‘Pivot’ became the new buzz word during lockdown.
Just another example of marketing ‘spin’? Does it apply to you?
‘Pivot’ means a significant change of direction. Harvard Business Review published an insightful article on how businesses have pivoted. Although it focusses mainly on B2C, there are useful examples and insights into the dangers of making a radical change without thinking through the longer-term implications.
Marketing pivot means changing the direction of your marketing. However how big a change will depend on how your target market has changed.
How do we improve customer experience from a distance – for example using the next generation smart bots or improved data aggregation? People are travelling, do we need to? How does this affect your marketing and sales communications? Were your laboratories moth-balled or busier? Have you benefited from a focus on green technologies and sustainability – such as in automated connected vehicles, battery or drone technology?
Depending on which sector you specialise in, you WILL need to consider and change some or all of your marketing. How much will depend on some critical factors. If you only take in one of the tips below, consider number 1 as the most important:
- Where are your customers and prospects now? Not six months ago, or even three months ago – but now. Your customers’ needs and priorities will have changed – and will continue to change over the coming months. How can you serve them better? Steve Blank (one of the early proponents of leanstartup) emphasises the importance of customer discovery – the current climate has made this even more important . There is no hiding the fact, we’re all in this together, globally. Be true, authentic and transparent about your desire to serve your customers. If you want any further proof, have you heard any horror stories about organisations who have put profit before customers, communicating poorly or refusing to bend or renegotiate? We certainly have. What’s your attitude to them now?
- Be more strategically agile. Strategy during Covid-19 has become about thinking just one to three months ahead – as well as the longer-term plan. No one knows where the markets will be in 6-12 months’ time, other than it will be different. Absolutely, keep your vision but also keep listening to what is happening now and react.
- Embrace digital technology. An obvious area that everyone has been looking at is ‘online’ for their sales and marketing. But it has also created an even greater glut of competition in this space. Differentiating yourself is critical – for example don’t do social media if it’s not right for your clients and prospects. Find the digital version of your pre-crisis existence. What value can you provide online?
- Marketing experiments. Some things that you try, WILL FAIL. But, don’t stop at the first hurdle. Just as when you’re developing the technology, your marketing won’t necessary bring you the results you desire first time – and it’s normal to need to do a lot of tweaking and experimentation to get the formula right. Persistence will pay off eventually.
- Did you know that YouTube was once a video dating site?
- Twitter was once a podcasting network named Odeo?
- Play-doh was once a wall cleaner that pivoted to a beloved children’s toy?
Incredible companies can and have been built in hard times. Don’t waste time focusing on what’s outside of your control…think about what you CAN control and find your on definition of ‘pivot’.
If you are looking for help – our marketing sprint programme might be what you need – or you might like to join our next cohort of STEM leaders on the marketing foundation programme to discover your pivot.