In essence, the book tried to show how the sources of competitive advantage are being irreversibly levelled by globalisation and technology. Reorienting your strategy around consumer interaction to create and capture unique value and unlike product-related advantage, the value gotten from consumer interaction is cumulative, continuously building over time. First, the sources and locus of competitive advantage now lie outside the firm, and advantage is accumulative—rather than eroding over time as competitors catch up, it grows with experience and knowledge. Third, the pace and evolution of markets are now driven by customers’ shifting purchase criteria rather than by improvements in products or technology. However, downstream, your competitive advantage lies outside the company; in the external linkages with customers, channel partners, and complementors. A classic thought experiment in the world of branding is to ask what would happen to Coca-Cola’s ability to raise financing and launch operations anew if all its physical assets around the world were to mysteriously go up in flames one night.
The second part of the experiment is to ask what might happen if, instead, 7 billion consumers around the world were to wake up one morning with partial amnesia, such that they could not remember the brand name Coca-Cola or any of its associations. Establishing and nurturing linkages in the marketplace creates stickiness—that is, customers’ (or complementors’) unwillingness or inability to switch to a competitor when it offers equivalent or better value. For example, you won’t find Facebook’s competitive advantage locked up somewhere in its sparkling offices in Menlo Park, or even roaming free on the premises.
And no, innovation does not always mean better products or technology but rather reducing customers’ costs and risks over the entire purchase, consumption, and disposal cycle.
I do not know if you are as excited about this book as I am but I have just ordered it to my Kindle. I would also love to swap thoughts with you guys as you comment and share your intellects and wits.
The vast majority of business owners looking for examples of marketing strategies are tactical.
The next marketing strategy I am going to share with you is a strategy that I learned from famed sales trainer Chet Holmes. STP analysis is a great marketing strategy as it forces you to think long-term about your product, company, and customers. So, we may highlight the extraordinary finish of the interior, the smooth handling, the Brembo brakes, or any other factor that confers luxury. With a core story, you highlight important trends or changes in data over time regarding the industry of your prospect. Then, you fill this report with fascinating market data that effectively pre-sells your product without selling anything at all. When you consider the functional areas of businessa€”accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operationsa€”marketing is the one you probably know the most about.
If everyone is responsible for marketing, can the average organization do without an official marketing department?
At the same time, you need to achieve organizational goals, such as profitability and growth.
The marketing concept puts the customer first: as your most important goal, satisfying the customer must be the goal of everyone in the organization. Declaring that you intend to develop products that satisfy customers and that everyone in your organization will focus on customers is easy. Wea€™ll use FigureA 9.3, a€?Marketing Strategya€? as a blueprint for our discussion of target-market selection, and wea€™ll analyze the concept of the marketing mix in more detail in the next major section of the chapter. The next step in identifying a target market is to divide the entire market into smaller portions, or market segmentsmarket segmentGroup of potential customers with common characteristics that influence their buying decisions.a€”groups of potential customers with common characteristics that influence their buying decisions.
Maybelline and Cover Girl use segmentation strategies to target their predominant consumers: women. Demographic segmentationdemographic segmentationProcess of dividing the market into groups based on such variables as age and income. Geographic segmentationgeographic segmentationProcess of dividing a market according to such variables as climate, region, and population density.a€”dividing a market according to such variables as climate, region, and population density (urban, suburban, small-town, or rural)a€”is also quite common. Dividing consumers by such variables as attitude toward the product, user status, or usage rate is called behavioral segmentationbehavioral segmentationProcess of dividing consumers by behavioral variables, such as attitude toward the product, user status, or usage rate.. Some companies segment consumers according to user status, distinguishing among nonusers, potential users, first-time users, and regular users of a product. Psychographic segmentationpsychographic segmentationProcess of classifying consumers on the basis of individual lifestyles as reflected in peoplea€™s interests, activities, attitudes, and values. Typically, marketers determine target markets by combining, or a€?clustering,a€? segmenting criteria. Marketing is a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for improving customer relationships. The philosophy of satisfying customersa€™ needs while meeting organizational profit goals is called the marketing concept and guides all of an organizationa€™s marketing activities. To apply this approach, marketers need a marketing strategya€”a plan for doing two things: selecting a target market and then implementing strategies for creating, pricing, promoting, and distributing products that satisfy customersa€™ needs.
A target market is a specific group of consumers who are particularly interested in a product, would have access to it, and are able to buy it. To identify this group, marketers first identify the overall market for the product (from the consumer market, the industrial market, or both).
Then, they divide the market into market segmentsa€”groups of customers with common characteristics that influence their buying decisions. If you were developing a marketing campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle, what group of consumers would you target? In the past, building bigger factories, storing inventory better or finding cheaper raw material had been the backbone of owning the competitive advantage. Today, competitors can readily decipher and replicate your products recipe. Thank You  the Internet! Downstream, it’s no longer about having the better product: Your focus is on the needs of customers and your position relative to their purchase criteria.
It is most often embedded in the processes for interacting with customers, in marketplace information, and in customer behavior.
The answer, most reasonable businesspeople conclude, is that the setback would cost the company time, effort, and money—but Coca-Cola would have little difficulty raising the funds to get back on its feet.
Long-standing habits would be broken, and customers would no longer reach for a Coke when thirsty. Millions or billions of individual choices to remain loyal to a brand or a company add up to real competitive advantage. The employees are smart and very productive, but they’re not the key to the company’s success. In each instance, the customer perceives the benefits differently, and is likely to compare the product to a different set of competing products. The three C’s framework is one of the more popular examples of marketing strategies, and is highly recommended.
Chet named this strategy the Best Buyer strategy, and I call it the Perfect Prospect strategy because the point of the strategy is to target your perfect prospect and turn them into a customer or client.

Now that you have segmented your market into different groups, either according to product line or according to customer type, the next step is to decide which segment you are going to target. To be clear, the implementation of the SWOT analysis is what gives you the business insight and intelligence needed to craft a strong marketing strategy. It is highly applicable, and very relevant to anyone seeking out examples of marketing strategies. For example, you might write a report or Executive Briefing as Chet Holmes has called it, called The 5 Most Dangerous Trends Facing The Aerospace Industry. If you sell treadmills, and you fill a report with market data about the health dangers facing the consumer if they don’t exercise, then they may want to buy some sort of exercise equipment before they even know that you offer treadmills for sale! We have looked at the 3 C’s model of marketing, which says that by a strategic focus on customer, company, and competition, you can get ahead in any market. After all, as a consumer and target of all sorts of advertising messages, youa€™ve been on the receiving end of marketing initiatives for most of your life.
Not necessarily: most organizations have marketing departments in which individuals are actively involved in some marketing-related activitya€”product design and development, pricing, promotion, sales, and distribution.
This basic philosophya€”satisfying customer needs while meeting organizational goalsa€”is called the marketing conceptmarketing conceptBasic philosophy of satisfying customer needs while meeting organizational goals., and when ita€™s effectively applied, it guides all of an organizationa€™s marketing activities. But this doesna€™t mean that you ignore the bottom line; if you want to survive and grow, you need to make some profit.
It would be nice if everybody in the marketplace was interested in your product, but if you tried to sell it to everybody, youa€™d spread your resources too thin.
First, they usually identify the overall market for their producta€”the individuals or organizations that need a product and are able to buy it.
A farmer, for example, might sell blueberries to individuals on the consumer market and, on the industrial market, to bakeries that will use them to make muffins and pies. Climate is crucial for many products: try selling snow shovels in Hawaii or above-ground pools in Alaska. As exhilarating as urban life can be, for example, ita€™s a hassle to parallel park on crowded city streets.
Companies selling technology-based products might segment the market according to different levels of receptiveness to technology. If you believe your R&D sets you apart, security around its research labs should be airtight and armies of lawyers protect your patents. In this scenario, most businesspeople agree that even though Coca-Cola’s physical assets remained intact, the company would find it difficult to scare up the funds to restart operations.
The purpose is not to make a virtual noise, but to share the way I think and the things I think about.
This means they are looking for concrete things to do and implement, instead of zooming out and focusing on longer-range goals.
What can your competition teach you about what works and what does not work for your market? The concept is that instead of selling to many smaller, less integral clients and customers, focus on the 50 – 100 companies that reflect your perfect prospect.
When you factor the segmenting, targeting, and positioning of your product, you give yourself a marketing strategy that is comprehensive and takes many factors into account. With the Core Story, you create a story for your target prospect that focuses on educating the prospect with significant amounts of not product data, but market data. The title of this report is going to capture the attention of anyone involved in the aerospace industry, and not just the 3-10% of prospects that are looking to buy immediately.
The Core Story is a high-powered marketing strategy that I use myself and that I highly recommend. With STP analysis, we learned how to segment our market, target the portion of the market we are interested in, and then position ourselves accordingly in order to maximize sales. What you probably dona€™t appreciate, however, is the extent to which marketing focuses on providing value to the customer.
Ita€™s easy to see how the person who decides what movies to show is involved in marketing: he or she selects the product to be sold. As specialists in identifying and satisfying customer needs, members of the marketing department managea€”plan, organize, direct, and controla€”the organizationa€™s overall marketing efforts.
What youa€™re looking for is the proper balance between the commitments to customer satisfaction and company survival. You need to identify a specific group of consumers who should be particularly interested in your product, who would have access to it, and who have the means to buy it.
Age, for example, will be of interest to marketers who develop products for children, retailers who cater to teenagers, colleges that recruit students, and assisted-living facilities that promote services among the elderly.
Thus, Toyota engineers have developed a product especially for city dwellers (at least in Japan). Credit-card companies use this approach when they offer promotional gifts to college students in order to induce them to get their first card.
Thank You Technology! Competition has shifted from Upstream (Production) to Downstream (the consumers). And if you prize your talent, you’ll build hip work spaces for employees, gourmet lunches, yoga studios, nap nooks, sabbaticals, and flexible work hours. It turns out that the loss of downstream competitive advantage—that is, consumers’ connection with the brand—would be a more severe blow than the loss of all upstream assets. Less than 2% of executives are strategic executives, and even fewer have the ability to combine the strategic with the tactical in creating an overall marketing approach. Obviously every communication should be offering value to your perfect prospect, and should be making the perfect prospect more familiar with you.
For example, in the car industry you have luxury cars (one segment), mid-size cars (another segment), small cars (another segment), and then trucks (another segment). If you were going to target a different segment, then you would implement a different message with your marketing. You use this brainstorm as an opportunity to develop areas of competitive advantage out of areas of past weakness.
This allows you to capture the attention of a larger percentage of your core desired audience. None of it is based on opinion and all of the information is data-driven, so there is nothing to argue with. With SWOT analysis, we learned how to elicit our strengths in order to solidify our competitive advantage. According to the American Marketing Association, marketingmarketingSet of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for improving customer relationships. Ita€™s even easier to see how the person who puts ads in the newspaper works in marketing: he or she is in charge of advertisinga€”making people aware of the product and getting them to buy it. Consider the case of Medtronic, a manufacturer of medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

This group is your target markettarget marketSpecific group of customers who should be interested in your product, have access to it, and have the means to buy it., and youa€™ll aim your marketing efforts at its members.
The wedding industry, which markets goods and services to singles who will probably get married in the near future, is interested in trends in marital status. The Japanese version of the Prius, Toyotaa€™s hybrid gas-electric car, can automatically parallel park itself. For each of these products, identify at least five segmentation characteristics that youa€™d use in developing a profile of your customers.
This article focuses on the strategic — emphasizing long-term goals and objectives, and providing specific examples of marketing strategies that you can then apply to your B2B business context. This certainly means segmenting the customer base into different specific customer groups, and then focusing a marketing strategy for selling to each customer group. Remember, you can only know what the benefits of your product are to your customer if you understand your customer, so you see how the C’s of customer and company are integrated.
How can I effectively differentiate myself from my competition whether with branding, product positioning, or a pricing strategy? Over time, you begin to stand out, and you can earn your way into the door through your repeated outreach. Obviously you are going to have different approaches for marketing to each specific segment.
With product data, you are immediately selling your product, and this causes 90% of your audience to immediately tune out. The Core Story converts a high number of leads into paying customers, and is one of my favorite examples of marketing strategies. We learned to elicit our weaknesses in order to develop areas of future strength in the organization. But what about the ticket seller and the person behind the counter who gets the popcorn and soda? The company boasts more than 50 percent of the market in cardiac devices and is considered the industry standard setter. Gender and ethnic background are important to TV networks in targeting different audiences.
Because the Hummer can go off-road and performs well on rugged terrain, geography could also be a factor.
Explain the segmentation category into which each characteristic fallsa€”demographic, geographic, behavioral, or psychographic.
But it also means knowing each customer in a detailed way, so as to effectively market to them. It is important that you focus on product benefits rather than on product features, as customers and clients respond to benefits and not features, in other words, what’s in it for them.
It is important to conduct a competitive analysis to determine what your competition is doing that is working and not working, so you can see where your company can benefit and take advantage. So while you may continue to market to your major customer base, you begin a perfect prospect initiative to reach out to those perfect prospects, and begin to convert them into customers. The Perfect Prospect strategy is highly effective when combined with the Core Story strategy, which will be outlined later in this article. Now that we have decided which segment to target, the next course of action is to determine how to position our product to fit our target market. Often, just thinking strategically about the opportunities that your company faces can open up numerous productive pathways for B2B marketing success. On the other hand, when you educate your prospect with market data, they begin to transfer authority and trust to you. We learned to identify opportunities for growth that we previously had not articulated, providing valuable new options for growing the revenue and profit of our company. Everyone in the organization understands that defects are intolerable in products that are designed to keep people alive. Incomea€”a socioeconomic factora€”is clearly important: Hummers are expensive to buy, maintain, and run. Where ita€™s appropriate, be sure to include at least one characteristic from each category. The way to do this is with a customer archetype, covered in my article on a customer driven marketing strategy.
A buyer of luxury cars is going to demonstrate different characteristics from a purchaser of a small car or a pickup truck. And we learned to anticipate the threats that could be on the horizon for our company, in order to avoid them and maintain or extend our current prosperity.
Thus, committing employees to the goal of zero defects is vital to both Medtronica€™s customer base and its bottom line. If youa€™re selling yachts, youa€™ll want to find people with lots of money; so income is an important variable. If you prefer to sit on your couch and watch TV, you might show up on the radar screen of a TiVo provider. As for psychographics, potential Hummer owners could be people who value prestige and the material rewards of success.
Once you have a clear understanding of your customer, you can develop strategic objectives designed to create a sale and provide customer value. Once you have identified these threats, you can deal with them head on, but most companies don’t deal with them because they never stop to think critically about what those threats actually are. While there are many examples of marketing strategies out there, I believe that the examples of marketing strategies shown here will make your company much more effective when implemented competently. Absolutely: the purpose of every job in the theater is satisfying customer needs, and as wea€™ve seen, identifying and satisfying customer needs is what marketing is all about.
If youa€™re the publisher of Nurses magazine, you want to reach people in the nursing profession.
If youa€™re compulsive or a risk taker, you might catch the attention of a gambling casino. I highly recommend that any B2B company in any stage of development conduct a SWOT analysis, and it is one of my favorite activities to work with a client as a B2B marketing coach. If youa€™re thrifty and uncomfortable with debt, Citibank might want to issue you a debit card.

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