Good read from the Silicon Valley Planning Group (SVPG) titled “Your business plan is wrong” (link below).
The essence of the piece is really about business plans in a start-up mode and how you need to remain fluid and flexible and “pivot” your plans in response to the marketplace. Good examples are shared about paypal and youtube’s original “business plans”.
Although the piece is VC-type business orientated – I think you can borrow a lot from the article in terms of it’s application to marketing planning in today’s marketplace.
I’m a big fan of “lite” planning and quick marketplace refinements – in other words figure out at a high level what you need to do but monitor the marketplace continually and refine and adjust your strategy accordingly. It is becoming increasingly clear that traditional planning models won’t work in this type of marketplace.
Big, detailed plans not only delay action, they impede decision-making around changes necessitated by changing conditions.
Earlier this year Thomas Publishing shuttered IEN (Industrial Equipment News) – and now they’ve announced plans to suspend U.S. operations of Thomas Global Register – basically an International directory more in the model of Thomas Register than the evolving Thomasnet (http://www.thomasnet.com)
A major web presence going down is never a good thing and certainly not a good sign for the International manufacturing and export advertising markets; but as Thomasnet has evolved – Thomas Global remained nothing really more than a directory and you have to think that perhaps the need for multiple directories, all in english, just doesn’t make practical sense any more…or perhaps the cost to “reinvent” Thomas Global for the changing marketplace is just too big for the expected return they’d see in these uncertain times. It’s also fair to assume Alibaba and perhaps even Global Sources were continuing to erode market share.
Either way, I’m sure they still have a healthy chunk of advertising dollars still coming in for it; albeit declining, so I’m sure they’ll devise a plan to funnel those dollars to thomasnet vs. lose them altogether.
Link (via BtoB magazine): http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090702/FREE/907029993