Strategies vs. Tactics: What They Are, How they're Different & Connected, & Why You Should Care

People confuse strategies and tactics all the time, and simple definitions are inadequate.

Does it even matter?

The answer is an undeniable yes. Too often, leaders don’t grasp the difference until it’s too late; then hindsight kicks with the inevitable realization “I was being too tactical and forgot about strategy.”

We won’t let that happen to you.

This article will demonstrate the separation and connection points between strategies and tactics, affording you a much clearer notion. Be prepared – we’ll dive deep into the nuances but also provide a crisp marketing strategies and tactics example using an Amazon case study.

How strategy fits in with strategic planning

With all its subtleties, strategy is a language in and of itself. When we think of strategy within the broader GOST framework for strategic planning (a model for goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics you can find here) it’s clear that the S represents strategy. However, people often refer to strategy as the entire plan for your company or initiative.

Point being, strategy can be an umbrella term for planning. The irony is that when people say, “our strategy is X, Y, Z,” they often mention goals, objectives, and tactics, leaving strategy out.