2020 has been a year like no other with Coronavirus effecting all aspects of life, for many businesses its been about survival and adapting to change. In these uncertain times the best course of action for business owners isn’t always clear. Do you stick to what you do best or change what you do? This year lots of businesses have had no option but to change.
At Time54 we have seen a notable increase in 2020 of businesses ‘pivoting’, where organisations are fundamentally changing the direction of the business when they realise the current products or services aren’t meeting the needs of the market.
Firstly, to acknowledge that your existing market is disappearing is not an easy process, secondly, to accept the situation and act upon it isn’t always as simple or straightforward as it seems at face value.
How do I know if I need to pivot my business?
Changing your business strategy isn’t a guaranteed solution, and the decision to change shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the current climate the need to change or seek out new markets can be obvious, for example if your business provides carpets for hotels and the hospitality sector, it’s going to be a difficult time due to lockdown or local tiered restrictions, and competition for projects will be tougher than ever.
When considering changes to your business it’s important not to panic. Keeping a levelled head and considering your options is the first port of call. Panicking and rushing into knee jerk decisions will lead to further problems, it’s easy to be impulsive under pressure. Make a brew and review!
Sometimes only a slight change of direction is required to achieve the desired outcome. During 2020 we have witnessed a surge in company owners taking stock of their businesses, and reflecting on what their business or brand looks like to their customers. Whether driven by a need to revitalise their marketing to appeal to their current market place or a realisation of the need to change their appeal to enter a new market place.
Chris Pepper, Director, Time 54, comments:
“Business owners are looking at their marketing, reviewing their websites, and importantly conscious of what their marketing says about them. Unprecedented changes to market sectors are forcing organisations to take stock and ask questions about their business.
Many organisations, certainly within the building and interior markets, have successfully traded in a sector for years or decades without reviewing what their business looks and feels like to clients. With long term relationships established, word of mouth, referrals and historic experience the key drivers for business retention. So, when the market or customer base disappears, and/or a new market is sought, pivoting your business and focusing on the business identity can seem like a daunting task.
What can I do to attract new customers?
Ask questions! It’s important to glean as much information as possible, ask customers, colleagues, friends on their thoughts on your business, your brand, your product, your service, your website, what does it say to them?
Identify your businesses’ unique selling points (USP’S), what is it about your business, your product or service that your customers like? Why do they buy from you? Extract this information and use it to form part of your marketing activity; communicate your USP’s to prospective clients; inform the new market place with testimonials from happy clients; and communicate successful projects/case studies.
Reassure your prospective clients that your product or service is tried and tested…and liked! We seek reassurance in every aspect of life, whether buying a TV or a car we seek recommendation and reassurance from friends and others.
Marketing is a process, not an event.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, consider more than one plan of action. It might not always be the obvious or the first plan that hits the mark. Also be realistic, it will take time to establish your business in a new market, but with the right message and the correct marketing tools you will build your new customer base.
Create a twelve-month marketing plan, document your goals, establish how you will review your goals, key performance indicators (KPI’s), and set your budget. Time54 can help you establish which marketing tools will work best for your business and chosen markets.
Have patience, marketing is not an event, it’s a process. Drip feed your message into the market place via as many avenues as your budget will allow, if you can establish at least three marketing communication ‘touch points’ your engagement rate will be enhanced.
Chris Pepper, comments:
“This is a simple but effective analogy I quote regular with clients and it highlights the need to continually hit a market place with your message and the importance of timing.
Before starting Time54 in 2015 I was employed and benefitted from a company car, the car was on a three-year lease. On year one of the new lease I see a TV advert for an Audi car but take no action other than note the brand. On year two of the car lease I receive an email from Audi, containing details of the Audi A5 model, but take no action. On year three of the lease, close to renewal, I receive a direct mail flyer through my door from the local Audi garage, inviting me to test drive the Audi A5 – bingo that’s the marketing communication I act upon!”
If you are looking to enter a new market place, or need help to review your company marketing, we offer a ‘Power Hour’ zoom call for £135 to talk about your plans and how to implement the best marketing tools for your business. The hours topics can be predetermined by you to ensure the key areas are covered. If you’d like a longer discussion, we offer a 2 hour call for £250.
Alternatively, if you would like us to put together a marketing plan and implement it, please get in touch. We are construction and interiors marketing specialists who understand the key drivers in the two markets.
The next 6 to 12 months will be hugely challenging for many businesses, but to give you the best chance of gaining new customers and building relationships make sure your marketing message is relevant and rewarding for your audience. Talk to us today or click here to email us.
Email us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.