The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

by MAi Research June 12, 2019

Chess

Businesses always talk about strategy and tactics, but sometimes the terms get confused and are thought to be interchangeable. It is important to understand that the two terms are different, but both are equally important for successful branding. So what exactly are the differences between strategy and tactics?

Strategy vs. Tactics

Strategy defines your brand’s goals and the direction that you plan to take in order to achieve those goals. Strategy acts as a guide to a set of actions that a brand will undertake.

Tactics are described as the smaller steps and shorter actions taken to reach a specific end. Tactics are the actions taken to support the strategy.

Strategy and tactics work together in order to reach a specific end. If the company’s strategy is to raise awareness through its marketing, then one big component of the strategy is targeting specific consumers with certain messages that will catch their attention. Special promotions and seasonal advertising are tactics used to help the business achieve their goal.

They must both always be in line with each other to be successful. The tactics should always align with the long-term goal for good execution. Strategy is long-term and more concrete, but tactics can change depending on how successful the strategy is.

Types of Business Strategy:

  • Pricing Strategy – Some tactics used for pricing strategy include lowering the price by rebates, sales, and deep discounting. Some companies maintain high prices as a tactic to equate high quality with high prices.
  • Operational Strategy – Lower operational costs, hiring contract employees, establishing facilities close to your target consumers, and altering the hours of operation are all tactics used to help lowers costs in order to produce higher profits as a part of the operational strategy.
  • Marketing Strategy – The marketing strategy may be to target certain customers, and tactics to reach that goal could include acquiring competing brands, become the exclusive distributor of certain brands, and use pricing tactics to attract customers.
  • Product Strategy – Competition requires a company to constantly produce a new and better product to keep up with consumer demand. Companies must find tactics in order to compete for consumer preferences.
  • Financial Strategy – This strategy may require investments of money that the company doesn’t have. Some tactics used in order to achieve this include borrowing against accounts receivable, finding investors, or even taking your company public.

Companies need to always track the progress of their strategies and tactics to make sure they are paying off. If a strategy is succeeding, then the business is working towards the organization’s goals. With the right planning, tactics will also be successful in helping achieve those goals. Members of an organization should be held accountable for each tactic that they are in charge of, and each tactic should be related to the strategy in order to succeed.

In order for a business to successfully build their brand, they must work to inform all employees about the company’s goals. A business will not properly function if workers only know the tactics they are completing but do not understand the higher-level strategy from which their goals come from. It is almost impossible for an employee to become excited about their work activities when they do not understand what their hard work is achieving.

Strategy and tactics are important to each other and heavily rely on one another, but the terms do not mean the same thing nor are they interchangeable. Strategies need to be done in the same way over time, and everyone within the organization needs to understand that. It is important for all workers to understand that the tactics they are a part of are contributing to the goals of the entire business.