How effective is your position?

The perceptual map below makes it easy to see how the leading products in the Sales Performance Management market are positioned. What it doesn’t tell you is the effectiveness of the various positions.

This evaluation includes ways to help you determine your position’s effectiveness. It is based on an assessment of Sales Performance Management company websites.

To determine a position for each company, I looked for claims that stood out on homes pages, product pages, about pages and solution pages. Ideally claims that are repeated throughout the site.

After I determined each product’s position, I input my findings into an Excel application that automatically created this perceptual map:

What is positioning?

Positioning is the mental space in your target audience’s mind that you can occupy with an idea that has compelling meaning to the recipient. It’s in this mental space where your solution to the target’s pressing problem meet, stick together, and form a meaningful relationship.

But even a unique position won’t stick in your target audience’s mind unless you use the power of repetition. Why?

Research has found that it takes at least 10 impressions before an advertisement is noticed. If it takes 10 impressions to be noticed, think of how many are needed to get your prospects to take action.

Repeat your position often so your target audience will remember it, according to “Neuromarketing:”

“Even the repetition of a few simple words sends a strong signal to the brain, prompting it to note, ‘I should remember that,’ the book says. “Repeat your claims so that the brain will bookmark them as important…

“The most solid and logical message, though it may interest your prospect, will not trigger a buying decision unless the brain understands and remembers it.”

Here’s your first effectiveness test. Check out your website and see how often your position is repeated.

Test your position using three criteria

If marketing isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be, the problem may be your position. It may not meet three criteria I use to identify a position that will stimulate market awareness and demand.

If your position is important, unique and believable, simply use it a lot more in all marketing communications, and repeat it often. If it doesn’t meet one of the three criteria, it’s time to change your position. Here’s an explanation of the criteria:

Important

A positioning statement responds to a prospect’s primary problem. By doing so, the statement creates confidence in your ability to offer a desirable solution, and it creates a sense of urgency in your prospect’s mind.

Understanding customer concerns is essential to position effectively. Interviewing customers and then ranking their problems is an important step in the Messages that Matter positioning framework. Your positioning statement should state a benefit that solves one of the top problems, and ideally, the No. 1 problem.

Believable

B2B technology buyers have learned to doubt nearly every claim they read or hear. Effective positioning allows us to cut through cynicism by making our case in simple, believable, compelling language.

Effective positioning statements recognize prospects’ inherent skepticism by avoiding exaggerated or meaningless claims. A believable positioning statement “rings true” by referencing existing market conditions.

Unique

Positioning always occurs in a competitive environment. Therefore, a positioning statement should express a benefit that no other company is claiming. See the perceptual map above that shows you how you are positioned relative to the competition. How to differentiate is explained in my workshop and book.

When you make a unique claim, two things happen. First, you raise a significant barrier to competition. Second, you increase the desirability of your offering. These two outcomes can significantly impact sales volume, market share, and profitability.