Table of Contents
- What is the aim?
- This is how you position products that your customers want to buy!
- The 10 steps to product positioning
- Step 1: Learn to understand your customers who love your products!
- Step 2: Formation of a positioning team
- Step 3: Definition of positioning
- Step 4: List competitive alternatives
- Step 5: Isolate Attributes and Functions
- Step 6: Assign attributes to topics
- Step 7: Determination of the customer profile and target group
- Step 8: Finding a Market Reference Framework
- Step 9: Cautious trend overlay
- Step 10: Revelation of positioning in the company
- FAZIT: The art of product positioning
Sales engineering or sales engineering is an interface between the digital world and the real world. This is necessary, because things that are ordered online have to somehow arrive at the customer in physical form. Since beaming is not yet possible, real people are being used in this case. In this article you will find interesting methods to put sales engineering into action and find the right ways for efficient product positioning in marketing. The focus is on the book Obviously Awesome by April Dunford.
What is the aim?
To make the entire process of product positioning, which is essential for sales engineering and marketing, comprehensible, the process is divided into steps. Step by step you will learn how product positioning can be successfully implemented. Here you will find out the most important details, which are explained in detail in the book.
This is how you position products that your customers want to buy!
The right product positioning is a prerequisite for successful sales marketing, sales engineering and this in turn ensures good sales success. There are two things you should not ignore when positioning your product:
- Changing your product
- The change in the market
You can see poor product positioning in the following circumstances:
- You have good regular customers, but new customers don’t understand your product offering. This is usually considered a mistake in online marketing.
- The sales cycles are relatively long, but the conversions lag behind.
- After the purchase, customers immediately migrate from your website.
- The market requires features that you can’t provide.
- In the opinion of many customers, the price of your products is too high.
With online marketing alone, these circumstances can hardly be managed.
So you can position your products correctly!
In order to ensure proper product positioning, you also have to put yourself mentally in the role of your customers in marketing and online marketing.
- Put together alternatives for the solution of customer requests. Then you realize how your customers think.
- The features you offer must also be extensible. Missing technical attributes or a lack of business model must therefore be developed.
- The added value of a product compared to similar products must be clearly underlined. For example, you can do this by using customer reviews.
- In order to place a product correctly, you need to know your target group exactly!
- You also need to be able to define the market segment in which you operate. For example, if you offer sales software, customers expect at least the same benefit as your competitors’ products.
The 10 steps to product positioning
The perfect product positioning is described in 10 steps in April Dunford’s book. Here are these steps in a nutshell:
Step 1: Learn to understand your customers who love your products!
Here you will get a list of your best customers. They bought your product immediately, know it, and may have already recommended your business. These customers are your reference customers.
Step 2: Formation of a positioning team
Here you summarize different people into so-called positioning teams.
- Messaging, targeting and campaign development in online marketing.
- Segmentation of target customers and account strategy in sales and sales.
- Onboarding and expansion strategies by the customer success team
- The creation of roadmaps and the selection of priority functions in product development.
Step 3: Definition of positioning
First, you need to find a consistent target definition for product positioning in the team. Here it is clarified what positioning means, which components are necessary for this and how the market maturity and the competitive environment affect the type of positioning.
Step 4: List competitive alternatives
The quality of a product is only as good as it is perceived by the customers. You cannot objectively assess the product quality yourself. Your customers can do this because they compare the products with those of competitors. For example, you can ask your customers what alternative they would choose if your product didn’t exist.
Step 5: Isolate Attributes and Functions
In this step, you’ll list the features and benefits that your product has over those of your competitors. However, only real facts that can be proven and which may also emerge from some customer reviews count here.
Step 6: Assign attributes to topics
In this step, you sort all the benefits of your offer according to different advantages. This can be certain technical components such as the number of megapixels or storage capacities. But the resulting result for the customer is also important. A camera with 15 megapixels and a solid memory card allows you to take particularly sharp photos. You then collect the individual values in a value cluster. This consists of at least two positive values.
Step 7: Determination of the customer profile and target group
Due to the topics and value clusters, you can ultimately create a corresponding customer profile. Ask yourself, who might be interested in the product and why? If you know your customers’ profile exactly, you also know your target group and can adapt to it immediately if you change. In addition, the strategy in online marketing and sales can be adapted.
Step 8: Finding a Market Reference Framework
Here, the choice is made of a frame of reference that illustrates the value for those customer segments in which it plays a particularly important role. The market is defined differently. It can be an existing market that you want to enter or a part of an existing market that you want to penetrate. In some cases, it’s a completely new market that you’re opening up with your products. In the first case, you need to proceed strategically and offer the main provider Paroli in an existing market. In the sub-segment, you’ll be looking after a subset of customers who can best meet their customer needs only with your solutions. When entering a new market, the customer must first be made aware of this. After that, you have to establish yourself as a market leader there.
Step 9: Cautious trend overlay
In this step, you use a trendto explain to the customer why your product can be important to him right now. However, this trend must also have a real connection to your products, otherwise it creates more confusion than benefit and is detrimental to sales.
Step 10: Revelation of positioning in the company
Finally, of course, you have to present your positioning strategy to the entire company. The positioning has a big impact on the entire marketing and sales.
FAZIT: The art of product positioning
In her book, the author April Dunford, who herself worked for many years in product positioning for enterprise tech companies, describes these individual steps and explains this also with practical examples. A product can be positioned in several different markets. Only a specially coordinated positioning makes this successful. You can find distinguishing features if you know your customers’ alternatives to buy. Your customers ultimately need to realize why they want to buy your product and what’s special about it.