With so much talk about social media, many people have forgotten the key question that needs to be addressed in your marketing plan…what is your positioning statement?
Long before the creation of facebook and twitter, marketers have been challenged to identify their target customer and determine the message they want to deliver to that customer. They would develop the message based on their positioning statement. A positioning statement should articulate one thing; how do you want to be perceived in the mind of your prospect? This may be different than your current position and all of your messaging needs to be driven around creating or changing this perception. A great example is Volvo which has carved out its position as the safest car on the market. All of their messaging centers around reinforcing its position. This is where Facebook and Twitter are important, they are the vehicle for delivering the messaging. But even more important, all of their design and operational procedures focus on delivering on the position too.
When I work with companies to develop their positioning statements, I work with them to answer a couple key questions.
- What position do they own?
- What positions are available?
- What position do they want to own?
- Do they have enough money to secure their position?
- Does their positioning statement match their culture?
The next time someone in your company wants to talk about using Twitter or Facebook, make sure you have addressed the most important question first. How do we want to be perceived in the mind of our prospect?
The best resource I have come across on this topic is the book Positioning, by Trout and Ries . Pick up the Anniversary Edition. Check it out on my website. http://www.shaunmahoney.com/recommended-books