Swimming without costume

We all have a plan... but now, more than ever, our plans are facing a real test. For those who perform yearly rituals mislabelled as planning, the game is up.



We all have a plan... but now, more than ever, our plans are facing a real test. For those who perform yearly rituals mislabelled as planning, the game is up. The idea that planning is about bringing the future into the present, so that we can do something about it, has never been more crucial than now. As the old axiom goes: Only when the tide goes in do we know who is swimming without a swimming costume.

The current business environment will expose those who think scenario planning and blue sky thinking are team-building exercises. Even copycats may appear to be successful when nothing changes. But when the environment changes in major ways, only those who plan and strategise will survive. The questions being asked today require real answers, and will drive a change in orientation for many healthcare marketers. We need to get back to basics, take planning seriously and broaden our scope to allow for all contingencies. Change is inevitable, so we should look for the first signs of it.

As the economy plunges further into recession, it becomes clear that all companies should have made changes two or three years ago in order to be competitive now. Many have missed that opportunity but the good news is that it is not too late. Another old proverb says: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. Realising the essential principles of marketing through segmentation, brand building and strategic planning will enable medical technology companies to come out of this crisis stronger than they were before.


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