Research – How Do You Differentiate?
Jack Trout, the well-known marketing author, said it simply: “Differentiate or die.” In a market where you’re fighting against being known as just another distributor in the supply chain, differentiation is critically important for you. We may need to conduct branding research to identify the key message drivers that will persuade potential customers that Palmer Holland is the answer as their specialty chemicals partner.
Don’t tell me what you do; tell me what you do BETTER.
Once you’ve identified the sweet spot and made a commitment to stay there, you know have to make sure your message is correct and compelling. The job of marketing is in many respects to move your message from a “nice to have” to a “have to have.” Often, companies take a “me-too” message to market and don’t delineate exactly how they are better. Soft messages like this don’t resonate with their sweet spot and are easily ignored.
Market only to the Sweet Spot.
Marketing must be directed only and completely to the company’s “sweet spot,” those customers that find the company’s products and services irresistible. These are customers that always seem to buy, take the shortest amount of time to decide, with the fewest sales resources required, and are willing to pay higher prices for what you sell. They can be described with specific, detailed demographic attributes that can be used when targeting others. They make up what marketers call your “Ideal Customer Profile.” It is difficult for companies to remain true to their sweet spot. They often operate programs that are close, yet just outside, for a variety of reasons.
- “The advertising rates were very low for this new publication.”
- “The sales force said we HAD to be at this show.”
- “We’ve always been in this directory before.”
All these are reasons to suspect a company is not marketing to its sweet spot with discipline. Is your “sweet spot” defined numerically?