Position your Business using a Market Matrix. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 63, Jacob talks about Marketing and Brand Promise. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Happy Friday. If you’re a Blackboard Friday subscriber, then chances are you’re watching this video in your office on a Friday morning. It’s early in the day, not even lunchtime, so I’ve got a question for you, how many pieces of advertising do you think you’ve already seen today?
And even if you’re watching this on our website at a later date, ask yourself the same question. Have a look around your office right now, how many pieces of advertising do you see?
Then start to think about, even just a straight journey into work. Every billboard, every bus stop, every taxi, indeed, every car logo that you go past is a company advertising trying to eke the last strain out of the 1970s marketing paradigm of getting in front of your head so often that they’re there when you’re ready to make a buying decision.
There’s some seminal work around marketing, advertising, and positioning done by Jack Trout and Al Ries in the 1980s. If you want to go into some of that depth of detail, there’s a book called positioning the battle for your mind which I do recommend even though it’s now almost 35 years old because things have gotten worse.
In fact, the average person now sees on average 5,000 pieces of advertising every day. Even the newsletter, you’ve got this incredibly valuable video in is a form of advertising. The logos you see around it on the website are there to help encourage you to build a relationship with my business.
We can’t escape it but instead, we’ve formed forms of ad blindness. We can now do a Google search and completely ignore the paid advertising at the top. We can scroll through the web even if we don’t have an ad blocker installed and ignore all of those advertising messages which just means if you’re trying to reach your clients through advertising, it’s getting harder, it’s getting more expensive. The alternative is finding ways to create extra cuts through to help yourself truly stand out in a more efficient way.
One exercise the way with our clients around that is what we call the market matrix. It helps you to understand where you and all your competitors are competing forces within your market are situated to see whether or not you’re crowded or you’ve got some clean air, some fresh space, and the opportunity to actually stand out because people aren’t great at remembering things.
In fact, most people can only remember seven plus or minus two things for any given category so if they’re trying to think of the best real estate agent, the highest mountain, they might think of the first couple, but actually getting down if you’re 5th, 6th, 10th on that list is not going to happen so you need to stand out.
I’m going to use as a case study for explaining how to use the market matrix a business of mine and my colleagues called Real Reach. This is a new business which has been designed as an online training and coaching platform for real estate principles, business owners. You can use this for your existing business.
It doesn’t need to be a start-up thing but that’s how we used it in this case. So we wanted to understand if we’re going to launch real reach out into the marketplace, what were our competitors? Now we knew they weren’t necessarily going to be nearly as good as what we could build, but our potential clients aren’t going to know that from day one.
How do we stand out? We created this matrix. On this axis, we split the market into high dollars, high cost products, and the low dollar, low cost products and then we tried to understand what’s a structure that applies to online content that can help us to spread out the market and understand where everybody sits, and we decided we were going to split the market into those websites that are very volume oriented, the sort of things that publish ten articles a day and d compare those to ones that are a lot more structured.
That are a lot more course oriented for example where you can go through and find evergreen content that’s going to be relevant for you and then we got researching. We went, “Right, what are all of the alternatives?”
What we discovered was this. There’s an awful lot of businesses that sit down here in this quadrant. In fact, you can break this down from 4 into 16 boxes if you want even more striation but we found there were a lot of volume content oriented websites out there that were very cheap.
Comparatively, there were a few websites that had more structure. Maybe some of them err on the structure, some was still quite volume oriented, and they charged a little bit more for that. We did actually find one that was quite structured and quite cheap, we’re not sure what’s wrong with them.
Similarly, we found one that was just a load of content and was quite expensive. Now they had a big brand behind them, I don’t know the business numbers to know whether or not they were selling very many at that price or whether that was a headline price that they were then discounting. So I say if you can’t take too much stock for competition but it’s useful to understand.
There was a gap in the market up here for really thoroughly structured content, and the price point that we had in our heads where we did truly believe it was going to be a value to those real estate business owners, sat up here. Part of the challenge was how do we stand out in this marketplace? We want to be a premium product and we want to stand out through having that structure.
Here’s one of the challenges when you do this market matrix. If you find the edges have gaps, that is by definition a gap in the market; however, you need to understand whether or not there is a market in that gap. So we were concerned that if we went to market with Real Reach and positioned ourselves there that we would confuse people that nobody really wants to pay that much just because you’ve got better structure and better content for an online service.
Then, we asked ourselves how could we do differently? We went, “Well, what if instead of being in the online market, we were in the training market?” If we have a look at the training market, how would we separate that out? Again, we had high cost and low cost and a lot of providers along there and what we determined was the training programs vary, depending on whether they force you to go at a certain pace or whether they allow you to completely pace yourself.
When we had a look within the real estate principle market for training programs and where they sat, we found a lot that sat up here. Programs that were deliberately designed to send you through a set period of time. You need to be in Sydney on this day every single month and we’re going to charge you thousands of dollars a month in order to do it. We did find some that had more of an online component so they were a lower cost but still tended to be forced and structured around the course.
There were very very few that allowed the business owner, our target client, to actually go through the content at their own pace. And so we found an opportunity to position ourselves away from all of that noise, to cut through the competition by standing out and being clearly different. We found the market message we needed to communicate that allowed us to do that without sticking out at the edge and taking too much of a risk.
Now, when we talk about real reach we don’t talk about online and content,we talk about training we talk about the ability for business owners to do it at a self-paced process, which also means that they can spend a lot less to get that value than if they went and did a whole lot of the competition.
Where in your market do you sit? Do you have blue ocean around you or are you struggling competing with everybody else?
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