One of the most important goals of the positioning process I teach is to foster buy-in and consensus to the message strategy you create. You can achieve buy-in and consensus by involving as many stakeholders as is practical throughout the process and getting management approval at the end.
The “Back to School” issue of “Pragmatic Marketer” is a classic example of nurture marketing at its best. The quarterly magazine put out by Pragmatic Marketing is jam packed with articles that B2B product managers, product marketers and marketers will not just want to read, but identify takeaways they can put into action immediately.
If your marketing department is like most, there’s not enough time in the day to do everything on the “todo” list. One reason for this inefficiency is that a lot of time is devoted to figuring out what to say every time you initiate a marketing campaign or activity.
At first blush Oracle appears to be doing a fine job of executing the position that it has “more enterprise cloud applications than anyone.” It is the theme for a currently-running TV ad campaign, and when Oracle president Mark Hurd was asked by CNBC Thursday what sets Oracle apart of the competition, Hurd responded that we have “more enterprise cloud applications than anyone.”
Imagine a new marketing campaign in which you focused your efforts on ensuring creative execution of your message strategy rather than spending time figuring out what to say, and then even more time explaining what you want the writer to write.
The “silo effect” is when each marketing collateral piece seems to be envisioned and created in isolation. There is no continuity and consistency in the message to the market. Every marketing piece is a one-off which is no way to do positioning.
Many Business Intelligence (BI) software marketers would be well served to read “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.” Most are doing exactly what Ries and Trout identified as a problem way back in 1981 when the book was first published:
Once you have found the ideal positioning for your company or offering, you should stick with it for an extended period – at least 18 months and the longer the better – several years; perhaps forever. That’s because consistency and repetition are the keys to claiming a position in your market and giving it staying power.
Based on the results from the survey I’m conducting, B2B software and technology marketers desperately need a realistic way to self-assess their positioning effectiveness. That’s because 69% of respondents (137) think they are doing a good job of positioning, but the evidence suggests many are kidding themselves.
The evidence gathered from the survey I’m conducting indicates that B2B marketing professionals are struggling to position effectively. But that’s not the way they see it. Of the 136 respondents so far, 12 percent say their positioning is “very effective” and 56 percent say it is “effective.”
Seventy percent of the respondents to the survey I am conducting say positioning is the most important aspect of marketing, yet only seven out of 132 respondents learned how to do positioning in college. It makes me wonder whether college marketing departments are in touch with the real world.
There are three reasons many B2B software and technology companies fail to claim a position in their market:
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A good positioning statement needs to be important, believable and unique or your target audience will ignore your marketing efforts. You can sum it up in two words: “So what?!” If the question pushes you to answer with a more compelling benefit, your first positioning statement did not make the cut.