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Go-to-Market Strategies: Positioning Your Products for Best Results: Five Key Steps

Go-to-market planning is about creating the strategies and plans to provide a selected set of customers the products and services they want and need. Positioning is a valuable step in understanding the strategic decisions that will need to be made to be successful. A successful company considers the customers they are serving, what is the value they can bring to the customers, and how they can differentiate themselves from other companies, and then creates the products, services and delivery channels which provide more value than any other company.

By successfully thinking about positioning, companies can distinguish themselves in ways meaningful to their target customers. There are five steps to positioning starting with understanding customer needs and leading to building your brand equity.

Define Target Customers and Market Segment to Dominate

The first step in positioning is studying potential target customers. Companies must understand the needs of targeted customers and determine which segments make the most business sense to target based on the opportunity uncovered. After carefully understanding the target market and segments, including their spending patterns, needs, demographics, personas and other information about them, specific industries, functions and even specific titles of customers can be selected to target.

 

Develop a Compelling Value Proposition

Once the needs of the target are understood, companies can determine what value can be created for the target. It is important to develop a value proposition that is compelling to the target, whether it is a product, service, the way the product is delivered, or even the way the customer is treated.

 

Differentiate from Competitors

Once deciding on the target, understanding their needs, and determining how to create value for them, a thorough competitive analysis needs to be undertaken. To be successful in the business opportunity, companies must make sure they are differentiated in the customer's mind. To win in a competitive business market, companies must make sure the position they take is clearly different from the other competitors in the market.

 

Develop Positioning Statement and Messages

Once you are clear as to what your customers want, what you can deliver of value to them, and how to differentiate from your competitors, write it down. Your positioning statement should become the foundation for you and your employees to use when making business strategy decisions, so that all decisions support and strengthen your positioning in the market. By writing a clear positioning statement, you can then develop the messages you need to convey to each of your audiences to create awareness and demand. Of course, your messages must be based on the real, valuable and differentiable product, pricing, and distribution strategies you have developed.

 

Build Your Position

By creating a positioning statement, you've gained understanding of what the market needs and how you can fill a gap with a valuable solution. Now is the time to communicate about your company and products, using the positioning statement as a guide. Create your marketing plan, including branding, product marketing, demand generation and customer acquisition. Communicate your strengths and benefits and supply the evidence, not only in what you say, but what your company produces and how it acts, testimonials, case studies, ROI analyses and other tools your target segments need to understand and make decisions. Build marketing to all your audiences, including customers, prospects, industry analysts, the press, the community.

Positioning Statement Template

To (Target):

Who (Have this problem):

Our Product/Service is (category):

That (the value proposition):

Unlike (competition/competitors, or way of doing it now):

Our Product (the key differentiation):

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