Why putting yourself in Pole Position can turbocharge your marketing results

 By Nial Adams

Positioning your business gains trust and authority

Let’s face it, getting noticed is a big part of marketing. Getting people to sit up and pay attention is vital if you want to make marketing work for you and see the results. And yet it’s so much more than just ‘getting your name out there’.

One big aspect of marketing that so many people miss out on is that of Positioning. You may have heard of the Five Ps of marketing; Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People. I’d go one step further and suggest that five should become six and that extra element is Positioning.

In a world that is stuffed full of marketing messages and content (they reckon we are exposed to over 3,000 marketing messages per day!) there’s almost too much noise.

Who do you listen to, what are they really all about, what’s their agenda? Do they simply want to sell something from me? Can I and should I trust them?

positioning your businessWe all go through the same emotional process as consumers and want to satisfy ourselves that we’re dealing with the right people. Sure, recommendations are great; it’s always good to have someone impartial point us in the right direction. But we still need to establish some trust.

“Trust and Value are the big two elements that all sales and marketing results flow from.”

And the best way you can establish trust with your would-be customers is to demonstrate your authority and be clear about your Position. Positioning is about where you decide to place yourself in the marketing.

It’s about having a place to pin your business reputation and show what really makes you different.

One big mistake that so many business owners make is that they want to sell (everything) to everyone. They’re frightened of focusing in on target groups and instead want to reach out to the broadest marketplace possible.

It’s a very common mistake and generally driven by a sense of scarcity. “The only way I’ll ever find enough customers is to reach out to everyone”.

If you think you’re suffering with this condition, then I hope you’re about to have a light-bulb moment…

When you spread your message so thin, with so little focus it becomes almost transparent. Even in the magical world of digital marketing, where our messages and offers are nothing more than electrons, we still need to focus them. If you don’t they will simply dissolve.

Every business has some element, or even many elements, that really make it different. You might have a particular type of customer that you’ve found you tend to attract more often. Perhaps you have a way of delivering a service that isn’t offered by anyone else. Or maybe you simply aim to deliver a world-class service that others would struggle to compete with.

My point is this; you need to stop and think about creating a position that places you, specifically, somewhere in the mind of a would-be customer. And this place needs to reflect what makes you different.

Let me explain a little more:

The first thing I would encourage you to look at is where in the value chain you want to position your business. Are you budget, good value, top-level or even super-premium? In terms of price and value, would your customers rate you as cheap, moderately priced, good value or ‘reassuringly expensive’?

Deciding where you pitch your pricing will have a big impact on the Position that you are looking to claim. If you don’t know what this looks like in your business currently there’s a really simple test you can take; ask your customers!

Seriously, be bold, be humble and ask them; do they feel you offer good value, do they see you as cheap, or are they spending more money with you (than they might with a competitor) because they place more value in the trust they have?

Next you should look at what makes up your perfect customer profile. Who are they, what do they do and where can you find more people just like them?

This is where you need to be prepared for a big leap in confidence. As one great way to create powerful Positioning in your business is to become a specialist. Be different.

Let me tell you about a friend of mine who used this principle to turn around a failing business…

Paul is a big golfer. He’s designed and built courses, helped clubs and has a passion for all things golf.

A few years ago he bought up a golf-course that was just about ticking over. There was nothing really special about it and the business was limping along. There was also a lot of local competition, so without any real stand-out feature the golf course was struggling.

When Paul took over he decide to do two very bold things; firstly he wanted to completely organic. One of his other big business interests is organic food production, so it was a natural idea for him to work out how he could run a truly organic golf course.

Now, as you’ll probably realise, every golf-course need to keep greens and fairways in tiptop condition. Players want the very best experience and this is only produced with a lot of hard work and (traditionally) a large volume of chemical treatments and fertilizers.

When Paul told his new team they were going organic, he met a wall of disbelief.

“You’ll never do it, nobody has ever produced a totally organic golf course”.

That was all he needed. Like a red rag to a bull Paul (a genuine serial entrepreneur) set about the task.

Today his golf course is one of the very few in the UK that is organic. And yes, by taking this bold step he created something that was instantly different and appealing to people who care about their environment.

I mentioned that there was a second thing; Paul also decided he wanted to provide top quality facilities for disabled golfers. One of Paul’s long-standing golf partners is disabled, so it was a personal ambition as well.

Again, with a high degree of focus Paul managed to create a fantastic environment for disabled golfers. Now people come from far and wide to play his course.

So with these two features he now has something that really is unique; the country’s only fully organic and disabled-centred golf course.

He’s grabbed (through a lot of hard work and following his vision) a unique Position in the marketplace.

This is just one example that makes the point much clearer. You can and certainly should be setting out a plan for your own business Position. You want to craft something that puts you in a place that nobody else occupies.

Now I know what you might be thinking… “But there’s nothing really that special about our business”. Well, firstly that’s not true. Every business is unique. For starters, take a look at the people in your business, including yourself. What unique experiences and skills have you collected and developed over the years?

How is your offering different to others and what can you also do to increase and improve this? Start looking at your customers, trust me, they’ll tell you why they like your business and it could be for reasons that you’re not even aware of.

There are some simple exercises for tackling the issue of Position. You can read about these in Module 3 of Make Marketing Work – Win & Keep More Customers.

So my questions to you are:

  1. Do you believe that you currently have a clear Position in the marketplace?
  2. If so, is it by design or accident – have you worked to create this?
  3. Is it where you actually want to be – are you getting the right kind of customers?
  4. Could changing your Positioning be better for you and your bottom-line?
  5. And lastly, are you bold enough to shift your Position if see a good enough reason?

If this idea has lit a spark of curiosity in you and you realise that shifting your Position could be the best thing you do for your business in the next three months, then get started!

I’m here to help, offer guidance and simply listen to you; we all have ‘mad ideas’ sometimes but just sometimes they prove to be life changing!

Nial

PS. If this article has helped you to understand marketing a little better and you think others would value from it, please leave a comment and share it with the button below.

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