11. October 2011
You have spent weeks researching your markets, building competitive taxonomies and calling together disparate company stakeholders to get your positioning statement complete. Now what? This is a really good question.
Just to refresh, the objective of positioning is to find a perception you want to create in your target customer’s mind—one that addresses customer issues and enables you to focus on the highly desired and highly competitive features of your product relative to your competitors products in your target market. Once you find the perception you want to create, you need to take steps to make it happen.
It is important to know what a positioning statement is, and what it isn’t. Let’s start with a few things it isn’t.
A positioning statement is not:
- A tagline
- An advertising slogan
- Marketing copy for websites or datasheets
- A company mission statement
A positioning statement is:
- A perception you want to create in your target customer’s mind
- Sets the competitive agenda
- Focuses on your solution’s most compelling attributes
- Is protectable over time
- Is consistent with product delivery
- Determines what is said and to whom
- Determines how messages are communicated
- Helps prioritize new products/features based on pleasing a well defined target customer
Your positioning should be used to help drive the underlying messaging in everything from website content to key points given to your CEO for press interviews and everything in between. Your marketing team will use it to build materials and programs that generate leads in the most attractive markets.
If your positioning is truly competitive, your sales teams should be almost unbeatable when properly trained and provided with the sales tools needed to win business. Sales will be focused on your product’s most competitive attributes and looking for customers in markets where your company has the greatest likelihood of success. Even non-sales areas like development will be influenced. Target market requirements, for example, will put priority on the development of features most critical to your target prospects.
The bottom line is that positioning will touch most areas of your company. For marketing, this includes everything from social media and content marketing to more traditional print advertising. The positioning statement won’t likely be the message, but it will greatly influence the messages, strategies and tactics to create the desired perception in the target customer’s mind.