What 28 Hours, 1,767 Miles, and 95-Degree Heat Can Teach You About Pivoting
Last Sunday I returned from a quick trip to visit my family in the Chicago area. Previously, quick trips would be three-day weekends flying into O’Hare airport. Not this time. I packed my car with hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, coffee, and a cooler filled with PB&J sandwiches, cold water, and yogurt. The alarm went off at 4 a.m. and by 5:10 a.m. I was heading west on the Mass Pike, aka I-90, to visit my family. Fourteen hours later, I arrived, knowing that in four days I would be making the return trip.
During the drive I listened to podcasts, audio books, Sirius radio (to stay alert) and had a few “how’s it going” “I just passed Cleveland” phone calls with my family. The drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the first six months of 2020 and plan for the second half of the year.
Pivot. Pivot. Pivot.
How many webcasts, blogs, and articles have you listened to or read that tell you to pivot? Too many. I personally want to get back to talking about business and how we can tackle and achieve our objectives.
With that said. Here are three suggestions that may help you — pivot, think outside the box, adjust, readjust … whatever you may call it.
I’ve learned to really appreciate podcasts. I don’t listen to them during my workday since I’m writing, planning, and meeting with people throughout the day. During my drive, there was 28 hours of time to listen. I loved hearing the stories, ideas, and enthusiasm from the people I was listening to. These stories provided me with new ideas to approach my clients’ marketing strategies. Yes, I may be using the successful tactics gleaned from podcasts in my business. Such as new approaches to enhance email and mail lists.
Look for podcasts related to your business and your hobbies. Ask colleagues and friends what they listen to. You’ll discover new ideas, interesting approaches, and thoughtful debate.
There is opportunity all around. Restaurants in western Massachusetts, the Berkshires, where I live, provide their menus online even while dining. They are avoiding the printed piece. Here is an opportunity to help restaurants create a nice experience by enhancing the website’s viewable menu to provide an augmented reality experience. The menu would come to life by providing wine parings, a message from the chef, a video of a customer savoring a local dish as well as the ability to pay via the restaurant’s app. A true no-touch environment.
Perhaps you can partner with a tent and event rental company to provide beautiful wide-format backdrops as people eat outside through cooler weather.
Schools and universities may or may not be reopening across the country. Many of the K-12 schools will hold classrooms outside in August and September, and similar to restaurants there may be opportunity to provide cover from the outdoor elements and floor and street decals. Print masks with fun characters to help teachers and parents keep small children engaged. Create school kits for students whether at home or in the classroom. Reach out to your school district administrators to discuss ideas.
Listen to Friends, Neighbors, and Family
What are their challenges at work, at home and even in their downtime? What’s troubling them? Can you help plan for an event, promote their business or host an online team meeting with printed materials delivered before the meeting?
Perhaps your business can utilize current capabilities or research related tools that take advantage of a new business opportunity. Partner with a local business that provides capabilities you don’t offer. It’s an effective way to test the new service or offering without incurring costs. Especially, when your marketing budget has been reduced.
Most importantly, embrace the change and the changes that are yet to come.
I’d love to hear how your marketing or print business approach has changed in the last six months. What road are you on?
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.