Strategy vs. Tactic

A strategy is a larger, overall plan that can comprise several tactics, which are smaller, focused, less impactful plans that are part of the overall plan. While the original usage of the terms strategy and tactic was in a military context, they are now used in a wide variety of everyday settings, including business.

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Introduction Larger, overall plan that can comprise several tactics. Plans, tasks, or procedures that can be carried out; may be part of a larger strategy.
Perspective Broad, "big picture" Narrow, "close-up"
Time Over time, long periods of time, future-oriented Soon or present
Example A year of advertising and marketing plans for a company. One of the ads from the planned marketing strategy.

edit Strategy - Tactic Difference in Military Usage

Militaries often make a distinction between strategy and tactics. Strategy involves planning, during war and peace times, preparing for the unexpected for greater security and future victory. Tactics, on the other hand, deals with carrying out the objectives laid out in strategy — i.e., accurately and effeciently deploying troops and military equipment to combat zones.

edit Strategy vs. Tactic in Business

The usage of the words strategy and tactic in business is also derived from the original military context. A business strategy is different from a tactic in that different tactics may be deployed as part of a single strategy. For example, one strategy to gain market share would be brand building. As part of a company's brand building strategy, they may adopt different tactics like online advertising and celebrity endorsements.

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Comments: Strategy vs Tactic

Anonymous comments (5)

December 4, 2013, 1:05pm

Tactics : what it takes to win the battle.
Strategy : what it takes to win the war.

— 76.✗.✗.6

October 23, 2013, 12:25am

If strategy is charting a course to a destination, tactics is how you get to that destination. If my strategy is to lose 10 pounds in two months through exercise, my tactics may include running and hitting the gym three times a week.

— 66.✗.✗.145

November 6, 2012, 2:18am

Tactics are a subset of Strategy. Tactics are short term, Strategy is long term. It is relative.

— 220.✗.✗.247

May 9, 2012, 11:30pm

If brand building is the strategy and online advertisment is the tactic then you could say that a tactic is a component of a strategy, and if online advertisement had it's own tactical compontents like a web page, a youtube video, and pop-ups, then it is also a strategy. Also brand building too is just a tactic of the overall buisness stategy "making money". Is there a fundemental diference between a tactic and a strategy?

— 96.✗.✗.8

September 16, 2012, 2:20pm

Okay, from the comparison and example given, we can say that tactics is basically a part of a strategy, but I guess the more important part is that tactics is more like applying (or at least planning to apply) a disciplined and proven-efficient convention for a task/action while understanding its science and reason.

I don't know, that's just what I get. Maybe an example would be like the opening moves of the board game Go (or Weiqi). Goal: Player has to have the most territories on the board. The strategy would be up to the player, but for the opening part of the game, it is convention to place the stones somewhere around the four corners of the board; putting a stone in the center during the opening is very much reckless, since you cannot mark a territory with that.

Adhering to this common knowledge and understanding the reason of a move's efficiency would be called 'tactics'. Not knowing the reason makes it short of the definition because then it would rather be a bluff/lucky strike rather than a science. Tactics involves deeper understanding of an immediate situation rather than a strategy's bigger picture. It's a science (which is why we call it 'tactics' rather than 'tactic'--because it's a collective of knowledge and action), and since it's proven effective in one way or another, the move becomes a convention. You use many of these known conventions to build your own strategy.

Another example would be in chess: you could call the move 'castling' a tactic (offensive/defensive), and you could build a game strategy utilizing different moves that are conventionally/known to be efficient (tactics).

Therefore, a strategy would be a string of tactics which, depending on the construction and formulation, could be unique--but probably not necessarily efficient enough.

I might just be blabbering nonsense, so please, feel free to correct. I'm not an expert anyway. Peace. :)

— 112.✗.✗.90


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