Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Positioning your message, part of Marketing Foundations.
Perhaps the most central idea in all of marketing is that of positioning. A company's value proposition is the single-minded claim that it makes to change the customer's mind, and cause them to do something. That something could be to buy a product, to try a product, or to pay a certain price. Maybe to visit a website. Or to think about your brand and its benefits in a certain way. How you position your product in the market will ultimately determine its success.
It may seem a little abstract, but positioning happens up here, in the mind of the consumer. Think of the consumer's mind as a three dimensional space. And in that space, they form opinions about products and services in a particular category. They have perceptions about which products perform better or worse on certain aspects. They consider certain features more or less important than others when deciding what to buy. And the good news is, as a marketer, you can change these beliefs.
You can move them in a new direction that increases the likelihood of buying your product. You do that by making a claim, and by supporting that claim with credible reasons to believe, or RTBs as we call them. Let's look at how. You'll find lots of different positioning tools and frameworks out there, but the one I prefer is this one. It's called the five box positioning tool. It was developed by an advertising agency called Leo Burnett, headquartered in Chicago, and it has lots of nice advantages over other frameworks.
Let's explore it. First, we define the current do, that is, what are the targeted customers doing today with respect to your product and the category you're in. Given that current do, what must their current belief about the products be, out there today? Next, given our strategy, what is it that you desire customers to do? What desired beliefs do you want them to have that will cause them to do the desired do? When I say beliefs, I mean the beliefs in opinions they have about your primary benefit, that you selected at the segmentation step.
Do they think it's important? How do they perceive your product versus the competition in delivering that benefit? Now the hard part. Given the current belief, and where you need to take them to believe the desire belief, what claim must you make? What supporting evidence do you have? Can you bridge that gap, or have you overreached a bit? Here's an example. Given our strategy, and our target audience, men with overstuffed, thick wallets.
Our current do is, I use a traditional wallet, and it's thick because of all the stuff I carry. The current belief is, I believe my wallet sticks out a lot, but all wallets are the same. Notice with each of the four boxes on each corner, that we write the statement using the first person. That of the customer. So we begin with I. The desired do is, I buy a slim wallet. The desired belief must be, I believe having a slim wallet carrying all the same stuff is rather clever.
The claim is, thin wallets are better designed than traditional wallets to carry all the stuff you have now, but be much slimmer. Is it believable? What evidence do we have to support that claim? Well, perhaps you could show side by side comparison of our wallets versus a traditional wallet carrying the same amount of stuff. Perhaps your website could have a video showing how the wallet is made, and include testimonials from actual customers on how much they like it.
The key will be to convince customers of the link between detailed features of the wallet to the benefits and values that we explored in our feature benefit ladder. Most importantly, they need to feel that a slim wallet is important, and that our wallet does it better than anyone else. That is good marketing.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Marketing in an organization
- Assembling the team
- Creating the marketing plan
- Analyzing your products, customers, and market
- Segmenting customers
- Creating a value proposition
- Developing a strategy
- Setting goals
- Setting prices
- Using social media
- Presenting your plan to leadership
- Budgeting your plan
- Measuring success