How long should you stick with your positioning? When should you change it?

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. read more

Can the transformational talk please stop!

I don’t think B2B technology marketers have any idea what a true transformation is. Transformation means to change from one form to another. Caitlyn Jenner is a good example of a transformation. With Caitlyn in mind, how many businesses turn into something totally different? One in one hundred, maybe. And how many B2B software companies are truly changing the way their customers do business? None. read more

Connect with buyers by telling them a good story

I make a living helping B2B software companies position effectively, but I recently sent an e-mail to a prospect telling him to hire a good writer rather than me. While the prospect’s position wasn’t very compelling, the writing was terrible. The prospect needed a quick fix, not a several month positioning project. I felt a good writer would give the prospect time to do positioning right. read more

Management should approve your positioning strategies

One way to insure that members of the management team use your positioning strategies is to seek their formal approval for each one. Members of the management team communicate regularly with important market influencers, including financial analysts, industry analysts and media, all of whom need to hear the same coherent message – a concise, compelling reason for why they should invest, recommend or write about your company, its products and services. read more

Don’t let egos sink your positioning strategy

This is a sensitive subject. It involves taking an unflinching look at the inner you, and committing yourself to a quest for the truth. No, I’m not talking about the latest fad in philosophy or munching magic mushrooms. My subject is developing your product’s positioning strategy – and the potential negative impact preconceived notions, biases and egos can have on it. read more

What is your B2B technology product and what does it do? Make it obvious.

Lack of differentiation is a common problem in B2B technology marketing. A little less common but more problematic is a failure to make it clear on the home page what a company’s product is and what it does. I can’t tell you how many web sites I’ve visited recently that make it almost impossible to figure out the company’s product category (what is it?) and what it does. read more

Positioning starts with a message strategy

Here’s a tip that makes it a lot easier to consistently deliver the same message in all your marketing communications from your web site to brochures to press releases. Create message strategies for anything important such as products, services and your company. Then use your message strategies religiously in all your marketing activities, repeating them over and over and over and over. read more

Are B2B technology companies practicing “me too” positioning on purpose?

I admit to being a critic of B2B technology companies that practice “me too” positioning and messaging. I think it slows down sales cycles and causes confusion in the market. Plus who doesn’t want to differentiate themselves from their competitors? Yet every B2B software market I follow has at least two companies making the same claim. In the Business Intelligence market, there are seven lemmings all claiming better, faster decisions. read more

Conviction is the intangible in successful positioning

Conviction is an important intangible that can make or break your positioning strategy. You begin to develop conviction through research about your customer, competition and channel. But that’s not enough to give you the conviction you need to stand up to powerful political forces in your company that may shoot holes in even the most compelling positioning strategy. read more

To generate qualified leads, start during the positioning process

A good positioning strategy can do more than create awareness and demand for your B2B product or service. Through thoughtful execution of your strategy in marketing campaigns, you can also make your selling more productive by beginning the sales qualification process during the positioning process. But it works only if you are willing to face reality, and recognize that your product or service is best suited for a specific set within a target audience, not every buyer. That’s why there are usually many products in B2B software markets like CRM, Business Intelligence, Corporate Performance Management, ERP, etc. read more

Stop talking like your competitors!

I may be getting jaded in my old age, but it seems to me that more and more B2B software and technology companies are talking just like their competitors. They all sound the same. They use the same positioning strategy, they make similar claims and they use the same in-vogue words such as transformation, empower, innovate and the list goes on. read more