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Who are my customers/ clients?
This is the first question you need to ask, just who am I aiming my main offer towards? If you can't answer this then you are possibly trying to market your products to too wider an audience. Identifying your customer groups or segmenting as we say in marketing, is that essential first step in the process. Now you may find that you have several products or services aimed at several distinct segments. That is fine but you will need to look at possibly fine-tuning your positioning to those segments.
Where is my product in the marketplace?
From the data gained above, you will need to assess where you stand in the market in terms of your quality and price. there can be a lot of variation in this, and you are not always selling at the highest price, sometimes you are focussing on low price and high volume, that is for you to decide. So here you will compare where you stand say against other players in the market on two or more attributes, so these may be price vs. quality etc. It is a key decision to make, where you wish to stand in the market as this will determine your positioning and ultimately your choice of marketing tools and media channels.
How can I target the right audience?
Once you have clearly identified where you are wanting to be in the market, the next stage is targeting, this is the decision you will make as to how to target the segments you have determined as attractive to you. This can be governed by your available budget and other aspects, such as where your target audience are based or demographic factors, such as age or disposable income etc. You will need to ask yourself, which target looks best, is most substantial and can get the best return for the investment in your marketing.
Is my branding in tune with my positioning strategy?
When you have identified the best possible audience to target, you need to consider how your brand is perceived and if you are aligning with the expectations of your target audience accurately. Your marketing communications in whatever platform(s) you decide upon will need to mirror your position in the market, so for example, if you have identified your product is high-end, high-quality and aiming at the luxury market, your branding needs to be in keeping with that positioning in the marketplace, as it is likely that your target audience are looking for a branding that suggests expensive luxury. Another element here is differentiation, so your brand occupies a unique place in the mind of your audience, that is quite different to that of your nearest competitors.
How can I measure my positioning strategy for effectiveness?
Any strategy needs to have check in points along the way to ensure you are keeping on track with your intentions. Of course in any business the main Key Performance Indicator will be sales. Your level of sales is where you are making money for your business, so you will be looking for early signs that your time and effort is paying off. You may, at fairly regular intervals, want to carry out an audit of how your brand is being perceived, this can be achieved by developing a survey questionnaire, or by inviting customers to focus groups for feedback and opinions. The real measure of success is in sales, and although this can take time to develop, you should be seeing clues that all is on track by the level of enquiries and your conversion of these enquiries into revenue for your business, as a result of your positioning strategy. If you don't like the results, revisit the processes and try another approach. Even the very largest brands have to constantly revise and refresh their positioning strategies.
The main thing with positioning is to end up with your main offer(s) being an intuitive choice for your customers. And of course, this can be reinforced by providing excellent service and being a great company to do business with. Enjoy working on your positioning strategy and let me know how it goes.