Decoded: Meaning of the two most powerful words in Marketing


As a Marketing and Social Media student, I am very much intrigued by the strategies or tactics that brands use to stand out in the market. I took a course in Strategic Marketing in my last semester and I understand that the word strategy has a strong meaning attached to it and businesses should clearly state their strategy in order to succeed in this competitive world.

In the world of business, it is common to use tactics for small tasks and strategy for bigger plans and goals. Although I understand that, this is not the only meaning behind these two powerful words. The terms strategy and tactics are often misunderstood and used in the same manner in the world of marketing. The attributes of these terms may be similar but there is a thin line that differentiates them.

This often confuses me and makes me wonder what is the difference between these two words that the business world goes crazy about?


I did my research and understood that –

A Strategy is a set of goals or milestones that have been set to be achieved by a company or an organization. Whereas, a tactic is the art of achieving smart and carefully crafted plan or decisions to accomplish the goal.
For example: When a team of six are working on a project. For them, the strategy is to get a good grade on the project. The planning, setting of milestones and getting the work done in a given time frame is the tactic. In simple words, WHY or WHAT do you want to achieve is a STRATEGY and HOW do you want to achieve it is a TACTIC.


Source :

This video by David Kryscynski, perfectly describes the meaning of Strategy.

It is very important for organizations to define its strategy to efficiently achieve their goals. When a company executes a strategy, everything does not work as planned. Execution of the strategy might result in numerous conflicts. This might call for the company to react and take a decision and face the reality. This is where the tactics come in place. Tactics are aligned to the company’s strategy.
While I was interning in a design firm, I clearly understood my monthly goals, however, I did not quite understand the bigger picture of my company’s strategy from which my goals were developed. I thought about it and felt that I would have been happier if I had understood what my work was meant to achieve for my company. I am sure, many of us feel that way. I believe that it is important to educate the company’s strategy to its employees so that they understand and get excited about their monthly/quarterly goals and work efficiently in-line to what the company has to achieve.

This video by Michael Porter thoroughly describes many things that people wrongly assume about strategy.

He says that most companies either don’t have a strategy or they’re confused about it. Even without a strategy, companies want to be the best and thrive on defeating their competition. According to Michael Porter, this is a dangerous way for companies to think about their competition and there is no such thing as being the best. However, companies or organizations can achieve their goals by being unique and by having a superior competitive advantage than thriving to beat their competition by being the best.

Talking about competitive advantage, this video by David Kryscynski gives us an insight about Porter’s Generic Strategies.

Each generic strategy has its own attributes that serve to defend against the competition. Therefore, it is first important for the company/organization to identify their vision and strategize their goals tactfully. The key component for businesses is to set SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) in order to achieve their goals with the right tactics.

I believe that tactics and strategy go hand in hand. If you implement a tactic that is not consistent with your strategy, then it is an indication for you to rework and improvise your strategy.

I hope this blog post helped you in understanding the difference between strategy and tactics.

Please watch this video about strategic planning and SMART goals to get a better understanding of how strategic planning works.


“Jeremiah Owyang.” Web Strategy by Digital Business The Difference between Strategy and Tactics Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

“Imgflip.” Imgflip – Create and Share Awesome Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

McGrady, Vanessa. “Forbes.” Forbes. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

LearnStrategy. “What Is Strategy?” YouTube. YouTube, 05 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

Http:// “What Is Strategy? Michael Porter Explains Common Misunderstandings.”YouTube. YouTube, 05 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

LearnStrategy. “Generic Strategies Mini-Lecture.” YouTube. YouTube, 08 Nov. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

“Porter’s Generic Strategies: Choosing Your Route to Success.” Porter’s Generic Strategies. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

“Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals.” Top Achievement. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

Virtualstrategist. “Overview of the Strategic Planning Process.” YouTube. YouTube, 05 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

Virtualstrategist. “How to Set SMART Goals.” YouTube. YouTube, 17 Oct. 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.
















  • I liked the title of your post and the tweet – it made me want to read your post – Rick Trus –

    • akumar

      Thanks Richard !

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