The difference between Strategy and Tactics?

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The difference between Strategy and Tactics explained…

In order for a business to be successful it needs to have a clear set of goals and objectives…strategy and tactics are an integral part of this.

In order to be able to compete in today’s market place, every business must have a set of clear goals which are broken down further into measurable and achievable objectives. Strategy and tactics are two terms which are often confused but it’s quite simple to tell them apart:

  • Strategy is ‘WHAT’ you wish to achieve.
  • Tactics are ‘HOW’ you plan to achieve it.

Whether your business goal is to increase market share, achieve growth, attract a new demographic, launch a new product or respond to the entry of a competitor into your chosen area of business, the structure of the plan will be the same. It is important to break down your business plan into the following: Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.


Your goals are the ultimate target you wish to achieve. This may be either short or long term but will be the overarching aim of your business plan. Goals should be completely aligned with your mission and vision statements. They are more general statements about your business’ aspirations. It is easy to recognise a goal because the language used is usually more emotional than the language used when setting objectives.


These are the exact and quantifiable steps that business’ use to measure success and progress towards their goals. These should be written using the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). Goals and objectives are often used interchangeably…just remember that objectives are concrete whereas goals are less structured.


Strategy is the bigger picture, it’s the overall campaign plan containing high level ideas about what you’d like to achieve and is used to fulfil your predetermined goals and objectives.


Tactics are actions! They are the actual steps which will be used in order to achieve the overall objectives and in turn, achieve the overall strategy. A strategy will often involve complex planning and decisions. There may be several different sets of tactics to implement within an overall strategic plan.

It’s essential to remember that a business has only finite resources to put in place any plan or strategic campaign. The more you use those resources in one area, the less you have available for others. Carefully considered and well thought-out strategy will facilitate precise tactics that achieve your goals and objectives in measurable ways and within the required time frames and budgets.

Now that you understand the difference between these terms, it’s time to explore new ideas with us!

For more help and guidance, contact us today on: 01392 927477 or email: info@enimarketing.com

If you need assistance with your Marketing Planning, check out more info here: https://www.enimarketing.com/marketing-planning/

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