Positioning – Marketing’s Fifth "P"

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Every marketer, business student and entrepreneur has been taught the 4 “P’s’ of classic marketing – Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place as the marketing model designed to be used by business to define their marketing strategy. The marketing mix has been around since the beginning of time and used as a tool to identify customer’s wants and needs and how to address the competitive landscape. But what about the 5th “P” in the marketing mix – Positioning?

Positioning is the bridge that connects the other 4 “P’s” together around a central theme and creates the brand equity that is so critical to the success and growth of any business and therefore the most important component to the marketing mix. Many companies approach their client base with a “one size – fits all” approach to their product or service but in today’s environment, this approach will not work. Each customer that you service in your business is unique and has different wants and different needs. Although your product may cover a wide range of attributes that may service the majority of those customers, a successful marketer knows how to use positioning as tool to customize a solution for all. Here are 5 things that you need to position to be successful:

1. Yourself – business is based upon relationships and people want to work with credible individuals, not big corporate entities. Use personal branding techniques to position yourself as an expert in your field with credibility and integrity, will yield increased sales. People will buy from people they trust.

2. Audience – your customers need to understand if they are in the right place and that there is a fit for your product and services. Skillful marketers can position the audience so they belong to target market and community and customized marketing messages specific to their needs and wants.

3. Brand – creating an image or perception in the minds of your customers is one of the most powerful positioning techniques. A brand position permeates through an entire organization and is supported each and every time a customer interacts with your organization.

4. Product – refers to what the customer thinks about your product – for example; lowest price, highest quality best service, easy access etc, when they are making a purchase decision. Your product position will directly connect to your value proposition and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.

5. Offer – refers to your approach to the sales process. Successful offers focus on the outcome your client will receive not the service or product offering. Your offer should be a combination of what outcome (benefits) your customer can expect and the way (feature) they will receive your product.

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