501: How Do You Know If It’s Time To Completely Pivot Your Marketing?

In today’s episode, I’m answering the question that plagues so many marketers: when do you know it’s time to completely pivot your marketing strategy? Should you make small changes or is it time for a massive overhaul? With so many factors at play, it can be overwhelming to figure out what isn’t working and what needs to change. 

Today, I’m walking you through the process of diagnosing what is wrong with your marketing strategy and how to take action. We’ll cover topics like fixing your offer positioning, adjusting your copy and creative, and making changes to your funnel. We’ll even discuss when it’s time to completely throw away a strategy and start over. Don’t miss this! 

Ways I can support:

[Free] Learn how to create an offer that sells: https://www.notforlazymarketers.com/offer

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Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact!


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Emily Hirsh:

Let’s pivot or at least change the messaging around this offer and figure out how do we go back to the basics of our ideal customer’s, frustrations, desires, dreams, problems, and solve it.

 You are listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast, episode number 501.

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. Happy April. Happy q2. I feel like I say this all the time and I feel like I’m not alone in these feelings, but time just goes so fast. Like I’ve been talking to my family and stuff about summer plans and I’m like, literally, how are we talking about summer right now? Like it was just Christmas. So it’s just such a reminder constantly to make sure that you are, you know, living in, in fully alignment with what you want and you’re not wasting time doing things that you don’t want or don’t serve you or are not aligned with your goals. And I just really consistently feel that push of, of evaluating my life where I’m putting my time, the people in my life and trading what’s maybe good enough for great. And I’ve been definitely doing that a lot recently.

 This week I’m super excited to get one more week of snowboarding. Last week of the season, I will be an Aspen Colorado on actually a trip by myself. I have some friends that are gonna meet me there who already live in Colorado, but otherwise it is a solo trip and I’m very excited for it. I’ve learned to really love solo travel so much. It, it just, I, I used to hate it. I used to hate being alone and now I love it. I love traveling by myself. I love just only having me to look after and to be able to dictate my entire schedule. I, I get so much thinking done. I will work while I’m there and just snowboarding for me, I call it my church because it’s like unplugged and in my own mind but actively doing something.

And for me, that’s one of my very favorite things in this world is, is being in that state. So today’s episode, I wanted to talk about the question that was asked to me like three times on my recent training, which was when do you know that something is not working completely in your marketing and you need to completely pivot? Like you need to completely change your strategy or you need to change your offer? Like how do you know when it’s time to make a massive change versus just small changes? And so I wanted to talk about this because this is not like a black and white situation where it’s like, okay, when this happens then, you know, like if there’s a bigger problem or when this happens, you can make x, y, Z optimizations and then hopefully improve it. So I wanted to talk through this and talk through kind of my process and the way I look at things and then how I answer this question on my training because I think this is where a lot of people get really overwhelmed because there’s so many factors that go into a marketing strategy to know what to change, what is and isn’t working, and is it like completely not working or is it just not working a little bit?

And if you tweaked it a little bit, it might start working. And how do you balance the need to be focused in your marketing and to let something gain traction with not wasting money on something that’s just never gonna work? So here are my thoughts on that. First of all, I would say that most people lean towards completely throwing away a strategy too soon. Most people with that said, it doesn’t take weeks or months to figure out actions that you can be taking. I get really frustrated when I hear people that were with another agency or working with someone who are like, you just have to let it sit and and and see and it’s gonna start working. And while yes, you need time for something to optimize, there’s actions you can be taking when something isn’t completely working. New copy and creative landing page updates a changes to the backend of the funnel, email sequence updates.

And so you, you never should be like at a standstill for more than maybe seven days while you’re gathering data. And then you should have actions that you can take. And so you wanna balance this because I will say most people get frustrated with a strategy and then completely shut it off or try to pivot to a new strategy too soon. And so the first thing that you have to understand is you need to first diagnose what part of your marketing strategy is not working. So number one, you, you kinda have two, if we break it down, we have only two things that really could be happening. Number one, there’s a problem with our traffic and our leads. We’re not getting enough traffic in the funnel. Cost is too high or people aren’t interested in what we’re putting out on that free traffic, whether that’s content, whether that is allegiant a webinar, like we’re not getting enough traffic.

And so if that’s broken, then it doesn’t matter how good the backend of your funnel is and if you’re able to convert leads into sales, you don’t know that yet until you fix that. So the first problem is either your traffic and your leads and just getting enough people into your strategy, into your funnel. The second problem could potentially be that you, you’re not converting those leads and those leads are not converting into sales. And I see people jump to the conclusion that their poor quality leads really quickly when they don’t really have evidence to back that up. And so if you are in a situation where you are getting leads in and they are engaging, they’re signing up for your webinar, they’re signing up for your lead gen and they’re not converting, that is more common, that’s actually very common and is typically means there needs to be some optimization and adjustments before completely throwing it away.

So the first thing you have to understand is to diagnose what is wrong with your marketing strategy and why it’s not working. Likely you feel that way because you’re not getting sales, but are you not getting sales because you don’t have traffic and leads and you don’t have enough traffic and leads coming in? Or are you not getting sales because you’re not converting those leads? And that’s a very important distinction because that’s gonna drive your actions. And I do see people who are getting a lot of leads decide to start over from scratch, completely throw away their strategy when all they need to do is fix their offer positioning and the way that they talk to those leads. And then they might have a converting strategy. So that’s the first thing is kind of determining, okay, is your strategy not working because of one or two?

And then with that, are there actions you can take to improve that? So let’s talk about when to know if it’s like completely not working. This is how I typically know. So if there is a case where you put out a new opt-in or a new webinar training or something for free and you target the audiences that you know your ideal customer is in, like they are interests, you know, in the online space it’d be like Amy Porterfield and Marie Forlio, they are there, your ideal customer is there and you’re getting like no traction. Like let’s say you’re paying like $50 cost per lead, $30 cost per lead, it’s super, super high and you let this kind of go for a week and it’s not really getting better. To me, the first thing I say when I see that is it’s a positioning problem. It’s an offer positioning problem because remember your freebie, your lead gen, your webinar, however you’re trying to attract those leads, I call that an offer because you’re offering them something for free.

There is a hook they have to believe they will learn something in this training. They will learn something from this download and be super interested and clear about it. And so if you are in that situation with your leads where you’re paying a ton of money cost per lead, and you know you’re targeting your ideal customer and you’ve tried some variations of copy and creative and not just one likely, the root problem is deep and it is the actual, you know, title of your webinar, it’s the actual PDF download, like they’re just not interested in it. And that happens sometimes. Sometimes we think people are gonna love something we put out and then they don’t, or the way we’re talking about it, the way we’re positioning it is not connecting for them. So if that is the case, then typically the first thing I do is say, let’s pivot to a different offer.

Let’s pivot or at least change the messaging around this offer and figure out how do we go back to the basics of our ideal customers’ frustrations, desires, dreams, problems, and solve it with what we’re putting out. And so that’s a bigger pivot because changing your webinar title or changing your webinar or your download itself is a bigger pivot. Now if you are in this situation where you’re getting leads and they’re just at a little bit of a high cost, like you wanna pay $8 and you’re paying 15 or you’re paying 20 and but, but they are coming in, you are getting leads. Now typically that means we can optimize, we can adjust the messaging, we can dial in the targeting, we can try to pay attention to what angles are working better versus not working in our copy, and we can make tweaks and adjustments and then things might start working and the cost will go down.

And so basically what I’m saying is if you are putting something out there and getting none to very little response and you have done your fair share of testing at least four different versions of good copy and you know an image in a video and you’re targeting audiences that your ideal customers for sure there, or you’re putting it out on your social media in front of your ideal customer and it’s still like totally not working and it’s like three, four times the cost that you would want it to be, that’s time and kind of a, a red flag for a bigger pivot to your strategy, to your offer positioning to the offer itself to what you’re putting out. If you are doing those things and you’re getting some traction, it’s just maybe twice as much as you wanna pay, but it’s still starting to work, it’s starting to go in the right direction before you throw it all away, test some optimizations of, okay, I put out these four versions of copy, this one seemed to do the best and it’s x, y, z angle.

So let’s try more of that. Let’s try some different audiences and do some more tweaking. Okay? Now if you are in the situation where you are getting leads and not sales, which is a very common situation, there’s a few things that could be happening here. Number one is offer positioning. The way that you’re positioning your offer, the way that you’re selling your offer. The way you’re talking about the benefits, the way you’re talking about the promises, like the clarity. If you go look at your offer and you ask yourself, okay, if someone saw this for the very first time, would they be 100% clear exactly how this is gonna solve their problem quickly or is there confusion or is there doubt? And if you go look at that and you think that there is potentially confusion or doubt there likely, that’s the issue. The other issue, which is a little bit more complex is that maybe your leads need time to warm up.

I was just on a strategy call with someone who was like, this is probably such a typical scenario, so I love sharing this. So she’s like, yeah, I, I was running ads, I was running my own ads, and they just like never have worked for me. And then she’s like, but when I went to fill out your intake form for this strategy call, I went back and I looked at all my leads and I realized that some of my leads that came from my ads purchased four months later and I didn’t even know that until I filled out your intake form and I went and found that information. So maybe they were working a little bit, it just took people months to buy. And so how often do I see somebody completely shut off their strategy and write it off as not working when the issue is actually their leads just needed more nurturing, they needed more time to convert.

And so unless you know the average time that your lead needs to be on your list before they convert and you’ve actually pulled that information, then that could also be it. And that means you’ve gotta hang on. That means you’ve gotta commit to nurturing. That means you have to sell your offer again to these leads. You have to have flash sales, you have to have opportunities for them to buy, you have to stay consistent and you’re not going to know that now you should be able to get cold sun cold traffic to convert. And and that’s usually like one to 5% depending on the price of your offer of all the leads who come in should convert in that initial first window. And if that’s not happening, then it’s offer positioning or the offer itself maybe. But typically it’s the way you’re talking about the offer, it’s the way you’re talking about how good it is, again, the benefits of it, the promises of it, the result that people will get if they go and buy that offer.

And then that’s usually the first place. And then the second place is the nurturing. And so I had a client recently who was getting thousands of webinar registrants for a really great cost in a really tough industry of B2B where it is saturated. I mean she’s getting better costs than me and we target similar audiences and it wasn’t converting into her offer, but her offer also wasn’t really converting to her organic traffic, which is quite large. And so can you guess what I feel like the issue is there? Well, I said, if your offer is not converting to organic traffic, then it’s definitely not gonna convert to cold. And we’re getting leads in for a great cost. Who there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be qualified because why would they sign up for this training? Like the topic? And the title was very clear and very direct in who we are trying to attract.

And she wanted to completely throw the whole thing away and try a whole different strategy and like pause for two months and not do it and was really frustrated. And I said, but we’re really close. We’re getting all these leads. We just have to figure out what we’re missing in the offer positioning and we have to dial that in. And, and one way we can do that is go talk to these leads that we’re bringing in and get feedback. But we need to dial that in. I had another client where it was the other situation of their actual offer and they were really, what happened was they came to us and they said, we have this quiz and we want to promote this quiz. And like, that’s the only thing we wanna do. And I had a con, we had a concern around the quiz because a highly technical quiz to cold traffic is not gonna convert because they don’t even wanna take the time to take it.

However, they went out to their warm traffic and out of like, I don’t even know it was a huge amount, but 0.3% of their warm traffic actually signed up for the, the free offer took the free offer and then cold traffic was converting at like $35 cost per lead. And I was like, hands down, it is the offer, it is the offer. You’re, you’re your warmest traffic, your organic traffic is not taking it, you’re not gonna get cold traffic to take it. If your warmest traffic that loves you and follows you is not jumping on this offer, then we have to change the messaging. And again, when I reference offer in this scenario, I mean free offer, this was a quiz to a webinar. And so I knew there from that situation, we gotta make a bigger pivot. It wasn’t like we’re almost there, we just have to optimize it.

Was that we have to make a bigger pivot. So some scenarios and things I want you guys to take away from this is number one, if you are putting out something to warm traffic to your audience, to people who follow you and it is not working, you can’t expect that to work with cold traffic. There’s a messaging issue there because it is much harder to convert cold traffic than it is warm traffic because they don’t know you. And so if you put something out and your warm traffic doesn’t jump on it and isn’t excited about it and you know you have a thousand people and like 10 sign up, there’s a problem there that needs to be addressed. If you put something out there and you’re getting leads into the funnel and they’re not converting, you might be able to optimize. So don’t throw a strategy away too soon.

So some, like, let’s just recap a little bit on this because I, I’m trying to share situations too with you guys so that you guys can see yourself in the situations. And I think the answer that I had on my training to, to this person without knowing anything about their business, as I said, if you look at your marketing strategy right now, if you zoom out and you look at it through the lens that I just taught on the training, which was having them look at their messaging, their strategy, and you ask yourself, knowing my ideal customer going really deep with my ideal customer and and understanding their emotions. If I look at this offer free offer, paid offer strategy, do I still feel it’s right when I channel that person? Do I feel it’s clear? Do I feel there’s depth to the messaging? Do I feel that the free offer in the paid offer that I put out is so valuable and perceived as solving their problem hands down?

Or do I feel that I’m way off base? And and you have to look at it from that way because the reality is you should know your ideal customer that good. You should know when you go back and you zoom out and look at it like, oh yeah, I can totally see. Okay, so if you feel that way, then likely there needs to be a bigger pivot. You might need to change your strategy, you might need to change the messaging or the title of your webinar or the content in it cuz you missed the mark. And that’s okay, that happens. Now if you go look at your strategy and you feel like, no, this is right, like this is what they want and I am getting some people into some steps of my strategy, well then, then you’re able to make optimizations and ask yourself, okay, where are people falling off?

Where are they coming in and not converting? And so identifying, okay, is it a complete overhaul because there’s a big disconnect, there’s a big misalignment or is it optimizations because I’m getting people into the first two steps, for example, and then they’re dropping off. And if you’re getting people into the initial steps, that’s a really good sign. Okay? And then the final thing is just weighing, is it because people need to be nurtured more? Is that the issue or is it because I am completely off with my offer positioning or my free offer and determining that and making sure that you are not throwing away a strategy that half of it is working because that’s what my client wanted to do. She was like, well, we’re getting all these leads and they’re, and they are coming into the webinar and they’re not converting and her warm traffic wasn’t converting either.

And I said, we’re so close, we just have to fix this and this will start converting. Now when I said this at the beginning, I think this is really important. Even if your marketing strategy is not working or you feel like it needs time to be to convert, that doesn’t mean there are no actions for you to take. So I just have this example where a client’s initial webinar funnel launch wasn’t working way too high cost per lead, like $40. And so we couldn’t really fix anything else in the funnel because we didn’t have enough leads coming in. So we have to address this point first, and it had only been like five days, but I was like, there’s things we can do. We already can tell what ad is doing the best and what copy version is doing the best. And so we need more leads in this funnel because otherwise we don’t know if the other parts are working.

So we’re gonna get new copy, we’re gonna get new creative, we’re gonna make a couple of adjustments to the webinar and we’re gonna do one more round for the next seven to 14 days of testing. And if that still doesn’t work, we’re going to brainstorm a different lead opt-in. We’re going to, we’re gonna go to a lead magnet that then goes to a webinar and we’re gonna test a different funnel. And so also understanding like what is the, where is the place that the funnel’s the most broken? And I gave you guys the two options at the beginning. It’s either the traffic and the leads or the purchase conversion. And the thing you have to realize is if you don’t have the traffic and leads, like in this case, then the purchase conversion, you don’t even know if it’s working or not because you don’t have enough people to get there.

So there was nothing that I wanted to change yet about her webinar, about her offer positioning because we didn’t have enough people to know how it’s working. We gotta get the people in, we gotta address that problem first. So that is how you know, you know, when is something completely not working? And and part of it is really like, I think that this question, a lot of you guys know the answer to this in your gut, you know, but you’re so overcrowded and over stimulated and overwhelmed by everybody saying you should do this and you should do this, and what about this? And that’s what confuses you. So shut that off for a minute and really take everything I just said and the examples I just said. And think about your marketing compared to your ideal customer, the experience they need, the messaging they need, and where is the disconnect?

And of course, tie it to data. Like if you’re not getting leads, it can’t be the offer positioning cuz you don’t even know that yet. But also you probably have this answer, you probably know, but you’re, you’re getting so overwhelmed that you don’t answer it. All right? All right everybody. So hopefully that helped. It’s not a black and white answer. This is why having experts do this and it’s like I’ve dealt with hundreds of these situations and so it’s easy for me to come in and kind of pinpoint things. I will say that most people aren’t willing to look at the actual offer itself, like the offer positioning or in this case, like the client’s quiz being the problem because there’s some cost bias. It’s like, oh, I built the funnel, I did all this work, you know, I made the training and I put all this into it and I want it to work so bad. But if you, if you missed the mark, you have to fix that. And that happens to everybody that we miss the mark and sometimes we don’t know until we go out and try it. All right, everybody, I hope you found this helpful and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday.

For listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today, we help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.