The Most Important Marketing Decision You Will Make

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The most important marketing decision you’ll ever make is not what to sell or what to call your company. And it isn’t where to spend your marketing budget. The most important decision you can make for your business marketing this year is about the real estate you want to occupy in your customers mind.

Or put another way, your most important marketing decision is: 

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As business owners, we are told to ignore the competition or to rise above it. We are told not to follow competitors on social media as it may make us feel bad.And groups like the Rising Tide Society encourage us to all embrace the motto community over competition.But your competition does matter. And even if you do manage to refrain from comparing yourself to the competition, you can bet your customers won’t be so polite. You absolutely should be aware of what your competition is doing and saying. But instead of negatively comparing your progress to theirs, taking a positive approach can have a huge, positive impact on your business.

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Positioning: The Marketers Way

Marketers call the list of brands a customer can hold in their memory for a certain product, their consideration set. Here’s an example. A customer is taking a short, interstate holiday. They’ll need private transport for parts of it. Their consideration set is: Taxi, Uber, Flexi Car, Hertz, Avis, Budget.

To make a decision between these options, the customer stores information about each brand. Taxis are convenient but expensive for long trips and unreliable during busy times. Hertz is reliable during busy times but inconvenient to park in the city. Budget is cheaper than Hertz and Avis. If you were to map the information a customer was storing about each brand in their consideration set, it might look something like this.

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Your job as a business owner is to find an empty space on the map and make it yours. This is called positioning. When you own a particular space in a consideration set, you make it hard for your competition to compete with you because they’ll essentially have to fight you for your space. You also put yourself on a path to that Holy Grail of marketing: no longer competing on price.

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So if you want to set yourself free from frequently discounting your stock and wondering what your competition might do to upset your course, the most important thing you can do for your marketing strategy is to position your brand well. Instead of trying to ignore your competitors, the better advice is to watch what they are doing and saying constructively. Create a map like the one above (template below). Choose an empty space and go after it relentlessly. Make it your own.

Want to make it happen? You can download your Positioning Cheat Sheet here.

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