Differentiation improves marketing and sales effectiveness

Do you wonder why your latest marketing campaign didn’t generate enough good leads? Or why too many sales opportunities stall or result in no decision?

A big part of the problem is likely to be lack of differentiation, but it shouldn’t be. After all, marketing is done in public. All you have to do is evaluate competitors’ websites to determine how they are positioned.

Then create a positioning statement that sets you apart from the competition.

Easier said than done!

Lack of differentiation is a problem in every B2B software market I evaluate. For example, five midmarket accounting vendors have a “growth” position. It’s worse in the Business Intelligence market. Eleven vendors have an “insight” position. Here’s a link to my blog that explains why “insight” is so popular in the BI market. It includes perceptual maps that make it easy to see how the BI vendors are positioned.

If your message isn’t getting through to potential buyers and those you are trying to sell to, you need a new position that differentiates you from your competitors. Unique claims attract prospects and make buyers want to buy because they highlight the difference, gap, or disruption the brain is seeking to justify a quick decision.

According to “Neuromarketing,” the decision-making portion of the brain “responds favorably to clear, solid contrast. It is hard wired to pay attention to contrast which helps prospects make decisions more quickly and easily. Contrast is often needed to trigger our brain to make a decision.”

Differentiation made easy

How do you create a position that differentiates? A definition of positioning helps you get started in the right direction.

Positioning is the mental space in your target audience’s mind that you can occupy with an idea that has compelling meaning to the recipient. It’s in this mental space where your solution to the target’s most pressing problem meet and form a meaningful relationship.

To position effectively, you need a list of target audience problems ranked by importance; a graphical depiction of how your competitors are positioned and an understanding of how our brains make decisions.

Once you have a list of problems ranked by importance, brainstorm positioning statements that express a benefit that solves the No. 1 problem.  Then test your options for uniqueness to determine if your position will stand out from the crowd.

Your unique position is the foundation for marketing and sales success

If a competitor is making the same claim as you propose to make, keeping trying other options until you uncover one that is unique. Then use your unique position as the theme for everything you do in marketing and sales and watch effectiveness start to improve.

Just remember that without clear-cut choice, our brain enters into a state of confusion. The absence of contrast – especially when a prospect has difficulty understanding the differences between your product and others – will bring the prospect’s decision-making ability to a halt.

Want to learn how to help your prospects make a fast decision in your favor? Sign up for my on-line workshop or buy my book. Both provide an in-depth explanation of how to differentiate.


Scroll to Top