3 C's of Successful Positioning

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This discussion explains why you need a thorough understanding of the 3Cs - your channel, your customer and your competition - to effectively position your B2B technology product. It's called the "3Cs of successful positioning," and like positioning is the foundation for successful marketing, your 3Cs research is the foundation for a positioning strategy that sets you apart from the competition.

Lawson Abinanti explains why your knowledge of the 3Cs is a critical success factor in developing a positioning strategy that is unique, important and believable.

About the Speaker:
Lawson Abinanti is co-founder of Messages that Matter, a consulting firm that helps B2B software and technology companies create positioning and message strategies that build awareness and demand. Messages that Matter provides training, coaching and consulting that helps clients develop message strategies that differentiate company, products and services from those of the competition. We have taught hundreds of marketers and product marketers a business process for positioning we have evolved since the firm was founded in 2001. Lawson is a professional journalist with 25 years of executive management experience in the software industry. He has been responsible for marketing or product marketing at several B2B software companies including Navision, Applix, TM1 Software, Timeline and Prime Factors. He can be reached at lawson@messagesthatmatter.com.

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3 C's of Successful Positioning

  1. 1. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com www.aipmm.com
  2. 2. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com
  3. 3. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Follow: @AIPMM @hmdelcastillo Use: #AIPMM #ProdBOK Tweet!
  4. 4. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Participate and Win! Must be present to win! One lucky winner will get a free copy of the Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK®) Everyone gets a free download of Lawson’s eBook.
  5. 5. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Today’s Speaker Moderator: Hector Del Castillo, CPM, CPMM @hmdelcastillo Presenter: Lawson Abinanti Principal Messages That Matter lawson@messagesthatmatter.com www.messagesthatmatter.com
  6. 6. Lawson Abinanti
  7. 7. 7© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. B2B marketers must have an in-depth understanding of the 3 C’s What are the 3Cs?  Customers  Competition  Channel
  8. 8. 8© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • You can’t successfully position your B2B product unless you have a thorough knowledge of the 3Cs • Like positioning is the foundation for all your marketing communications, your 3Cs research is the foundation for your positioning strategy • Your 3Cs research provides the rationale for your positioning strategy; it’s the evidence that helps you converge on the right position for your product. Why are the 3Cs important?
  9. 9. 9© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • What is positioning? • What is a positioning strategy? • What is a message strategy? • What is a positioning statement? • What are support points? Terminology I’ll be using in the presentation
  10. 10. 10© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. a) How your product is situated relative to its competitors. b) How your product is situated in the minds of customers and target audiences. c) It’s what you do well. d) It’s what sets you apart from the competition. e) It is the same as an elevator pitch. What is positioning?
  11. 11. 11© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. What is a position? A position is… a ‘mental space’  You can occupy this space with the statement of a compelling idea that has meaning to audience
  12. 12. 12© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • A rationale document presents the evidence – your 3Cs research – that supports your message strategy. • A message strategy: – A positioning statement (12 words or less) – 3 to 4 support points A positioning strategy includes
  13. 13. 13© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • A compelling statement of one benefit that addresses the target audience’s No 1 problem • A conceptual statement…not necessarily copy • Supported by 3 additional benefit claims • Satisfies 4 evaluation criteria: – Important – Unique – Believable – Usable What makes a positioning statement? A positioning statement is:
  14. 14. 14© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Ideal reaction to a positioning statement: “that’s interesting, tell me more.” Support points  Support points unfold the story in more detail  Reinforce uniqueness & believability  Convey secondary advantages/benefits  Provide basis for feature detail and description  Can be readily demonstrated or proven
  15. 15. 15© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Your message strategy should be the central theme for everything you do in marketing Marketing Plan Employees & Investors Strategic Partners Distribution Partners Key Accounts Analysts Media Customers
  16. 16. 16© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. a) One person figures it out. b) It’s dictated by the management team. c) Marketing does it. d) Product marketing does it. e) We don’t do it. How do you do positioning?
  17. 17. 17© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Let’s make sure you can spot a positioning statement • We’ll look at how the following vendors and how they are positioned: – Xerox – Workday – Navision Web Shop Before we get into the 3Cs…
  18. 18. 18© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. 19© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Human Resources • Did you know Xerox is the 2nd largest benefits and pensions administrator globally? It’s just one of the surprising ways Xerox is helping companies simplify how work gets done… Customer care • Did you know Xerox has 175 customer care centers globally, staffed with over 46,000 agents? It’s just one of the surprising ways Xerox is helping companies simplify how work gets done… Finance & Accounting • Did you know Xerox has over 24,000 professionals operating in over 90 global service centers? It’s just one of the surprising ways Xerox is helping companies simplify how work gets done… …surprising ways Xerox is helping companies simplify how work gets done…
  20. 20. 20© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. 21© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. 22© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. The proposed positioning: “Navision Web Shop is an Internet commerce solution that allows you to set up and maintain an online storefront directly from Navision Financials.” Navision Web Shop example
  23. 23. 23© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • You can lower the cost of sales by doing fast paced business on the Internet. • You will increase customer satisfaction • You can capitalize on new business opportunities Web Shop actual positioning statement Navision Web Shop gives you a profitable new way to reach out to customers.
  24. 24. 24© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. a) We don’t do any research because we don’t have a process. b) We have a process but we don’t do any research. c) Our research is limited. d) We do some research but probably not enough. e) We do extensive research over an extended period of time. How much research do you do during your positioning process?
  25. 25. 25© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Commercial messages overwhelm prospects • Prospects are increasingly skilled at screening them out • If your prospect won’t listen, you can’t sell. Why positioning strategies? 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 2005 2014 Estimated Messages per day
  26. 26. 26© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Markets & audiences • Demographics & Psychographics – Demographics describe structural attributes of a market and its audiences – Psychographics describe behavioral and attitudinal characteristics of a market and its audiences Your Customer
  27. 27. 27© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Customer profiling
  28. 28. 28© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Know your customer at least as well as you know your own product • Interview customers to identify their most pressing problems, and then stack rank the results. • You can’t successfully position your product unless you know the answer to this basic questions: – “What is my target customer’s most pressing problem?” – Focus on THE problem, not problems What’s keeping your prospect awake at night?
  29. 29. 29© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Prospects are experts at filtering out unimportant messages. • You can get through the filter with a benefit statement that addresses the primary concern that keeps your prospect awake at 2 am • Your target audience will listen when you demonstrate an understanding of their problem, and… • Clearly communicate the benefit your product offers to solve the problem How to get your prospects to listen
  30. 30. 30© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Pain points for a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) mid- market solution: 1. Over reliance on Excel as the main platform for forecasting, reporting and analytics 2. Difficulty in gaining a single version of the truth for reporting and analytics 3. Making management decisions based on incorrect or out-of-date information 4. Reducing the manual process of creating and presenting reports to internal and external stakeholders 5. Eliminating the risk of misstatements in management and external reporting 6. Access to timely and accurate information to make informed decisions Example of stack ranking problems
  31. 31. 31© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Strengths and weaknesses • Distribution strategies • Most important: – HOW THEY ARE POSITIONED by evaluating: • Web sites • Marketing brochures • Press releases • E-mail campaigns • Webinars • Banner ads • Google Adwords • Any other form of marketing communications What you need to know about your competitors
  32. 32. 32© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Business Intelligence competitive landscape Avoid “me too” marketing – use perceptual mapping Fast, easy way to understand your data Better, faster, more informed, innovative decisions InsightEasily translate data into value Comprehensive, can't outgrow Tableau Qlik SAS SAP IBM Info Builders Alteryx Panorama Microsoft Tibco Oracle Pentaho Microstrategy
  33. 33. 33© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. We’ll create the perceptual map • Adaptive Insights • IBM • SAP • Host Analytics • SAS • Oracle • Longview • Infor • Tidemark • Tagetik • Prophix CPM competitive market scan
  34. 34. 34© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Summary of claims Position Adaptive Insights IBM SAP Host Analytics SAS Oracle Longview Infor Tidemark Tagetik Prophix No position X X X Transform your enterprise into a high-performing organization X Better performance, Improved performance X X Gives you insight to act with confidence X Helps you understand what's happening, why and take action X Gives you visibility to make smarter, faster decisions X More time to analyze, optimize and expand your business X Gives you more value X Note: Insert or delete the rows and/or columns between the orange borders. After you click "Create Star" a perceptual map will appear on a new worksheet.
  35. 35. 35© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. Perceptual map No position Transform your enterprise into a high- performing organization Better performance, Improved performance Gives you insight to act with confidence Helps you understand what's happening, why and take action Gives you visibility to make smarter, faster decisions More time to analyze, optimize and expand your business Gives you more value Adaptive Insights IBM SAP Host Analytics SAS Infor Oracle Tidemark Longview Tagetik Prophix
  36. 36. 36© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. a) We don’t pay attention to how competitors are positioned. b) Not sure. c) Pretty sure but we don’t evaluate competitors’ product positions. d) We are making a unique claim. e) We aren’t making a unique claim. Do you know whether the positioning of your product is unique?
  37. 37. 37© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Start your 3Cs research with the channel because it gives you fast access to a wealth of information you need to position for success: – Customer problems – Competitive intelligence – Ideal customer profile – The purchase process – Why you win and lose • What’s really happening on the battlefront guides decisions throughout the positioning process Your Channel
  38. 38. 38© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Information gathering • Consensus building • Execution Your channel should be involved in three stages of your positioning process
  39. 39. 39© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Nurture your channel on an on-going basis will provide timely information and feedback about the effectiveness of your positioning strategy. • Mid-course correction for FRx Software – 50%+ opportunities resulted in no decision • FRx budgeting application targeted at mid-market • Prospects were comparing it to enterprise solutions that were more expensive and complex • Changed the positioning statement to address the problem Channel feedback
  40. 40. 40© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Start your 3Cs research with your channel whether you sell direct or through partners • Learn what's really happening in the channel, and you gain insights into the details of purchase processes, demographics, psychographics, sales strategies, and customer concerns. • Know your customer as well as you know your product. • Your target audience's most pressing problem needs to be the focus of your positioning statement. Key takeaways
  41. 41. 41© 2014 Lawson Abinanti. All Rights Reserved. • Pay close attention to how your competitors are positioned; uncover their position by analyzing their web sites and marketing materials. • Perceptual mapping helps avoid "me too" positioning • Most importantly: – Your positioning statement needs to be unique - no other competitor is making the claim - and important - it addresses the target buyer's No. 1 problem. Key takeaways
  42. 42. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Q & A Moderator: Hector Del Castillo, CPM, CPMM @hmdelcastillo Presenter: Lawson Abinanti Principal Messages That Matter lawson@messagesthatmatter.com www.messagesthatmatter.com
  43. 43. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Upcoming Courses Course & Location Dates Days Time CPM® Certification Prep Course & Exam McLean, VA June 9-10, 2014 M, T 8:30 am – 5 pm CPMM® Certification Prep Course & Exam McLean, VA June 11-12, 2014 W, Th 8:30 am – 5 pm ACPM® Certification Prep Course & Exam McLean, VA June 13, 2014 F 8:30 am – 5 pm For more information, visit: Transform Your Career.
  44. 44. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com May 12-13 - Bellevue, WA June 16-17 - McLean, VA Upcoming Courses AIPMM is offering several scholarships to these courses to reach those who are serious about learning these skills but have budget constraints. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/CILCourse.
  45. 45. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Athens, Greece Belgrade, Serbia Athens, Greece Follow the links above for more information, or contact: certification@aipmm.com. Upcoming Courses
  46. 46. © AIPMM 2014 www.aipmm.com Please Join Us Again! Five Competitive Forces That Can Kill Your Product May 9, 12 pm ET AIPMM Webinar Series: http://aipmm.com/aipmm_webinars Global Product Management Talk http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalk Call For Speakers: http://www.boldpm.com/call_for_speakers Announcements: http://www.aipmm.com/subscribe LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aipmm Membership: http://www.aipmm.com/join.php Certification: http://aipmm.com/html/certification/

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