Have you ever planned an event, a trip or even just your day so carefully to make sure everything goes the way you intend it to, but something goes wrong; someone didn’t show up or you accidentally spill coffee on your white shirt?
Here’s what you need to do when things go awry: pivot.
Pivoting is a widely known marketing strategy used by industry professionals as well as startup business owners to accommodate any unplanned mishaps that may have occurred in the early or late stages of a product or event launch.
It is easy to forget how often your plan can change, willingly or not, every successful business owner needs to be adaptable to unforeseen conditions and incoming challenges. Pivoting can range from small to exponential changes; from allocating funds from one place to another to completely rebranding and acquiring new stakeholders.
The marketing world is a minefield due to its ever-changing trends and policies. To be successful in the field, you need to be able to revisit and alter the strategies you have developed.
It’s scary, nerve-wracking and extremely risky but if you believe in your business and you believe in what you need to do to elevate it even further, the rewards will outweigh the risks.
How exactly do you pivot?
Well there is no one-formula-fits-all but here are some ways you could consider incorporating into your pivoting strategies:
Listen to customer feedback
Although the customer is not always right… just kidding the customer always right. This statement may decrease in weight as your business grows and you are able to expand your clientele, but you should never cease to neglect customer feedback. These include “too expensive”, “not enough options offered”, “website confusing to use”. When these comments start coming up, it may be time to pivot.
Don’t scrap the work that you have done
Do not waste all the time, energy and resources you have accumulated and start all over again. Some pivoting situations do not require a drastic change to your company’s blueprint so try to direct the resources, funding, and abilities you have already attained towards the change you are trying to make.
If pivoting is to be done, do it swiftly and as soon as possible
The last thing I want to emphasize the importance of, is to pivot as soon as possible. The best time to pivot is in the early stages of your business when you haven't used up all of your resources and can put your sales target on hold as you try to regroup and strategize anew.
The later you pivot the more damage it could cause to your already established clientele and the risk of you wasting your resources increase. For startups especially, there is a higher chance that you will have to pivot more than once therefore, the earlier you go through it, the better.
The fact that you have stepped out of your comfort zone and decided to build a business of your own is commendable in so many ways and you should never forget how strong, smart and hard-working you are, even when your plans don’t go the way you wanted them to.
This is just one of the strategies I have learned while being a Project Coordinator for my university’s Student Marketing Association and I hope this has helped in some way in your journey to becoming a boss babe in the marketing filed. Happy pivoting!
Guest Blog Author - Nadine Ratu - 3rd Year Comm Student at SFU
Nadine has a passion for content creating, marketing strategizing and digital design. When she is not watching Adobe tutorials and analyzing Instagram analytics, she likes to wave to every dog I see on the street, and if she is feeling brave, ask their owner if she can pet them. She is starting to make her mark in the marketing world, little by little and although she does not know where she is going to be in the next 10 years (or what she even is going to be having for dinner), she always tries to remember that growth is not linear and setbacks are a part of becoming the person she wants to be.