If you think of your life science marketing as a journey, then your strategy gives you a clear idea of the direction you will be taking. In other words, your marketing strategy is your map. In contrast, tactics are the motive forces that power your journey. Your tactics – the tools and techniques you use to implement your strategy – drive you forward.

You need both strategy (a clear direction) and tactics (forward motion) to actually make progress towards your goals. Without tactics you’ll be sitting still. Without strategy you’ll be running around like the proverbial headless chicken – lots of bloody footprints leading nowhere.

Many life science companies have tactics galore, but they have very little strategy. These firms have no clear value proposition, little in-depth understanding of the customers and only marginal differentiation from their competitors. They try to compete on “Quality” without being able to define or measure it. They claim that they “Partner” with their customers, when all they are really talking about is good customer service.  These firms have confused activity with progress.

Tactics applied blindly can do more harm than good, driving you farther from (rather than closer to) your goals. Make sure you define your strategy first and then your tactics will actually enable traction.