Strategy vs. Tactics
Understanding the difference between strategy and tactics is absolutely key to marketing success. Strategy is the big-picture planning you do prior to the tactics. Imagine you’ve bought an empty block of land and want to build a house. Would you just order a pile of bricks and then just start laying them? Of course not. You’d end up with a big old mess that likely wasn’t safe.
So what do you do instead? You hire a builder and an architect first and they plan everything out from the major stuff like getting building permits, down to what kind of tap fittings you’d like. All of this is planned prior to a single shovel of dirt being moved. That’s strategy.
Then once you have your strategy, you know how many bricks you need, where the foundation goes and what kind of roof you’re going to have. Now you can hire a brick layer, carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc. That’s tactics.
You can’t do anything worthwhile successfully without both strategy and tactics.
Strategy without tactics leads to paralysis by analysis. No matter how good the builder and the architect are, the house isn’t going to get built until someone starts laying bricks. At some stage they’re going to need to say, “OK the blueprint is now good, we’ve got all the necessary approvals to build so let’s get started.”
Tactics without strategy lead to “bright shiny object syndrome.” Imagine you started building a wall without any plans and then later found out that it was in the wrong place, so you start pouring the foundation and then you find out it’s not right for this type of house, so you start excavating the area where you want the pool but that isn’t right either. This clearly isn’t going to work. Yet this is exactly how many business owners do marketing. They string together a bunch of random tactics in the hope that what they’re doing will lead to a customer. They whack up a website without much thought and it ends up being an online version of their brochure or they start promoting on social media because they heard that’s the latest thing and so on.