Having attended a couple of recent entrepreneur events, it would appear that the Pitch Deck is now an essential business tool. The article from Forbes below makes effective comparisons between the pitch deck and the business plan.
The fundamental question as to which of these tools you would use is to reverse engineer the question. What is the tool going to be used for? If the business goal is to raise funds then more traditional lenders will lean towards a business plan which in effect is a more comprehensive view of the business. For crowd funders and business angels that are more fleet of foot then a pitch deck provides the information they require.
If the business need is for a strategic guide to the initial business direction then the business plan looks at an entity in a more comprehensive manner however a pitch deck could be used as a useful summary.
From our perspective we don’t regard the pitch deck and business plan as mutually exclusive. Rather they both source their data from the business and in effect tell the business story from slightly different angles.
In conclusion, we do not believe the pitch deck has replaced the business plan. Rather, we think the pitch deck is a natural evolution of the business plan that addresses specific needs.