These days the tactical always drives out the strategic. Strategies are what businesses love to talk about. Tactics are what they do.
I don't care how many months of meetings, focus groups, and powerpoints it took to derive your brilliant business strategy. I don't care how many teams of C-suite knuckleheads you had to present to and persuade. I don't care how many millions of dollars they agreed to invest in the new strategic direction. Just have 3 weeks of lousy sales and you'll be back doing "buy-one, get-one free."
Unfortunately, it is not just marketing that is subject to the tyranny of tactics. It's also why our political system is so screwed up.
In politics, strategy doesn't get you elected. Tactics do.
Everyone in Washington knows that we are headed for a fiscal melt down. Both parties agree that the current budgets are unsustainable. This is not a secret. But there is no strategy to deal with it.
A sensible, strategic way to deal with this is with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.
But half the congress is loathe to raise taxes and the other half is loathe to cut spending.
Each party has its own tactics for getting votes, and each party refuses to abandon its tactics in favor of a strategy that would avoid the impending train wreck.
Strategy is the stuff of essays, off sites, and conferences. Tactics rule the real world.