What is a Marketing Pivot Strategy?

July 1, 2020

A few months ago, we wrote about how to successfully work from home, and things you could do at low cost, to help you stay motivated through the unusual circumstances that 2020 had thrown at us so far.

Well, here in Australia, some states are almost back to normal, while others are locked down even more than in lockdown 1.1.

Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, a really useful skill to have as a business owner or manager, is the ability to pivot your strategy.

Pivot marketing strategy

What is a Marketing Pivot Strategy?

It’s more about the art of future planning and organisation than a full strategy on it’s own. As they say with all big changes, ‘It’s a lifestyle, not a diet’. Trust me, this will be an easier lifestyle change than weaning yourself off Uber Eats after lockdown.

1. Lean in to your instincts

Have you had projects or ideas on the back burner for years? Have a think about your industry and dust off those mind maps and idea hack-a-thon session notes and see what makes sense to the future of your industry. If you have had ideas on how to make your offering online, or an app idea to make your customers lives easier or even new training for yourself or staff – now is the time to invest in that. This is a long haul situation as far as we know and zero personal growth or doing things ‘the way they have always been done’ can leave you behind.

A few prompts for you to think about

  • Is there a new customer profile or territory we can target?
  • The opposite; Can we delete a service for good and move resources?
  • Check your company goals and mission – are they the same as they were last year? 6 months ago?
  • What are we doing that is fantastic and flawless, and what are we doing that is struggling?

2. Look at your existing resources

One of the best pivots we’ve seen from a friend’s business was the pivot from film and tv production to specialist removals and transport. He realised that no production work would be needed in the short term, but he had a fleet of trucks, safety equipment and staff that needed work. A lot of businesses and installations needed careful and observant removalists to pack and transport their fitouts, and thus a new branch of the business was born.

What resources do you have that can be easily used for something else? This is also a great question to ask yourself or your staff at regular intervals – All industries have their down months so why not plan for those seasonal changes now and have a plan in place to shift or add a new product?

3. Listen to your customers

Don’t just change things up for the sake of it – a great first step of any plan is to do research. The best place to get this data is your existing customer base. You probably need to stay in touch with them during this hardship anyway, so why not ask them directly what their pain points are and what they are trying to solve at the moment.

Once you are armed with some data, critically assess it and see if there is an opportunity for growth and if it aligns with any plans you’ve already started on. Unless you have staff expertise or the time – you may in fact realise at this stage that stopping everything and pivoting is not a good idea and that you need only adjust current projects. This is good too – a small change can be as good as a holiday! Salvaging old or paused projects and reusing them for a new purpose can save time and expense while still moving forward on change.

4. Get it done!

Present your data, list your ideas, outline how you’ll achieve it, and then GO! There is no time like the present. Add this process to your usual management meetings and you’ll be ready for any upheavals that might come your way. Remember that planning is the best friend of success, but action is it’s MVP.

pivot customer research


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