Entrepreneurial Marketing: Modern Marketing Strategy

Kauffman Founders School, EntrepreneurialMarketing, Anita Newton, Modern Marketing Strategy

You have a new product and you have a new venture.

Your goal is to make a product thata customer wants and will pay for.

The biggest risk as entrepreneurs is to make somethingthat nobody wants and nobody will pay for.

Steve Blank's series "The Lean Approach" providescrucial advice on customer discovery and the process of achieving good product market fit.

And from that work and from your own research you'll come up with great customer insightsabout your target.

And the goal here is to take that good informationcoupled with information about your competitors, your industry and your own product, and consolidateit into one useful document.

And we call that a positioning statement.

It will help youin every aspect of your marketing.

And the best way to know whether this works or notis to ask your friends and customers and employees what is it about your product that makes itspecial, what makes it unique, what sets it apart, and why people or customers would beinsane not to buy your product.

And what I have found when companies or ventures do thisis they find 10, 20, 30 different answers.

And the problem with that is if you're tryingto market everything to everybody, you end up saying nothing.

And so a positioning statementcan really help you get everyone on the same page to help you understand what makes youunique, what differentiates you relative to your competition and why customers shouldbuy your product or service.

There are a lot of positioning templates outthere.

I like to use Geoffrey Moore's.

Let's walk through it with a specific example.

Andin this case we're going to use Zipcar.

And as we go through this process I invite youto jot down your own answers.

It will help kickstart the process to develop a positioningdocument in your own organization.

The first thing you want to do is define yourtarget.

Identify all the customer segments who would be interested in your product andthen prioritize them.

Pick the one customer segment that you think has the greatest likelihoodto be interested in your product.

In the example of Zipcar, their target is young adults wholive in the city, are urban and educated.

And then once you've identified the key targetyou want to describe what the problem is.

Here be really specific about what is thetrue pain that the customer is feeling.

The hope is that your product can address thiscustomer pain point.

The problem that Zipcar identified is that customers need transportation.

But they don't want to own a car or in some cases they just can't afford it.

Many of thesecustomers are also concerned about environment.

And they want to reduce their carbon footprint.

Once you've identified the target and the problem then you want to state what your productdoes.

In the case of Zipcar it's a car sharing service.

After you've stated what the productis you want to outline what makes your product different and better, what is the secret sauce.

Identify the break‑through capability.

Are you faster, cheaper, better, more effective,more efficient? Describe that in a way that makes sense to the customer.

In the case ofZipcar, their break‑through capability is they let you save money and reduce your carbonfootprint.

And then you want to compare what that isrelative to the competition.

So who is your competition? In the case of Zipcar, the competitionwas car owners that had one driver per car.

Then you want to describe the emotional benefitthat your product is providing for the customer.

And here you want to be as emotional as possibleand provide the benefit.

In the case of Zipcar I've written, Zipcar makes you feel like you'resmart, responsible and actively demonstrating that you care about the environment.

So onceyou've identified these key elements, put them altogether to create your own positioningstatement.

So putting a positioning statement togethercan be really challenging even for the most advanced marketer.

Let me give you a few ideasthat will hopefully make it easier.

First, enlist the support of your team.

I promiseyou they will come up with ideas that you hadn't even thought about.

Second, do a verysimple but quick exercise that I've actually used for many entrepreneurs as well a bigbrands.

And it always helps get the juices flowing in terms of filling out the document.

So just make a quick chart.

And on the top row identify all the customer needs that yourproduct is actually solving.

So let's say we're bringing to market a snack geared towardchildren.

So the core needs for the mom who's actually buying that product would be thingslike we want to make sure it's healthy, it's not messy, it's convenient.

And oh, by theway it should taste good.

So once you've identified those customer needslook at your product and simply put an X across any need that your product is addressing.

And then describe how specifically your product is helping solve that customer problem.

Andthen once you've done that, do that for every one of your major competitors, and you willfind through this process you have a lot of information to use that will help go intoyour positioning statement.

Ultimately the true litmus test of a greatpositioning document is that it is clear, easy to understand, and it describes yourmojo, your special sauce, what makes you unique and relevant to your customer.

And how you'rebetter and different than your competition.

And if you do that, if you take the time toput this document together, I promise you you will use it in every aspect of your marketingstrategy.

And ultimately that is how you're going to win in the marketplace.

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