What makes a good strategy?

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Hello and welcome back to another Digital Insights with me, Tam, the in-house Growth Marketer at Webprofits.

Today I’m going to be sharing my top 3 characteristics of a good strategy, and how understanding the difference between strategies and tactics will help you grow faster.

When asked for the difference between strategies and tactics, many people suggest it’s just a case of long-term vs short-term ways to reach your goal. To put it bluntly – that’s wrong.

You can have strategies that last a couple of days and tactics that go on for months or even years. So to help explain the difference, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the definition of each word.

Interestingly, both words have their roots in the military.

Strategy is the science and art of military command exercised to meet the enemy in combat under advantageous conditions.

Whereas a tactic is a method of employing forces in combat.

So basically, strategy is the big picture, it’s how and why you call the shots. Whereas tactics are the actual shots themselves.

For example, a marketing strategy could be to establish yourself as a thought leader to increase trust in your brand. Within that, there are many tactics you could take that help carry out that strategy. You could write in-depth guides, record videos, comment on posts in Quora, present at events… the list goes on.

So why does this matter?

Why am I ranting on about subtle differences between one word and another?

Well, you may remember in my last video I talked about the importance of prioritisation.

Businesses can often get caught up with trying to do as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to achieve growth. And that’s good, they should be taking lots of shots, but it’s important not to lose sight of what you’re shooting for.

See, if your tactics are aligned as part of a strategy, then they can combine to produce much better results.

That helps you to grow faster as well as maximising the impact of the time you spend on a tactic. That gives you even more time to develop your strategies further, analyse their success, or create new ones.

So what makes a good strategy?

Well, the way I see it, a strategy has to be tailored to the business and situation it applies to so there’s no hard and fast rule about the content, but I do think that there are 3 key characteristics that each strategy should have.

First, and this should be obvious – every strategy should have a goal.

You need to know where you’re heading if you’re going to decide how to get there. This goal should give you or your team direction and ensure you only include tactics that will help your business grow and progress.

Secondly, every strategy should have an analysis of the current or past position.

If you don’t know where you’ve been or where you’re starting from, then how can you best decide where to go? This analysis can take many different forms, it can be an analysis of performance, of the industry, of your audience or of something completely different. But I believe it’s important that a strategy considers the facts before pressing ahead with action.

Finally, strategies should be flexible.

Remember that there are multiple ways to get to the same end result and so while they should be adhered to and followed closely, strategies should have a degree of flexibility to allow for unforeseen circumstances.

So the next time you create or are presented with a strategy, ask yourself “is this an efficient way to reach our goal”? Or is it actually just a collection of tasks?

That’s all from me, I’m Tam the in-house growth marketer at Webprofits. Thanks again for watching Digital Insights, the video series that helps you grow your business fast.

Tam Al-Saad

Tam Al-Saad

Head of Growth at Webprofits
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 12 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously. With a strong digital marketing background and broad business experience, he’s perfectly suited to head up Web Profit’s marketing initiatives as Head of Growth.

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2 responses to “What makes a good strategy?”

  1. Nate Moller says:

    I love breaking things down by strategies and tactics. It reminds me of performance vs outcome goals.

    What are strategies that you’ve seen to be most beneficial to clients, or is everything customized depending on client needs?

    • Tam Al-Saad says:

      It’s definitely a customised approach. It depends on the businesses goals, resources, industry and several other factors. I’d also say that to really grow fast, a business should have a few strategies that complement each other

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