People forget that YouTube was once an online dating website. Today it is a highly successful video sharing platform. Now that’s a successful pivot!
“Pivoting” has become a buzz word in 2020 but success is less about “pivoting” from one business to another and more about changing how you sell your product to consumers.
For example, when governments banned drinking and dining in pubs, their short-term pivot to take-away was an interim necessity to survive. When the restrictions were lifted, they powered up their venues and returned to a winning business model.
On the other hand, companies that pivoted into making hand sanitisers had a glorious month but then the market was flooded. That’s not a lasting advantage. It’s faddish and unsustainable.
Pivoting from ‘bricks and mortar’ to a strong focus on digital sales and delivery is a true pivot. It’s a change that is sustainable because society is becoming increasingly digitised, not the reverse.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison saw it clearly at a macro level, commenting: “Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things.”
We are seeing a new sense of urgency from organisations as they benchmark themselves against competitors and realise they need to be doing more to compete successfully in an online world.
A digital pivot allows you to maintain your core business but change elements of marketing and delivery to be more in tune with today’s society.
In person’s journey from initial idea to final purchase, the research and payment all take place online. The product still needs to be physically delivered in most cases, whether it’s a home printer, a school education or groceries. But the sales process is all in the cloud.
That’s where you need to be. That’s where you need to excel.
Finally, learn from the winners and losers. Read about the organisations that have pivoted successfully and why, and also analyse the failures for important lessons.