No matter which target marketing strategy is selected, the overall marketing strategy should involve the process of positioning the firm’s offerings in ways that will appeal to targeted customers. Positioning is concerned with the perception customers hold regarding a product or company. In particular, it relates to marketing decisions an organization undertakes to get customers to think about a product or company in a certain way compared to its competitors. The goal of positioning is to convince customers to believe the marketer’s offerings are different in some way from its competitors on an important benefit sought by the market. For instance, if a customer has discovered she has a need for an affordable tablet computer, a company, such as Google, may come to mind since its marketing efforts position its products as offering good value at a reasonable cost.
To position successfully the marketer must have thorough knowledge of the key benefits sought by the market. Obviously, the more effort the marketer expends on segmentation (i.e., reached Stage 3 segmentation) the more likely they will know the benefits sought by the market. Once known, the marketer must:
- Tailor marketing efforts to ensure their offerings satisfy the most sought after benefits, and
- Communicate to the market in a way that differentiates the marketer’s offerings from competitors.
For firms that seek to appeal to multiple target markets (i.e., segmentation marketing), positioning strategies may differ for each market. For example, a marketer may sell the same product to two different target markets, but in one market the emphasis is on styling while in another market the emphasis is on ease-of-use benefits. The important point is that the overall market strategy must be evaluated for each target market since what works well in one market may not work as well in another market.