategic Marketing: concept, functions and examples».

On the other hand, operational marketing , works on marketing actions and focuses on the short term, is the tactical part of marketing. If strategic marketing is concerned with guiding the company through the process of creating marketing strategies, operational marketing brings the strategies to the field of action and puts them into action. The main functions of operational marketing are: translating marketing strategies into an action plan, working at a tactical level the marketing mixBudgeting for each of the marketing actions that will be carried out and determining what objectives they will meet. Some of the most frequent marketing actions are: product launch or modifications, packaging modifications, improvements in the after-sales service, price modifications, application of discounts, digital actions (SEO, SEM, social networks, email marketing, marketing of contents , creation or updating of the website), actions related to distribution channels, advertising, promotions, contests, raffles, events, sponsorships, direct marketing …

In my opinion, many companies make the mistake of focusing solely on working operational marketing issues, to the detriment of the necessary strategic analysis that every organization must carry out. Adopting an overly tactical and operational vision, and ignoring strategic marketing and marketing strategy, I consider it one of the leading causes of marketing myopia. This fact occurs especially in small and medium-sized companies, although it is not an inherent feature of the size of the company. Since there are many small companies that are aware of the importance of working marketing strategies and are true success stories.

Differences between strategic marketing and operational marketing

Both aspects of marketing are essential in any marketing plan . Strategic marketing focuses on analyzing the market and working on the marketing strategy, therefore decisions are made at the business level and are adopted with a focus on the medium and long term, they are also poorly structured and present greater risk and uncertainty.

On the contrary, operational marketing is in charge of designing and carrying out marketing actions. Operational marketing is worked more frequently, it is focused on the short term, and if strategic marketing has been previously worked, the risk and uncertainty are low.

In short, it will not do any good to work the strategic part correctly, if we are not able to translate this strategy into operational marketing actions that help us meet our business objectives. And therefore, it will not help to work perfectly on marketing actions that are not supported by a correct strategic vision. As I always say: “if we want to be effective in the short term, it is a necessary condition to have worked on a long-term strategy”.

All companies, absolutely all, must work both dimensions of marketing. The size of the company or the sector to which they belong should not be excuses to work together with strategic marketing and operational marketing.


by Abdullah Sam
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