When we work with clients on new product marketing or branding projects, we utilize the following discussion topics that help the team lock in their roadmap and help the whole team layout a promotion or campaign strategy going forward. Some of our customers will give weights to them based on priority and then tally up scores.
- Marketplace. Market needs, wants, gaps which would reveal opportunities to incubate, grow, or expand customer base with market penetration campaigns that reach the untapped market.
- Breakthrough. Achieve differentiation with a fresh, inaugural, out-of-industry idea. Is your solution something that most would never have thought of?
- Vision. To develop marketing strategy and ensure long-term success, you must outline your marketing vision. What is the goal? Is it quality of life? What is the value your product/service offers?
- Possibility. Can your team deliver on the vision, develop a ground -breaking tool, and capitalize on the market gap? What is needed to make this happen?
Create YOUR OWN Road
One of our customer’s competitive gap analysis showed a wide chasm between what they had and what was selling in large enterprise corporations. Unlike the customer’s competitors, they didn’t have a plug and play solution that generated pretty dashboard graphs and charts, however, the non-management IT staff they really liked their complex “tool bag” solution because IT engineers could customize the tools to fit their operations and reporting style. At the management level they’d receive feedback like “we’re asking you what time it is and you’re telling us how to build a watch.” However, the tools were generating goodwill with network engineers because it put analysis and reporting power in their hands.
This was during a first wave trend in the IT community when all-in-one, self-learning (plug-n-play) products were hot and threatening lower-level IT engineering positions. So, we aligned our value propositions more around the value we brought to the jobs that had to be done in IT and created sales enablement focused on solving technical use cases.
The new sales pitch included “you can utilize canned software and settle for the auto discovery basics but at the end of the day nobody knows YOUR network better than YOU do!; these tools can be customized to support you and your operations.” They more than won their share of sales opportunities by selling a new value proposition mid-level up and not top-down. If you have to grind it out that way then you have to do what you have to do. The IT and engineering staff couldn’t necessarily MAKE a deal, but they could BREAK one … with their influence through their pilot assessments and business cases, which ultimately enabled more sales for them.
Find the positives
Competitive analysis these days is really being flipped around in the form of the question “how can we leverage the competencies we have to the point where we would not really have competition? What would that take? What would that look like? This small business customer built a company around their unique positioning and eventually sold it to Micromuse, which was immediately purchased by IBM.