Last week I ran a bite sized learning event for the Brighton and Hove Chamber on the theme of “gaining competitive advantage through having a unique market position”. So why is this so important? And why do many businesses get this wrong? Well if you are clear who you are and what you sell, you make good business decisions. You can make a clear choice of whether you are a generalist or niche (or somewhere in between). And if you do this, then you can clearly define your target customer and therefore understand their specific needs and challenges. This enables you to then create appropriate messages and develop powerful content that will resonate with your target market and quickly build credibility.
During the past 8 years of business coaching, I frequently see businesses focusing on the range of services they offer rather than demonstrating they truly understand the unique challenges their client’s face and then showing how they can help them. You might feel there isn’t much difference between these 2 scenarios but there is. One is a ‘throw a lot out there and hope some of it sticks” type of approach to marketing and the other is “give clear appealing messages to a unique and specific audience”. In this day and age, the second version works a great deal better than the first.
But in order to follow the second approach you really need to understand who your customer is (your ‘customer personas’ – read my blog post on this topic) and the customer journey your client will take with you (you can read more on this topic here). That way you can do better than mobile phone providers, insurance companies and utilities – who are great at winning business but poor at keeping it.
If you map your client’s journey then you can identify key interactions you will have with them at all stages of the relationship – thus maximising the length of time they remain a customer with your organisation. So the key points of gaining a unique market position are:
- Be clear about what markets you are in
- Decide if you are a generalist or niche player
- Map your customer personas
- Build marketing content that appeals directly to your customer’s needs
- Map the journey you will have with your client to maximise the value and length of relationship