Chatting About Business Positioning with Michel Fortin
by Wanda Loskot, Success Connection
Michel Fortin of The Success Doctor, Inc. is well known as the editor of "Internet Marketing Chronicles" newsletter. He is also a speaker, copywriter, college professor and author of several books on the topic of small business.
Wanda Loskot: What is the difference between prospecting and positioning?
Prospecting forces you to go out there and prospect for, qualify, and persuade clients. Positioning on the other hand makes you specialize, target and multiply and this way attract qualified, genuinely interested clients.
Wanda Loskot: Michel, of the three most important strategies you mentioned (specialize, target, multiply) which is most misunderstood?
Michel Fortin: Specialize -- people suffer from a great disease -- particularly small business people. It’s called "trying to be all things to all people."
The market is becoming more and more fragmented. Statistics are proving it. Even our college textbooks from which I teach college classes in marketing management, are being revised because of this new revolution. This is most significant on the web -- the web population is far harder to grasp now. The internet is vast and lacks location. Therefore, specializing and then targeting your "perfect customer" will enhance your chances".
Wanda Loskot: It is scary for people to focus on just one segment because they are afraid that they will miss other segments. What would you tell them?
Michel Fortin: The more specialized you become, the more business you will attract because people today want experts. They want people who are more focused on their specific needs.
And you know what? Those you FEEL you are alienating will appreciate it more and refer you MORE business in the process. They may even become clients anyway because they respect your expertise in a similar or complementary field.
Wanda Loskot: What if you are so unique, there is no appropriate category you fit in?
Michel Fortin: You can simply create your own category by first branding it with a unique angle or twist. You can capture the leadership in your own category -- as Earl Nightingale once said, "Don’t Copy, Create!" Create your own category.
Michel, any "do" and "don’t" regarding specialization?
Michel Fortin: Well, the best thing to do is this... Find a field YOU LOVE. Second, find out from either your current customers, future customers or customers of other similar companies (competitors, if possible) who is the segment that buys the most or the most often or the most profitably (whether that’s revenue or referral-generating)
The one thing NOT to do is to stray and then line extend. Line extension is a killer. Stay focused. When you start getting busy, you may divide your company/service/product but remain focused on the core specialization.
Wanda Loskot: Could you clarify what you mean by "line extension"?
Michel Fortin: Line extension is like "Oh, I think I’m going to start serving this type of customer or carry this type of product and add it to my portfolio" --- Stay focused. As long as you remain true to your core customer or competency, you’re better off.
Wanda Loskot: So, your third ingredient of successful marketing -- multiply -- will make sense only when the multiplication will take place is among that specific target... What are the most effective ways to multiply the customers base on the net?
Michel Fortin: Right, that’s the third strategy -- multiply. You can create content, anything electronic, and get it to spread. It’s good old viral marketing.
You want to give away stuff that can multiply by itself. I don’t give away the store but I create little things that
I know for sure can easily spread ... Sometimes, it’s good to joint venture (strategic marketing alliances) with others and therefore, you give more... "without giving more"...
Wanda Loskot: Thank you,Michel,for allowing ME to give more by sharing your wisdom with the world ;-)
© by Wanda Loskot. All rights reserved.
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