The first mistake people make when forming any kind of business strategy is that they easily confuse the terms strategy and tactics. Strategy is the formulation of a plan of attack or defense, while tactics are the implementation of the plan into specific actions that aim to fulfil the goals as quickly and as effectively as possible.
Many companies won’t even bother learning the difference because they’re all about the results. But this may be a very shortsighted way of looking at business, and which only guarantees median results at best. Advertising firms like LEVEL Brand share that a considerable amount of time spent in formulating strategies for specific clients who think they have one, but only possess tactics.
When companies that confuse strategy and tactics start talking, they’ll form a list of what they should do; a list that only includes tactical actions. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but it severely limits what the company can accomplish and runs the risk of not addressing the actual problems the company is facing.
For example, a company adopts a list of tactics as part of a strategy to boost their presence on social media. But, the list only works for businesses with an existing digital presence; it won’t be of any worth to anyone just starting to utilize the platform. The tactics themselves aren’t wrong, but there was no strategy accounting for what the company actually needs, and they completely miss the mark.
Action needs clear direction, and that’s what a lot of business owners miss in their dash to be the first or the best. Strategies allow companies to allocate their resources to maximize the positive effects where they’re needed most. Tactics lose much of their effectiveness without strategy, and knowing the difference between the two is the first step in allowing companies to use both successfully.