How to Pivot Your Goals Now and See Marketing Results in 2020

The pandemic has forced everyone to revise their original marketing goals and take a closer look at the strategies that will serve them best. Marketing plans that were carefully put together before the beginning of the year are suddenly of little use. 

That does not mean you should give up on attaining positive marketing results for 2020. 

The best way to finish the year strong is to pivot your business strategy by pivoting your goals. With some effort, you can achieve your new goals and help your business continue to thrive. 

Determine Your Current SMART Goals

SMART goals are:

  • Specific: You know exactly what you plan to accomplish.
  • Measurable: You have a measurable, quantifiable goal. 
  • Attainable: They're within reason based on current criteria and expectations (including the pandemic!).
  • Realistic: They can be accomplished. 
  • Time-bound: You have a specific time frame in which you would like to accomplish those goals. 

If your current goals are not in SMART format, transition to that format to give you a more realistic assessment of what you can accomplish. Recognize which goals are no longer achievable or realistic. 

For example, “grow revenue” is not a SMART goal. It is specific but not measurable or time-bound. “Grow revenue by 50% in two weeks” is specific, measurable, and time-bound but probably not attainable or realistic for companies that haven’t just started. “The marketing team will grow revenue by 20% by the end of the year” is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Your company may have suffered more than anticipated in the first and second quarters of 2020. Consumer buying habits have changed and normal business operations have been disrupted for many. See which aspects of your SMART goals need adjustment to help you reclaim the rest of the year. 

Survey Changes in the Consumers and Clients Who Need Your Services

Many businesses have found that their customers buy differently than they did pre-pandemic. They have different needs and expectations. For some businesses, customer preferences have changed considerably.. For instance, grocery stores now face major demand for curbside delivery, a feature that previously was considered a perk rather than a necessity.

Informal surveys can help you create a more accurate depiction of consumer behavior now. Consider how your business compares to other businesses in the minds of prospects due to pandemic concerns. 

For instance, the safety of a business environment is now a serious factor in many shopping decisions. Other might customers focus on the availability of online ordering or curbside pickup. You also want to look at how your existing customers' spending has changed as a result of the pandemic. Many customers might have tightened their budgets due to job loss or other concerns. Others might have increased spending in specific areas such as sanitation and health. 

Re-evaluate Your Relative Strengths

Conduct a post-pandemic competitive analysis. The benefits customers care about most have changed considerably in the wake of the pandemic. 

List out the benefits your consumers care for most now. Do they need curbside pickup or delivery options? Are consumers looking for more safety options in your store?

Consider how well your competitors meet these needs  versus how well you do. Is your business in a better or worse position, relative to your competitors, than before the pandemic? Many businesses have noticed a change in their position within their industries as a result of pandemic-related changes to consumer needs. 

Similarly, understand how consumers perceive your business’s strengths versus the competition. Even if you are superior to the competition in cleanliness, you will succeed if you are perceived by customers to be the cleanest.

Pivot the Business Strategy 

Using the survey information and your competitive analysis, create a plan that shows what your expected marketing ROI would be if nothing changes. Then, reposition your brand, product, or service to take advantage of the post-pandemic environment. These shifts will look different for every business; however, by carefully evaluating your customers first, you can pivot your business to provide greater value for your customers. 

Repositioning must take into account existing consumer perceptions. If no one believes you are the cleanest, then there is no point in promoting yourself as the cleanest.

The reposition will guide the pivot in your business strategy. Changes should support the repositioning while contributing to the bottom line. However, these goals should not be formulated randomly. They also need to be SMART.

Create New SMART Goals

By pivoting your goals, you'll find that your business can continue to benefit and grow. What specific goals do you now want to attain? How can you make them both attainable and realistic in today's climate? By answering those two simple questions, you can substantially improve the return on your marketing results through the end of the year.

For example, if “the marketing team will grow revenue by 20% by the end of the year” is no longer realistic, it may be better to have a SMART goal such as “the marketing team will reach 1,000 marketing-qualified leads every month by the end of the year.” Instead of purely focusing on revenue, this will drive growth in the customer base at a time when reaching new customers becomes essential.

Getting marketing results in 2020 will take much more than just changing your marketing goals. 

To finish strong, your business will need to pivot in a way that makes new goals possible. This can require considerable adaptation. Consumer needs have changed, and effective businesses are choosing to change along with them. 

Failing to pivot your goals, or pivoting your goals without pivoting your strategy, will lead to a disconnect between goals and means. This disconnect could prevent you from seeing the success that you're looking for. By making the necessary changes, however, businesses will find that they can finish out 2020 strong.

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