A pivot usually occurs when a company make a fundamental change to their business after determining (usually through market research) that their product isn’t meeting the needs of their intended market. … Companies will continue to pivot as these needs change or the company discovers new opportunities for the business.
You probably never heard that both Facebook and YouTube started out fully intending to be dating sites, but pivoted to something more unique when they found that dating had already become an over-crowded market. Their pivots were early but real.
On HBO, Silicon Valley is a TV comedy series that follows the misadventures of introverted computer programmer and his brainy friends as they attempt to strike it rich in a high-tech gold rush.
The show explores their start up “Pied Piper” when they realize what’s appealing to customers and what isn’t, then decide to focus their efforts on what’s working. In many cases, they find that the product or service that’s clicking with consumers isn’t what their companies were originally founded on.
Communicating the pivot becomes a very important component of the plan.
Here’s how to pivot strategically and boost sales.
- Solve a problem. What your current customers have to say will help you to pivot your company and turn your solution into something that really solves a need.
- Segment your market. Know your audience. Target those who will benefit the most from your services.
- Turn your product into a service. In a product marketing, only 4 P’s of the marketing mix are applicable which are product, price, place and promotion, but in the case of service marketing, three more P’s are added to the conventional marketing mix, which are people, process and physical existence.
- Outline the plan. Focus on a product feature and tell people how this helps them.
- Become the solution. Communicate how you will guide them to the solution. A “brute force” communication of the new positioning with “relentless repetition.”
- Communicate what failure to use your service looks like as well as what success looks like. Demonstration of product or service is one of the best ways to promote it. Further, word of mouth also helps in marketing them.
Facebook was aimed initially at college students, later aimed at consumers in general, and more recently found a lucrative growth path with businesses. Pivots thus are a normal and necessary process in expanding the market, and recognizing cultural shifts as well as kick-starting growth.
Here are four local businesses to my Roswell, GA community that I helped pivot to a new model during this crisis.
I can help you now to create a new communications plan for life after COVID-19. Contact me so we can start work on brainstorming ideas.