Strategy vs Tactics: What’s the Difference?

two silver chess pieces on white surface

In what can be a confusing business world, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of the difference between strategy vs tactics. Tactics are what you do on a day-to-day basis – what you say, how you react to situations, etcetera. Strategy refers to the long-term plan that guides your actions and sets expectations for success or failure.

Timing of Strategy vs Tactics

When do you need tactics

The short answer is that tactics are what can help grow your business today, but it will probably be necessary to shift gears before the long-term plans come into play.

A lot of businesses will see that they start with a basic strategy and use tactics to further refine their strategy.

When do you need strategy

Strategy is what should be in place when you are ready to do battle with your competitors. It’s what will guide the decisions that lay out the path for success or failure within an industry.

It can take a long time before strategy starts taking shape, but it might not become necessary until you get deeper into business operations and start having tougher competition.

What are the benefits…

… of a good strategy?

A good strategy can help you avoid mistakes that could cost your business in the long run.

If what you are doing is not helping to grow your company, it’s probably a sign that what you’ve got needs refining or even starting over from scratch with a new plan of attack.

… of a good tactic?

Tactics are what will help you to increase sales, retain customers and boost the reputation of your business.

It’s important to remember that tactics can only take a company so far – eventually, strategy must step in if growth is what you’re looking for.

Taking the time now to consider what paths might be available with each of the two options, will help you better position your company for what lies ahead.

Keep these tips in mind as you continue to grow and expand your business!

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How to develop a winning strategy

When developing a strategy for your business, consider what makes you different, what the competition is doing, and what your customers want.

A great strategy can help to identify what it will take for a company to succeed in an industry – knowing what elements are necessary before any progress can be made or marketing efforts put into place.

The tactics that go along with this solid foundation guide how a business can achieve what the strategy has laid out.

This is a great way to provide direction while ensuring that all efforts are in line with what will be most effective and efficient for your company’s success.

Examples of successful strategies in action 

There are many examples of what can be considered effective strategies.


One example is the popular fast-food chain Subway, which built its success upon offering healthy alternatives to what was already available in similar establishments at the time.

Their unique approach brought them much attention and propelled them forward into what has become a successful business that continues to grow today.


Another example is what Apple did when it first entered the market. By combining creative ideas with what technology had to offer at the time, their strategy helped them develop a unique product that would soon become one of the most popular brands on the planet.

Their early strategy helped them grow what is now a multi-billion dollar company.

These are just two examples of what can be considered effective strategies – what do you think it takes to be successful?

Successful Tactics for Businesses

What good does knowing the difference between tactics and strategy do without showing some examples of what these different ways look like in action?

Let’s take a look at what tactics can do to help businesses succeed.

Tactics are what can be used when you’re ready to start taking your business from the ground up and get it moving towards future success.

When using these strategies, they mustn’t interfere with what plans have already been made.

It is also important to consider what the competition is doing and what your market might need in order to be successful.

Examples of these could include:

– product development, such as coming up with new inventions or innovations that can help a company stand out from its rivals;

– marketing efforts like deciding what opportunities for promotion can be used to attract attention and what is most effective;

– building relationships with customers that can help them feel like they are part of the company’s success.

Successful strategies such as these will lead towards what could become a successful future for your business!

Strategy vs Tactics in a Nutshell

In summary, what is the difference between strategy vs tactics?

The strategy involves what your long-term goals are for a company, while tactics make up what can be done to help reach these objectives.

As strategies develop into plans that will get you closer to what you want in life or business, tactics act as steps that lead there.

Succeeding in what you set out to do is what both of these can help with, but coming up with strategies that work will take time and planning.

Tactics are what can be used when it’s time for your business to get moving – what the next step should be!


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If you need to advance your marketing strategy quickly, send me a message. I’ll make sure you have a complete picture of your marketing. We’ll build the right strategy – and keep running it so it works for your business, not against it!

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