Difference between Strategy and Tactics

Strategy is the way a Company Achieves its end Goals and Operates in its Market.

  • The “Philosophy” that drives and motivates its decisions.

 

Tactics are the Actions taken by the Company to Implement its Strategy.

  • The way in which a Company carries out its Strategy.

Strategy vs Tactics Examples

The best way to Understand the difference between Strategy and Tactics is to share some examples.

 

We’ll analyze the Strategy and Tactics of two famous and Successful Companies that you surely know:

Apple - Strategy vs Tactics example

 

Apple is the biggest Company on Earth.

  • And its products are desired all around the World.

 

But… How did Apple achieved this?

How could a small Business born in California become so Powerful?

 

Apple Strategy

 

Steve Jobs thought of a strategy that no one had thought of, long before everyone else:

  • To Create aClosedEnvironment where Customers could enjoy the full benefits of Technology without having to use a Non-Apple Product.

 

He was very criticized for this for years.

  • Basically, because at that time, Apple couldn’t satisfy all the Technological needs of its Customers.

 

But, years passed and, little by little Apple ended up “Conquering that Hill”.

 

Apple Tactics

 

And How could Apple achieve that?

What tactics have Apple followed?

 

Apple has Developed one Product of each “Technology” Segment.

These Products are the Reference of their Respective Markets.

  • Due to their high Quality and good Design.

 

  • In Desktop Computer: The iMac.
  • In Personal Computers: The MacBook Pro.
  • In Mobile Phones: The iPhone.
  • In Smart-Watches: The iWatch.
  • In Mp3: The iPod.
  • In Tablets: The iPad.
  • In Earphones: The Airpods.

 

Their Tactics is to Develop just one very Good Product in each Technology Segment.

 

This way, they have moved forward Step by Step concentrating their efforts.

  • Implementing their Strategy: Creating a “Closed” Apple Environment.

Netflix - Strategy vs Tactics example

 

Netflix is an interesting example.

Since it is a very young Company, we all can watch its Strategy and Tactics “live”.

  • From the very beginning of its existence.

 

Let’s see what they are doing:

 

Netflix Strategy

 

Netflix wants to be “the place you go when you want to Relax and watch Something”.

  • That is no News.

 

But, while doing this is not extremely difficult, the “gold nugget”, the Real Profitability is in Producing your own Movies and Series.

  • It is much more Profitable not to pay the Producers or the Distributors.

 

Its Strategy is to Produce its own Content to Improve Profitability and Exclusiveness.

 

 

Just becoming a “Closed” Environment, is not enough.

  • If you pay Producers, your Profitability drops enormously.

 

Netflix Tactics

 

The Content created by Netflix is growing in Quality and Quantity.

 

However, becoming a Successful Producer is very difficult.

  • You need time, talent, and a lot of money.

 

What Tactics is Netflix Following?

  • Netflix Studies what People like from all the Content it offers.

 

Unlike other Producers, Netflix exactly knows:

  • Which are the most popular Films.
  • What People like, depending on their age, sex, nationality…
  • etc.

 

They have a lot of data on what People like to watch.

  • Using that data, they can create the Perfect Content for its Customers.

Now, we want to clarify a common question:

  • What comes first, Strategy or Tactics?

 

We think that, after our explanation you may already know the answer but, let’s talk about it anyway.

What comes First Strategy or Tactic?

Strategy comes first.

  • Unless you don’t know what you are doing.

 

Some Businesses don’t have a Clear and Defined Strategy.

  • They simply “Act” to Survive.

 

In Serious Businesses (no matter the Size of the Company) the first thing to do is to Define a Strategy.

  • How the Company is going to be Successful in a certain Market.

 

Then, the Company defines what Tactics could be employed to ensure that Strategy.

Does this mean that Strategy is more important than Tactics?

 

We haven’t said that.

Which is more important Strategy or Tactics?

Both need each other.

 

You can have a Magnificent Strategy but, if your Tactics are not the Adequate, your Strategy will never be implemented Successfully.

 

Think about a Nice car.

No matter how powerful its Engine is, if its Tires are made of wood, it won’t go very far.

  • Strategy is the Engine, and Tactics are the Tires.

Summarizing

Strategy is the way a Company Achieves its end Goals and Operates in its Market.

 

Tactics are the Actions taken by the Company to Implement its Strategy.

 

Although both need each other and are equally Important, Strategy comes first.

  • Tactics come second, to ensure that Strategy.

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