Susan Gilbert
August 29, 2016

Plan Strategy & Tactics To Achieve Your Business Goals

Do you know the difference between strategy and tactics when creating a goal plan for your business?

A strategy is just the starting point to your planning process. Tactics make the entire process work with daily actions. This applies to sports teams as well as businesses.

Once you have a set goal in place, you will want to know the next step once you have achieved that goal. Debbie Donner of the Houston Chronicle describes it this way: “Strategic is doing the right things — tactical is doing things right.”

So what does all this mean for your business and marketing strategy?

Let’s look at a great example from Brand Insight Blog. In their article they show the process of a big brand turning around their baking soda sales. You guessed it right – it’s Arm & Hammer, and in the 1970s their sales were slipping. Their once solid brand built in the 1860s had become irrelevant in the minds of consumers.

Photo courtesy Boston Public Library

Photo courtesy Boston Public Library

John Furgurson writes that the company created one strategic goal — change the direction of the company and increase their sales.

Having a goal is great — the next steps will get you to where you want to be.

Here’s what Arm & Hammer laid out in their strategy:

  • Focused market research to find out the uses of their product
  • Sell their product with as a deodorizer for the refrigerator
  • Market baking soda as environmentally friendly
  • Provide alternative products for things like toothpaste, cat litter, ect.
  • Targeted television and magazine ads (now we have the benefit of advertising on social media)
  • Retail promotions
  • An information website with helpful tips and ideas


Your business strategy should be a defined plan to succeed in your goal, with tactics that provide the steps to take through to implementation. With a single focus and actions steps, your plan will succeed.

If you are a larger business with a team, you can involve them in understanding both the strategy and tactics to be used. As a solopreneur, you can take advantage of planning software and spreadsheets to lay out a step-by-step plan.

Understanding the difference between the two and then making a clear set of action steps will help you achieve your primary goal faster and with more confidence.

There are several ways your business can get started:

Create a clear outline

After the initial target market research decide on a single focus of what you want your business to achieve along with the objectives of the plan in order to pre-determine the outcome. A good example of this can be found on Digital Brisbane with digital marketing strategy plan:

Digital strategy

Start where you are at

Knowing the current realities that your business is experiencing is key to developing a clear goal. Outline any obstacles to overcome and the projected results. What are the risks? Will your tactics help you to achieve your strategy without placing too much strain on your company? By evaluating the current state of your market you can develop a more clear and defined approach.

Define how to reach your target market

With an understanding of the needs and desires of your leads and customers, you can reach them more successfully. A unique message can help your brand stand out from the competition along with strategic marketing and email campaigns that includes new mobile technology such as Snapchat and Pokémon Go.


Outline specific actions

The tactics are the actions that drive your strategic plan, and should provide exactly what needs to be done, the time frame for completion, advertising and social media marketing strategy, etc. Reaching your customers is the number one priority as shown by this example by Smart Insights:


Stay consistent with your plan

In order to move your strategy forward, your business will need to be consistent and diligent – even if this means making changes along the way. The mission statement of your brand should be the driving force and motivation to bring your goal to completion. Ask yourself how these can be accomplished within your budget and time available each day. Don’t take on more than you can handle as this can throw you off course.

It’s important for you and your team to have a clear understanding of the difference between a strategy and tactics. By answering the “what” and “why” questions first you can successfully accomplish your tasks and reduce any tedious efforts that stand in the way of achieving success.

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Online Marketing with Focus - Let Susan Guide you to Online Success. Especially loves to help Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Entrepreneurs. Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs. Author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: