“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Strategies and tactics are crucial necessities when it comes to the success of your business or non-profit organization. But these two terms often get misunderstood and thus the brand fails at reaching any plans they have. People mistaken that a strategy and a tactic are the same thing and have the same definition. WRONG!
So what exactly is a strategy? What is a tactic? It’s simple. First you need to ask yourself questions, like “Why are you in business?” “Where are you trying to get to?” “Which markets are you going to play in and what activities are you going to do within that market?” Once you’ve answered these then you could start defining your strategies and your tactics.
A strategy is a method or a plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or a solution to a problem (www.BusinessDictionary.com). In other words, a strategy is WHAT you are going to do, in order to reach a goal. For example, I want to engage conversation with my social audience on Twitter and Facebook. What is my strategy? Exactly that – engage more conversation with my audience on Twitter and Facebook social media platforms! Its so simple, but people tend to get too technical when it comes to defining and utilizing a strategy.
Now what is a tactic? How does a tactic and a strategy go hand in hand? A tactic utilizes specific resources to achieve sub-goals that support the mission (http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2013/01/14/the-difference-between-strategy-and-tactics/). A tactic is simply the steps you take, and HOW you are going to achieve your goals. Using my example above of engaging more conversation with my audience on Twitter and Facebook, my tactic would be to stay consistent and participate actively in those social media platforms – respond to other peoples tweets, comment on other peoples Facebook posts.
To conclude, the difference between strategy and tactics: strategy is done above the shoulders, tactics are done below the shoulders. Strategies involve thinking, brainstorming, analysis, research, etc and tactics involve people, tools and practices (http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2013/01/14/the-difference-between-strategy-and-tactics/). The two must work together, and as a result, success is evident!