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TMCVocabulary

How to Position a Technology Product

pg.4

By Judith Uttal

The last step in the process of agreeing on a competitive positioning strategy and driving a value proposition was to host cross-functional meetings with marketing, sales, and engineering managers. The most important meeting was our "3C's" workshop to review research results about customer priorities and competitive perceptions. Then we reviewed our product feature roadmap for alignment with priorities and perceptions.

After filtering value dimensions with data on Company competencies, customer needs, and perceived competitor weaknesses, we selected our two focus value dimensions: one differentiating the technology category, and one dimension representing our vector of differentiation. Finally, we created a list of our unique features, unique service capabilities, and unique supply chain partnerships so that we could populate the two focus dimensions with unique selling points.

 

Results
The results of our research and our working sessions were synthesized into a presentation for Company executives from operations, sales, product business units, and marketing.  The process was well received and we were able to gain agreement on two focus dimensions of value to customers.  Even the Sales executive saw the opportunity to achieve the perception of real difference from competitors, and to be better positioned to resist price reductions.  The product development budget was tweaked toward supporting our vector of differentiation, and away from features that pertained to less important dimensions of value.  Marketing was able to put new focused messages into action in communications and sales support programs. Our Company continues to take market share while holding the line on price.

Lessons Learned
The most positive lesson is that professional marketing tools and a disciplined, cross-functional process can lead the Company to focus.  We successfully inserted rigor into a “soft” marketing activity with big impact on the business, but few rules of engagement.