Strategies Versus Tactics in Business

August 18, 2016

How to Define Strategy and Tactics For a Better Results in Your Business


Strategic Versus Tactics in Business


Does your business have a plan on how to successfully achieve your goals?


One of the biggest challenges companies face is not having a clear strategy in place. Without this you are not able to have a clear focus or plan of action otherwise known as ‘tactics.’


In fact, having a well-planned marketing strategy is a large part of this planning process. Adweek shows that in the next five years that big changes are coming down the pike:


Strategies Versus Tactics in Business - marketing statistic


So what does this mean for brands and businesses?


It’s will be important to know the difference between strategy and tactics in order to stay relevant and move ahead of the competition.


To break this down further here are two points defining each:


• Strategy is the foundation for the action plans, ie. online advertising, email campaigns, and influencer outreach


• Tactics carry out the plan of your main focus such as targeting a specific user group in a contest


Dictionary.com defines strategy as “a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result,” and tactics as “the maneuvers themselves.”


In simple terms your strategy is a defined plan to succeed in your goal with tactics that play out what steps to take through implementation. With daily actions your business will be able to succeed with a single focus.


Try to imagine yourself as a military general or sports coach whether you are a solopreneur, small business owner or part of a larger organization. If you work with a team get them involved in understanding the difference between the two terms before mapping out your goals.


Here are several ways your business can successfully implement your strategic plan:


Define and outline your initial goals


This should be based on your target market research and current trends going on in your industry. Think about what you want to achieve and the objectives of the plan in order to pre-determine the outcome of a project or campaign. Matt Forman, Managing director at Traffika, provides a good example of this on Digital Brisbane for a digital marketing strategy:


Strategies Versus Tactics in Business Traffika Matrix


Be realistic about where you will begin


How will the current realities of your business determine where you will start the process of your plan? Ask the “what” questions and the “how’s” will follow. This will need to include careful market research with perceived results including any obstacles to overcome. Your business may be able to come up with measurable or defined goals such as a 25% increase in sales from social media. Map out any of the risks or issues that could arise in order to make your tactics more effective.


Determine how you will approach your customers


Once you fully understand what your target market needs and desires you can better define the right campaigns in order to capture their attention and be one step ahead of the competition. For example, your business may offer a popular product or service, but a unique angle will enable this to stand out from the rest. Your strategy could include mobile marketing methods such as Instagram and Snapchat or a targeted email campaign that includes a valuable offer or educational materials.


Start putting tactics into place


Clearly write down any specific actions that will take place in your strategic plan, which should provide information of exactly what needs to be done, the deadlines for each, platforms used, ect. Here is a great example from Smart Insights on customer reach tactics:


 Strategies Versus Tactics in Business Digital marketing channels graphic


Implement your plan daily


As part of the tactical planning process you and/or your team should be doing something each day to move your strategy forward. Have a strong visual in place so that you know exactly what needs to be done and when with any solutions to problems that may arise in place. Ask yourself how these can be accomplished within the mission of your brand and your current budget.


In order to create a productive and successful business environment your company needs to have a clear understanding of your initial strategy in order to have a steady flow of positive outcomes each day. Remember that your strategy will answer the “what” question and “why” you want to implement it while your tactics are the boots on the ground that provide “how” you will accomplish your goal.

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Author: Susan Gilbert


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