Winning the Internet

Hey is that a Digital Strategy or a Digital Tactic in your pocket?

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Last week I wrote a post about smart digital strategy built on strong partnership and common goals between online and offline programs. The post started off with a list of common requests made to digital teams that are “not digital strategy”.

Comments from friends and readers got me thinking about that “not digital strategy” list and wondering why those requests are so common. I started pondering the difference between effective ‘digital strategy’ versus ineffective ‘digital tactics’.

Since I used Wikipedia for the last post- I decided to Google it.

I typed  ‘digital strategy versus digital tactics’ into my Google Chrome bar and the search algorithm yielded good results. The first link was the Wikipedia article I referenced last week to help define digital strategy, and the second went to a fabulous post by a web design company called Ninthlink.

Here is what Sam Weber wrote in his post:

“A digital strategy is a complete idea – a conceptualization of how your online marketing goals can work together to achieve a goal. Say you want to increase your traffic by 100,000 visitors, for example, you would then derive an overarching online marketing strategy that could help you complete this goal.

A digital tactic is an action you take to execute the digital strategy. Participating in Social Media or Search Engine Optimization, for example as ways to help you reach your stated traffic goals above.

Start with your goals first, then strategy, then tactics.”


I am pretty sure a ray of golden light came down as I read that paragraph.

Again we need to swap out the word marketing with advocacy, but basically he hit it right on the head. Setting strong clear goals first is the key to any good advocacy program or campaign. This brings us back to the need for partnership in working toward these goals together by both online and offline programs. Check out Melissa’s post about a program she helped find good online and offline balance.

We regularly get those “not digital strategy” requests because other teams so often define goals without us at the table. They set their goals and then want to us to start throwing digital tactics onto the interwebs. So often without really asking how it will help meet overarching goals or taking time to develop a digital strategy for accomplishing those goals.

So again we come back to partnership. The next time I get a “not digital strategy” request I am going to ask to revisit our larger goal, ask if we can develop a digital strategy that will help us meet that goal and then agree on the best tactics.

And if a viral video is indeed the best tactic, well then I’ll do my best to produce it.

About Lizandra Vidal

I live in Washington DC and work as a digital strategist and yoga teacher. I love the digital world, social media, and yoga for the creativity and connections they all create s in our everyday lives.

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