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Knowing When to Pivot: The Art of Adapting Your Marketing Plan

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, adaptability is an important key to success. While having a well-structured marketing plan is essential, there are times when sticking to the original plan may hinder rather than help your business. In this blog post, we'll explore the indicators that signal when it's time to pivot from your current marketing plan and how to do it effectively.


1. Shifting Market Trends


One of the most common reasons to pivot your marketing plan is changing market trends. Markets are dynamic, and consumer preferences evolve over time. If you notice that your target audience's needs and behaviors are shifting, it's a clear signal that your marketing strategy may need adjustment.


Person writing in marker items that make up a consumer trend

2. Declining or Stagnant Results


If your marketing efforts are consistently yielding declining or stagnant results, it's a sign that your current plan might not be resonating with your audience. Analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rates, website traffic, and engagement metrics. If they're not meeting your goals, it's time to consider a change.


graph showing declining sales revenue

3. Competitive Pressures


Keep an eye on your competitors. If they are gaining an edge or introducing innovative strategies, it might be necessary to pivot your plan to maintain a competitive position. Falling behind in the competitive landscape can lead to lost market share - and that lost share can be incredibly difficult to recover.


chess board to emphasize keeping an eye on business competition when analyzing your marketing plan

4. Changes in Business Goals


Business objectives and priorities can change over time. If your company's focus has shifted, your marketing plan should align with these new goals. Whether you're expanding into new markets or shifting product offerings, your marketing strategy should support your evolving business objectives. Alignment up and down the organization and across business functions is imperative for maximizing outcomes.


A woman drawing on a wall describing change in business to depict changes in business goals and marketing plan alignment

5. Customer Feedback and Market Research


Listening to customer feedback and conducting thorough market research can provide valuable insights. If feedback suggests that your products or services need adjustment or that your marketing messaging isn't resonating, it's time to pivot. Market research can reveal untapped opportunities and emerging trends. Data driven decision making ensures you're moving down the right path.


graphs showing market research as a business evaluates its marketing plan

6. Emerging Technologies


The digital landscape is constantly evolving with the emergence of new technologies and platforms. Staying relevant may require adopting new tools, channels, or tactics. Ignoring emerging technologies can lead to missed opportunities. There's a good chance your competitors are seeking an edge in this rapidly evolving tech environment. Investment in appropriate technology that can drive efficiencies and accurate decision making is an important consideration.


businessman integrating technology as part of marketing plan

7. External Factors


External factors such as economic changes, regulatory shifts, or unforeseen events like a global pandemic can necessitate a pivot in your marketing plan. Being agile and responsive to external factors is essential for long-term sustainability. There are many examples of recent lessons that successful enterprises will carry forward with them into the future.


Business person evaluating external factors that may affect the marketing plan

8. Resource Allocation


Evaluate your resource allocation. If you're investing heavily in marketing channels that aren't delivering the expected return on investment (ROI), it may be time to shift resources to more promising avenues. Understanding how to meet your customer/consumer with the right messaging in the right places will position your business for success.


business person analyzing business and financial resource allocation to optimize marketing plan and marketing mix

How to Pivot Effectively:

1. Assess and Analyze: Thoroughly assess the current state of your marketing efforts, gather data, and analyze performance metrics. Identify the specific areas that need adjustment.


Businessman analyzing marketing plan on a digital board

2. Set Clear Goals: Define new, clear objectives and goals that align with the changes you want to make in your marketing plan.


Man holding a sign that states set clear objectives

3. Develop a New Strategy: Craft a new marketing strategy that incorporates the necessary changes. Consider revising your target audience, messaging, channels, and tactics.


Marketing team revising their marketing strategy and marketing plan

4. Test and Iterate: Implement the new strategy incrementally and use A/B testing to refine your approach. Monitor performance closely. If you're going to fail, fail fast. When you find tools that work it's important to understand why they work and retain those tools in your marketing toolchest.


marketer using A/B testing to refine their marketing plan performance

5. Communicate Internally: Ensure that your team is aware of and aligned with the changes. Effective internal communication is crucial for a successful pivot. This may seem intuitive but is lost on many (especially larger) organizations.


Manager communicating marketing plan changes to the marketing team

6. Stay Agile: Be prepared to make further adjustments as needed. The ability to adapt quickly is a valuable asset in marketing and business in general.


a hand flipping blocks between flexible and adaptable to depict how a business should think about their marketing plan


In the world of marketing, staying flexible and responsive to change is essential. Recognizing the signs that it's time to pivot from your current marketing plan is the first step toward maintaining relevance and achieving your business objectives. By continuously assessing your strategy, listening to customer feedback, and being open to innovation, you can navigate the shifting tides of the marketing landscape and position your business for long-term success. Allow Temerity to look at your marketing plan and help you craft a winning strategy!


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