Big ideas may define a business and give it direction, but it is quick and efficient actions that make the difference. No business can run on just intentions and ambitions. Ultimately one has to get down and do the actual work.
In essence this is the major difference between strategic and tactical research. While the former is concerned with the overall goals, the latter focuses on the immediate tactics that will eventually take us there. Since it focuses on actions that will have immediate consequences, tactical research is critical for any business’ success and must be undertaken frequently.
Tactical research is frequently applied in developing business communications. Since communication has an immediate impact on a business’ internal efficiency and external image, such research is essential in gauging the effectiveness of communication channels and messages. Some of instances when tactical research is used in communication are:
Concept development: Business communication is a broad spectrum that includes advertisements, website development, PR and every other means of communicating with the general public. Business tactics may involve tactics to improve brand image or sales. In such cases tactical research will focus on developing the right concept. For instance, a business decides to start a newsletter outreach. Tactical research will focus on consumer demographic, what they will want to know about, market dynamics and so on.
Ad pre-testing: An advertisement campaign is a focused operation that involves multiple mediums and moves. For instance, an advertising campaign for a new TV model will involve ads in different mediums as well as any special sales strategies, such as inducements.
Tactical research is used to gauge how effective the campaign is. Do people understand the message? What kind of reactions does it provoke — positive or negative? Does it motivate them to find out more about the product?