September 18, 2014

How A Predatory Bridge Helps Your Competitive Positioning

September 18, 2014

How A Predatory Bridge Helps Your Competitive Positioning

Predatory Marketing, Marketing Strategy

This is the fourth post of eight in the History's Greatest Strategists Reminder Series, Assembling Your Ultimate Business Advisory Board, by Ashton Bishop, Head of Strategy at Step Change Marketing.

In the last post we looked at the competitive environment. Today, we're looking at how you stack up head to head in the marketplace, and remind you of the predatory bridge.

How Do You Stack Up Head To Head

Check out the full presentation below.

What is the predatory bridge?

The predatory bridge links some of the predatory marketing that we've done together, back to the business. Unless marketing and the business are working together then you're really only swinging with one arm.

What you want is marketing and the business to be aligned. So here, if we have the information of how important something is for a customer, from high importance to low importance, we can do that through customer research or often the business owner has a pretty fair idea of what's important to customers.

Then we can start to look at head to head, how we stack up against our competitors with a competitive positioning. Are we at a disadvantage for something? Do we have market parity, or do we have a relative advantage? It's important to say who our competitors are and what are the specific features. Then we can map things into different quadrants.

The Predatory Bridge

Low customer importance

The first thing is if something's of low importance and a disadvantage or market parity we can actually ignore it. So many businesses I see are focusing on things without asking themselves, how important is this to customers?

And then they're just looking at whether they can bring themselves up to their competitors rather than how much value there is in that. Doing a value effort on these things really helps. So that's our ignore category. Low customer importance where we're at a disadvantage or market parity.

The danger zone

Opposed to that is what we call the danger zone. These are things that are actually high customer importance where we're at a disadvantage currently. We should fix these things before we spend any money on marketing. Tipping people into the business and into the sales funnel without these things fixed is just wasting money and potentially leaving customers with a bad experience which you'd never want to do.

Market parity

When we think about the other sections that we've had in the History's Greatest Strategists series, looking at who's got our money and how we adapt to the competitive environment , we should now know that if we're a leader and the things that we're looking to grow in the market, we can potentially talk about things that are market parity, that have high customer importance.

We do that in a way to bring people into our category from the next best alternatives. We don't talk about market parity things if we're in the stage of taking brand share.

The five ninths law tells us that five ninths of marketing and communications is misattributed to the brand leader, so what we want to do is make sure that our marketing dollars are working for us and not the market leader. If we're not the market leader, we don't talk about market parity factors.

The predatory zone

Then we move onto what we call the predatory zone. These are things that are of high customer importance and at relative advantages. These are our communications focuses right now. If we're doing ads, leave messages on our website and we're speaking in public; these are the things we want to hammer home. These are relative advantages and are the things that drive brand share for us.

The education zone

What's really interesting, what a lot of businesses miss is the education zone. These are things where you can find environments where you have engaged customers that you can help educate on things they currently might see as low importance.

But given the right time and the right explanation and ways where you can spend time with them explaining that value, they will end up in the predatory zone. If you can get your loyalest fans, the people raving about your business, skilled up and educated about a better conversation, they will do the job of moving that up the customer importance ladder so then you've got more things in your predatory zone.

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