It can be easy to get confused with these terms when they are used interchangeably throughout the day. However, it’s important that you understand the difference between strategy and tactics so you don’t make any mistakes in your approach.
Here in this blog you will learn 7 ways to easily differentiate between these two terms!
What are Strategy and Tactics?
Strategy is the overall plan of an organization or individual that guides their actions. Tactics are the specific steps that are taken to execute the strategy.
There is a big difference between the two. Strategy is about creating a long-term vision and planning for how to achieve it. Tactics are about implementing the plan and carrying out the tasks necessary to achieve it.
Tactics should be aligned with the overall strategy of an organization. If the strategy is to increase sales, then tactics should focus on marketing strategies and techniques. If the strategy is to reduce expenses, then tactics should focus on ways to reduce costs.
The most important thing to keep in mind when designing tactics is that they should be useful and effective. If they aren’t, then they won’t be successful and may even backfire on your organization.
Strategy vs Tactics
There are often a lot of similarities between strategy and tactics. This is because they both involve planning and execution. However, there are five ways to distinguish between the two.
- Strategy is about long term. This means that it’s about making decisions on the basis of the future. Tactics are more short term and often related to current events.
- Strategy can be understood by analysis or by understanding what an organization is trying to do. Tactic, on the other hand, cannot be analyzed and therefore doesn’t have clear objectives.
- Strategy is a means of accomplishing a specific goal or objective over a long period of time, typically at least five years but sometimes as much as ten or twenty years from now. Tactic, on the other hand, usually doesn’t last for very long and has little impact on organizational goals over the short term.
- Strategy is about decisions made by individuals or groups in the organization, whereas tactic is about the way things are done “on the ground.”
- Strategy is often thought of as something that a company does to build its reputational capital, or its ability to keep up with its competitors; for example, Apple has decided to be more aggressive in its marketing and thus has helped it remain at the forefront of consumer electronics. Tactics are usually thought of as how an organization works on a daily basis.
- Strategy is impersonal and strategic decisions are typically made by top managers without much input from other parts of the organization. Tactics on the other hand, are seen as very personal actions and decisions made by line managers who take into account what employees want or need and who are guided by the strategy of the organization.
- Strategy is often external to the organization, such as a company’s mission statement or goals. Tactics, on the other hand, are often internal actions of how the organization actually accomplishes its strategy, for example: how organizational processes may be changed or upgraded to better meet a demand or challenge.
|Long-term planning and decision-making||Short-term and current event related planning|
|Based on future considerations and objectives||Lacks clear objectives and is difficult to analyze|
|Focuses on achieving specific long-term goals||Short-lived and has little impact on organizational goals|
|Made by individuals or groups in the organization||Implemented “on the ground” by line managers|
|Builds reputational capital and competitive advantage||Operational activities on a daily basis|
|Impersonal and often made by top managers||Personal actions and decisions by line managers|
|External to the organization (mission statement/goals)||Internal actions to accomplish the strategy|
Applying Strategy and Tactics together is essential for companies to be more successful because it helps them to behave in a way that suits the long-term goals of their organization as well as the expectations of their customers.
Why Strategy and Tactics Are Important?
Strategy and tactics are two important components of any organization’s operations. They are responsible for enabling the organization to achieve its objectives.
There are many reasons why strategy and tactics are important.
- First, they help organizations to plan and execute their operations in a way that is consistent with their goals. This ensures that the organization is able to achieve its objectives.
- Second, strategy and tactics help to identify opportunities and threats. If an opportunity arises, it can be seized by taking advantage of the situation. Conversely, if a threat is detected, appropriate responses can be put in place to keep the organization safe.
- Third, strategy and tactics help to create a competitive advantage for the organization. By identifying and implementing strategies that are unique to the market, an organization can gain an advantage over its competitors.
- Finally, strategy and tactics help to ensure that resources are used effectively. By ensuring that strategies are implemented in a way that takes into account all available resources, an organization can optimize its use of scarce resources.
Strategy is the overarching plan or approach that an organization takes to achieve its goals. Tactics are the specific means by which this strategy is pursued.
Every business has a mix of strategy and tactics, depending on the industry it operates in and the products it sells. For example, a grocery store might use both strategic marketing plans and tactical pricing strategies to drive sales.