I recently attended a technology event hosted by the NEIBC on knowing when your startup or early stage venture should pivot. The panelists discussed the journey their venture endured—aspects such as reconfiguring the business model and rebuilding the team with the right skill sets and structure.
The reality is that for many startups, pivoting becomes the only route to long-term viability; this notion prompted me to consider: From a marketing standpoint, what are the first things a company should do post-pivot?
- Look at your messaging. If you have an existing messaging framework, you should revisit that. If not, this is a really good time to create one. (Read our prior “define your message” post for guidance.)The exercise of creating a messaging framework and documenting your new value proposition, differentiation and positioning is critical for a pivoting company because you’ll have to redo and re-message all your external communications—from your value proposition to your boilerplate. It’s also essential to getting all remaining employees and partners on message, all singing the same tune.
- Do a marketing and sales tool audit. After you pivot your startup, you’ll need to review all of your marketing assets—including white papers, brochures, and sales presentations—as well as the marketing programs you have in place. Determining which assets must be overhauled and which can be evolved or tweaked can save significant time and money.
- Go back to the innovation drawing board. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but make sure to measure and adjust early and often. You’ll want to do a lot of piloting and A/B testing and collect plenty of market feedback—not just through employees, but also through the marketing activities that you do. With the emphasis on digital marketing these days, there are so many creative and affordable ways gather data. Campaigns like Google AdWords are not only a source for leads, but if done correctly, also a tool that yields market insight.Getting back into ‘try everything’ mode will ensure that you don’t get stuck in your old ways, and instead help you take a fresh look at rebuilding your go-to-market strategy given your new direction and focus.
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