Long-Term Tactics vs. Short-Term Tactics

And Why You Need Both for a Successful Marketing Strategy

There is a lot on the web about marketing strategies including setting up sales funnels, marketing trends, thoughts on which platforms you should focus your energies on, and more. Many of these look at just one aspect of marketing. Today, we are going to be looking a bit more broadly at marketing tactics, but specifically long and short-term strategies. 

What are long-term tactics? 

What are short-term tactics?

And do you need both to have a successful marketing strategy?

The answer to that last question is yes, but we’ll get into why a little later. First, let’s break down the difference between long and short-term marketing tactics to help you better understand why you need both for a successful marketing strategy.

Long-Term Marketing Tactics

Long-term marketing utilizes tactics that are not revenue-centric; rather, they are relationship-building. Even though these tactics aren’t pushing conversions in the form of sales, they still have the potential to pay off in the long run. The goals for long-term marketing can include getting more impressions, increased social engagement, or more blog views. Some examples of long-term tactics include search engine optimization (SEO), content creation (like blogs), and organic social media posts (vs. ads). 

The purpose of long-term tactics is to drive growth at the top of your funnel. While you can eventually move these leads down the funnel to a purchase, it does take twice as long for a conversion. This makes long-term marketing tactics cheaper, but they also have less guarantee on a return. But when you do get a conversion, it has a higher return on investment (ROI). 

Short-Term Marketing Tactics

Short-term marketing tactics push revenue-centric outcomes nearly immediately. They are often referred to as transactional marketing. Here, your goal is pushing growth further down in your sales funnel; in other words, your goal is getting new leads or purchases. Short-term marketing comes at a higher cost but has more guarantee on a return, making the ROI lower. 

Some examples of short-term marketing tactics include search engine marketing, lead magnet advertisements and limited-time coupons or promotions. 

Blurring the Line

There are a few tactics that blur the line between short and long-term marketing tactics. One example is social media advertising. This is because you can have different goals with your advertising, from sales to engagement. And while you can run an ad for a longer period of time, it is advised that you change up your content often enough so you don’t cause “ad blindness” among your target audience. 

Email marketing is another tactic that blurs the line. This is because each email has a specific short-term goal, like making a purchase, but it also has long-term goals such as keeping your readers engaged and subscribed to your emails. 

Why You Need Both to Be Successful

Having both long and short-term marketing tactics for your overall marketing strategy improves your chances of success. For example, if you focus just on the short-term by pushing sales, you may be getting new customers but you aren’t focused on turning those customers into loyal ones. That means you will constantly be focused on getting new customers to replace those who have left, rather than continually growing your customer base with the addition of long-term tactics such as audience engagement. 

On the other hand, if you focus solely on long-term tactics, you may not reach your marketing goals because of the amount of time it takes to reach a sales conversion. You may even be cultivating plenty of followers who admire your products or services, but never make a purchase! 

For this reason, it is key that you employ a mix of both short and long-term tactics to be successful in your marketing. Think of it this way: using only short-term tactics helps you win the battle, but it does not help you win the war. When thinking about your brand’s goals, choose short and long-term tactics that complement each other. This means that you are using long-term tactics to drive growth at the top of your funnel, then using short-term tactics to close them and get a sales conversion. Having a mix of both short and long-term marketing strategies allows you to win the battle and the war!