At a high level, a market is a cohort of people that have problems your product can solve. Breaking that down, we split traditional markets into four segments to further understand their buyer’s journey to your specific product, which drives different expectations:
- Evaluating Customers. Prospects that are searching for a solution to their problem, and may be evaluating yours or an alternative solution, but have not purchased yet. This is where most sales efforts start, and requires a keen focus on the buyer journey—how and why they purchase.
- Competitors’ Customers. Customers that have already purchased a solution to their core problem that your product solves. To target them, consider what problems are not being solved by the competitor.
- Your Customers. Customers you already have should not be forgotten. An agile product team can focus on what other problems these customers have that can be solved and sold.
- Potential Customers. The largest segment is the hardest to capture. They aren’t even shopping yet, and likely don’t know they have the problem or that it is solvable. Only companies with large (comparatively) brand familiarity can focus here, as this segment requires plenty of education, which leads to long purchase cycles.
With each target market segmented, we then create unique product positioning for each segment, as value propositions are seen differently through each step of the buyer’s journey.
A positioning document is a one-page brief on how a product connects to a particular market segment. This high-level document is ideally disseminated internally throughout the product teams to guide sales, marketing, and future product development.
A robust positioning includes:
- Problem-oriented features (Max of 5, prioritized)
- Product description (50 words or less)
- Positioning statement (25 words or less)
- Overarching problem
- Ideal solution
The hardest part of good positioning is getting out of your internal language and using the language of the customer.