Traction. It’s the one thing that everyone wants for their business; and yet, something that may feel elusive to attain.
In life, traction is all about inching towards your goals and the feeling you get when you finally see progress. For a sales team, traction may look like a full and vibrant pipeline with many eager buyers ready to hear their pitch. For a marketing team, this might be better conversion rates on their campaigns. For accounting, this means room to breathe and an opportunity to reinvest into the business to help accelerate growth.
Traction is everything.
If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you have a lot of ideas. The “shiny object” syndrome is an affliction that burdens many ambitious, creative leaders. Over the past 12 months, there has been no shortage of shiny objects to chase after. Changes in government policy, lifestyle habits, and personal welfare due to the global pandemic have greatly influenced the economy and the buying habits of our customers.
While buying habits may have changed, there has been no evidence of a fundamental shift in what people are buying and consuming. We are still “us.” We just have to buy things differently and go out to restaurants less— but our desire for your product or service hasn’t dimensioned.
I have seen founders in my community performing a wild dance to pivot and shift focus in an attempt to capture opportunities and market share. While this change may produce some immediate success, the ramification for brands in the long term could be devastating.
In contrast, companies that have remained agile and focused during uncertainty have been able to stay afloat and even prosper through the crisis. I’ve seen a clear distinction between steady, agile companies and those flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants to stay alive. Both options are available to everyone. And it is the mindset of the leadership that determines the ability to stay on course and develop strategies that make sense.
This brings us to the idea of “the pivot.” There have been endless articles, interviews, podcast episodes talking about our need to pivot during the pandemic. As if to say that this experience should shift and change the market’s desire for our product, program, or service so much that we should tailor or revise or throw away our old way of thinking to adapt to the “new normal.” I think this line of thinking can be detrimental for businesses. While we may think that business has changed forever, the truth is it has not. The way in which the economy has bounced back amidst all the uncertainty is proof that we should be focusing more on “business as usual” rather than scrambling to change drastically the trajectory of our businesses.
The pandemic has given us the gift of perspective and focus. These attributes should be harnessed to double down on what IS working rather than searching for something new. There are a few things that definitely haven’t changed: markets are saturated, business is highly competitive, and potential clients need more like, know, and trust before making a purchase with you. This relationship is achieved through thoughtful, consistent action.
Marketing is more important than ever in these trying times. Make sure that your brand is strong and has a voice that can be heard through the noise. Creativity matters.
And remember, both marketing and sales are a long game. Always be building. Remember that every time you redirect your business or brand you are losing that precious traction that took so long to built and sustain.
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