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5 marketing terms you need to know to develop an effective strategy

Marketing Goals, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics

“We help develop strategy!” … Tell me your objective? … What are your advertising goals? … Here’s a list of tactics you can use.”

If you’ve ever tried to develop a marketing strategy, you’ve no doubt encountered the common marketing terms above. But do you really know what they mean?

Defining commonly misused marketing terms

Why define marketing goals, objectives, strategies and tactics? These terms may seem basic, but they’re thrown around so often, they’ve begun to lose meaning.

Many business owners and marketers use the terms goals, objectives, strategies and tactics incorrectly—to the detriment of their marketing efforts and business overall. We’re here to ensure you don’t make the same mistake when developing your strategy.

Get a complete understanding of these essential marketing terms below.


Marketing goals are the broad statements that cover what your business hopes to achieve with your marketing efforts.

Think of your goals as the final destination or end result of your overall marketing strategy. For example, you may want to get more organic website traffic, make more online sales or introduce new products.

Marketing goals can be short-term or long-term, but each goal should be clearly defined and supported by measurable objectives. To make this process easier, we recommend using the SMART goal structure.

SMART goal structure

Each letter in the SMART acronym stands for a different characteristic of effective marketing goals. This ensures each of your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.


Objectives are the quantifiable elements of your strategic marketing plan and goals. Rather than describing your end goal objectives are measuring tools that helps track your progress.

Effective marketing objective examples

Your marketing objectives should be directly related to your marketing goals, making them more specific and measurable.

If your goal is to get more online sales, an appropriate objective could be to increase organic website traffic by 15%. This sets a measurable objective to track your performance.

Other examples of effective marketing objectives include:

  • Obtain 200 more Facebook subscribers over the next 30 days.
  • Get 300 newsletter subscribers by January 1st.
  • Rank among the top ten results for our target keywords.


A marketing strategy is the major approach or method you’ll take in order to achieve your marketing goals and answer the question: “how will we accomplish our objectives?”

Strategies don’t describe specific activities—those are tactics. Strategies provide a broad overview of your overall marketing goals, objectives and tactics without getting too detailed.

Marketing strategy examples

  • Business-to-business (B2B) marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing

No matter which marketing channels you need to achieve your goals, we recommend developing a strategy for each one. This way, you’ll always have a clear guide and a way to track your progress.


Marketing tactics are the actions or specific ways you’ll do things in order to execute your overall marketing strategy and achieve your goals and objectives.

Tactics include the concrete actions you’ll undertake, as well as the physical pieces you’ll create or the connections you’ll make within your marketing strategy.

Marketing tactic examples

  • Write engaging blog posts.
  • Engage with commenters and followers on social media.
  • Provide valuable downloadable gated content.

It’s normal to start generating ideas for your social media accounts, blog and other digital channels before you get to the tactic generation stage. Just don’t get invested in any one idea too early.

Our tip: Write down any specific tactics that come up throughout your planning so you can come back to them later and see if they still fit with your developed goals.

Create an effective marketing strategy

With a refreshed understanding of marketing goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, you’re ready to develop your own.

Consider your organization’s goals, set some measurable objectives, work on at least one strategy and list some possible applicable tactics. Consider it the first step on your journey to smarter marketing!

And if you want to improve your marketing even more, the expert team here at Insight can develop the most effective strategy, objectives and tactics to meet your goals and improve your business. Contact us to get started today!