How dynamic is your strategic planning? In 2016, make sure that you have a content strategy that is going to help you.
Business isn’t really changing
With business commentators yapping at us constantly about how the nature and direction of business is changing, we have to stop and think for a while.
The nature of business isn’t changing. Your direction might need to change, sure. But business is still about offering [something] to solve [a customer problem]. That’s what business has always been, and ever will be. Even with the rise of different models of business — AirBnB is a good example — it is still a business. The model that it proposes is financial.
The changes in the nature of business that people often worry about are just more communication channels. First there was print; then there was radio and print; then we added TV; then we added the internet… Now there is a plethora of channels, and sub-channels. Advertising embedded in social networks; social networks embedded in TV ads, linked to a site… These are merely communication channels.
One change to focus on is how your customers’ value propositions change. Do you capture it? What turns them on, are they spoiled for choice, how do they find the solutions to their problems, and who is talking to them? That’s not a change in business; that’s a change in people’s perspectives — one you need to know.
The challenge is how adaptable you are to roll with the times. This brings me back to where I began: To the end-of-year planning lifecycle.
Strategic plans need to reflect your dynamic environment
In a dynamic, changeable, fast-paced environment — as business typically is, coming into 2016 — you need a strategic plan that works with its environment.
Ten ways to give your strategic plan a flexible spine
Here are 10 tips from the Brutal Pixie team to make sure you start the New Year with energy and direction, and maintain that dynamism for the rest of the year.
- Forget annual planning, and think about ‘constant review’ instead
- Build out your lifecycle
- Remember that every small piece will affect your overall performance: So give them all equal importance
- Include your team at every level: Give them the opportunity to tweak, adjust, suggest, and challenge
- Implement open communication channels. That might be an open, uncensored Trello installation; it might be an internal social network; it might be weekly or daily Skype sessions. Whatever it is, encourage it.
- Remove roadblocks early; if something that seemed like a brilliant idea starts to fall flat, get it out of the way or think creatively to move around it
- Remember the ROI. Every conversion has a cost (and every retention a cost benefit), and you need to refine, refine, refine until it’s working for you and not against you.
- Assess your tools constantly: Is your workflow working? Is your resourcing plan right? Are your templates shortening timeframes or causing questions? How’s your publishing workflow? What bottlenecks are starting to become apparent? Fix them all before they turn into big problems.
- Use every piece of data you can lay your hands on
- Remember that small, incremental improvements in each of your metrics are easier to achieve than huge, unsustainable (but impressive-looking) leaps.