At its core, positioning tells the world what you do, who you serve, the value and benefits your product delivers, and how it’s unique, different or better.
Without strong positioning, your marketing and sales won’t resonate with prospects, and you’ll struggle to stand out within a competitive landscape.
So, how do you know if your positioning isn’t working?
Here are some warning signs:
- You don’t know your target market.
- Not enough people care about your product or service
- You don’t know the problem your product solves
- You’re relying on generic language
- Your brand messaging is not unique enough
- Your sales team struggles to get meetings
- You’re not getting customers from referrals
- Your competitors have a stronger presence
Rather than attempting to guess if you have positioned your product correctly, there are a few ways to determine if your positioning is effective.
Test your messaging
If you're still unsure about your positioning and messaging, experiment with different versions in A/B tests or surveys and track the results. The feedback you receive will help you refine your message until it resonates with potential customers.
A/B testing is a great way to compare two versions of your message and see which performs better.
By taking the time to understand and adjust your positioning, you can maximize the impact of your marketing efforts and ensure that your message stands out in the market.
Monitor web traffic
If you do not see an increase in both the quantity and quality of web traffic, likely, your messaging isn't resonating with potential customers.
Consider changing your messaging to reflect better your customers' goals, needs, and problems. This could involve more targeted keywords, engaging copy, or interesting visuals. You could also consider using better SEO tactics, such as focusing on the user experience, using social media to increase visibility, and blogging regularly to create more content.
Pay attention to website analytics to determine whether or not your strategy is working. They deliver rock-solid insight into a website's performance, from visitor numbers to conversion rates.
They help to track user engagement, including the sources of traffic, the most popular pages, and the time spent on the website. Analytics also help you understand the Website’s effectiveness and potential improvements.
Audit competitors' positioning and messaging
If your resources are limited, you may be tempted to only focus on your positioning.
But it’s important to keep an eye on your competitors as well. Monitor their product updates, blog posts, press releases, and other activities to ensure you’re staying ahead of the curve.
This will provide the insight needed to adjust your positioning to stay competitive. Another approach is to track how competitors use social media, SEO, and other marketing channels can offer helpful insights into how you can improve your strategies.
Take advantage of focus groups.
Focus groups deliver invaluable insight into how prospects see your business and how they could be best served. Ask questions to get valuable feedback, and use it to refine your positioning and ensure it is resonating with customers. They can also help you understand potential customer issues and concerns and provide feedback on various topics, from product design to customer service, advertising, and overall experience.
Customers often express their feelings about a product online, so monitoring social media and online reviews can help you understand how your positioning is playing out in the public. If the sentiment is generally negative, you might need to make changes.
Leverage online surveys
Online surveys are an easy and cost-effective way to determine how customers perceive your business.
Create surveys that pinpoint user pain points and demonstrate how your product or service solves their problems. This feedback can help you form a more effective positioning strategy.
Surveys also help understand customer behaviours and preferences, enabling businesses to create more personalized experiences.
Through surveys, you can get direct feedback from your target audience on what resonates and what doesn't so you can refine your positioning and messaging.
Tracking the results of these tests and surveys will give you valuable insight into which message resonates most with customers and what tweaks you can make to improve it.
By tracking trends in the industry, you can detect if customers are responding negatively or positively to changes from the competition. This can give you insight into how your positioning strategy needs to evolve in order to remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve.
Using trend analysis, you can determine what works and doesn't and adjust your services and offerings accordingly.
The data you collect can also be used to understand the needs and wants of your customers, enabling you to provide better, more targeted products and services.
Maintaining a close eye on industry trends helps you stay on top of technology, laws, and regulations, ensuring you remain compliant and competitive.
Invest in market research.
Doing market research is a great way to gauge how your positioning is performing in the real world. You can survey or interview customers to learn what resonates with them and use this information to refine your messaging.
One of the realities is that customers will deliver amazing insight about what they think about your brand and product, how it can be improved, and who they see as competitive options….if you ask them. …
Don’t be afraid to ask customers what they think. You’ll be surprised by how many customers will agree to a 20 or 30-minute off-the-record conversation. It’s a great way to get information and build stronger relationships.
Analyze keyword performance
If your keywords are not performing, this is a sign that your messaging is not resonating with customers. This can be a key indicator that your positioning isn’t working, and you may need to adjust your strategy.
Positioning affects every aspect of your business: marketing, sales, product development, hiring and raising capital. Yes, it’s that important.
Customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty are all affected, as well as how you work with channel partners. A strong positioning strategy ensures your branding resonates with customers and sets you apart.
It is important to remember that positioning is dynamic, fluid and an ongoing process. You can’t create a positioning strategy once and expect it to remain effective forever. It is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition.