August 11, 2021 by Michael Diez
In this article, I want to offer a top-down approach to understanding operations, plans, goals, strategy, objectives, and tactics from a business perspective.
I’ll begin by briefly defining each term. Then I’ll touch on the recursive nature of operations. And last, I’ll list some common Digital Marketing Strategy templates.
These definitions are brief and oversimplified. I’m not aiming for rigor, but rather to aid in giving the reader a big-picture understanding as fast as possible.
Operation: coordinated actions to resolve a situation (My adaptation of Military Operation in Wikipedia). Consists of a plan that employs tactics to meet objectives.
Plan: a detailed series of steps.
Strategy: a summary of a plan.
Objectives: a detailed goal. Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound outcomes (Based on the SMART mnemonic).
Goals: a summary of an objective usually indicating whether to increase or decrease some metric.
Tactics: a summary of a series of tasks.
Task: a piece of work to be done.
Operations are recursive in that they are plans inside plans, inside plans.
Take business operations for example.
Let’s focus on marketing.
A business operation can be layered in the following way:
At each level, you have an Operation.
The business has plans and objectives.
Marketing has its own plans and objectives to help the layer above.
Digital marketing too. And so on.
These digital marketing templates are pretty generic but are useful in helping you formulate your Operations.
Each business is different, so you’ll have to work out details of the plan and objectives.
|Situation||Got a product or service but low budget to promote it|
|Operation||Hustle and wear many hats|
|Strategy||Look for free marketing opportunities|
|Goals||Collect 10 testimonials. Reach 100 fanatic followers.|
|Tactics||Word-of-mouth referrals. Try new social media platforms that are growing fast.|
|Situation||Feels like you’ve tried everything, and business never picked up.|
|Operation||Go back to square one|
|Digital Strategy||Give one last look at the 7Ps and 7Cs of marketing, if you still cannot find ways of improving, pivot.|
|Goals||Reach out to 50% of your customers and survey their satisfaction with your product or service. Post surveys on Social Media.|
|Tactics||Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Audit your business prospecting and sales processes.|
|Situation||Business plateau. Business slowing down?|
|Operation||Explore opportunities and identify inefficiencies|
|Digital Strategy||Find ways to innovate vertically. Explore horizontally.|
|Goals||Track the number of tasks, sprints, epics, and projects completed.|
|Tactics||Upgrade your Digital Marketing team. Hire new talent. Purchase better software. Streamline processes. Automate processes. Improve team collaboration and communication.|
|Situation||Business is booming|
|Digital Strategy||Market Domination|
|Goals||Rank 1000 or more keywords on the first page of SERPs.|
|Tactics||Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Optimization. Social Media Marketing. Email Marketing|
|Situation||You are pioneering a new market|
|Digital Strategy||Raise Brand Awareness|
|Goals||Get published in 10 high-profile publications. Reach 100 brand mentions per month.|
|Tactics||PR. Brand Strategy. Content Strategy. Influencer Marketing.|
|Situation||Your competitors are doing well but you are not|
|Operation||Lash out at your marketing team, I mean have a discussion with your marketing team|
|Digital Strategy||Educate your marketing team.|
|Goals||Hire a digital marketing consultant. Complete workshops with your marketing team.|