Robust strategic planning requires an incredible amount of dedication, drive, and attention to detail. No matter the scope of your plans or goals, certain steps should always be followed to get as close to ensuring success as possible. To explore the importance of effective strategic plans, the recent failure of new streaming app Quibi provides a high-profile example for any sized business to learn from.
In 2020, people raced to streaming services in increasingly high amounts (according to Nielsen, weekly streaming service watch time grew by more than 1 billion hours during quarantine). Despite this massive growth and demand for content, Quibi failed to capture an audience, shutting down just six months after launching.
While not every plan aligns with one belonging to a new streaming service, there are a few lessons any businessperson can take away from Quibi’s swift rise and fall from grace.
1.) Seek out additional data, not just your gut instinct
Quibi got its premise (and name) from the founder’s idea that younger audiences are looking for “quick bites” of content. Rather than conducting extensive research on younger generations’ desired forms of entertainment, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg followed his intuition and didn’t seek external data to support his claims. Complete trust in instincts and denial of the benefits of research only limits the possibilities of your plan. Additional data gives you more information to work with. Seeking out research to support your claims strengthens your strategic objectives.
2.) Effectively communicate with your intended audiences
You have to take the time to understand and openly communicate with your desired audience, whether it’s internal or external. When Katzenberg announced the name Quibi to his Millennial employees, an ex-employee stated, “They never asked staff to weigh in on it. People on staff thought it was cringey and would ask, ‘Is it too late to change it?’” The older executives loved the name but didn’t research what their desired younger audiences and employees found appealing. It is incredibly important not just to understand and treat people how you want to be treated, but instead how they want to be treated. To get both internal and external buy-in, you must concern yourself with the audience’s thoughts involved in your overall plan.
3.) Sell your content, not your gimmick
To be successful and efficient, any plan needs substance and attention to detail. While an initial idea may get your foot through the door, its continuing growth is what gets your plan closer to success. Throughout Quibi’s lifespan, it consistently marketed its gimmick (the running time of every episode being under 10 minutes) instead of ensuring the quality of its content. Without the substance to back it up, its plan to deliver short content was doomed to fall short of expectations.
To avoid a lackluster strategic plan, you must focus on the added value of detailed research and goals backed by open communication. Otherwise, your “quick bites” of ideas—instead of fully-realized plans—may be all that remains of what could have been: