The Positioning Matrix: A Great Marketing Tool
A friend of ours, James McIntyre, is a B2B technical marketer and one of the stars at McClenahan Bruer Communications in Portland. A while back I asked his advice on what I should do in terms of marketing my product. The first thing he said was to put a positioning matrix together. I looked confused; he elaborated.
What is a Positioning Matrix?
A positioning matrix is a document that helps organize your thoughts on how to describe your product (or service) to a particular type of person in a particular market. Whenever you communicate to your market (via a website, e-mail, presentation, sales call, etc.), your positioning matrix can help ensure that your message is consistent and focused.
Parts of a Positioning Matrix
I don’t think there’s a standard form for this, but what we’re using has the following structure:
- A column for each type of customer/user in your market
- A Vision Statement row cutting across all users that summarizes the overall product message
- For each type of customer/user, a positioning statement describing your product
- Value Statements that answer “What’s in it for me?” for each type of person
- Differentiators that answer “How is this different from other products?” for each type of person
- Sound bites that should strike a chord for each type of person in your market
- A 50 word statement describing the product/service
- A 100 word statement describing the product/service
Using a Positioning Matrix
To give you a better idea of what a positioning matrix is and how to use it, I’ve posted my company’s matrix here: Lakeway’s Positioning Matrix.
One place where this has already proven valuable was in the redesign of my company’s website. It helped focus our message, especially as we developed the Flash movie on our homepage. If you’re curious, take a look at the movie, compare to our positioning matrix and feel free to let me know what you think.
Composing a Positioning Matrix
It takes a lot of thought, reflection and feedback to draft a meaningful positioning matrix. The company where James McIntyre works offers this as one of their services. If you’re starting out and have funding, I recommend you check them out.
If you’re bootstrapping (as I am), this may not be an option, so roll up your sleeves, block out some time, brew some tea, and start thinking about why your company exists, what it does for your customers, and how it’s different from everything else out there…and make sure you revise it after you start talking to your market!