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Four Questions That Define Agency Positioning Strategy

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An exploration of the key dimension of positioning strategy for agencies and other professional service firms, presented by Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group.

Publicado en: Marketing
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Four Questions That Define Agency Positioning Strategy

  1. THE FOUR QUESTIONS THAT DEFINE AGENCY POSITIONING Presented by Tim Williams Ignition Consulting Group
  2. We desperately want to appeal to everyone.
  3. You can be good at something, but you can’t be good at everything.
  4. In mature categories (including professional services), brands and organizations start copying one another so much they begin to look generic.
  5. Legendary Economist Adam Smith “In mature markets, profits don’t come from increased efficiency, but rather from increased innovation and differentiation.”
  6. We’re collaborative We customize solutions for every client We’re team players We’re your trusted business partner We deliver excellence We’re experienced professionals Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. JUST TABLE STAKES
  7. What qualifies as a positioning strategy?
  8. SIZEIS NOT A STRATEGY
  9. WIDE RANGE IS NOT A STRATEGY
  10. INTEGRATION IS NOT A STRATEGY
  11. FULL SERVICE IS NOT A STRATEGY
  12. FULL SERVICE doesn’t scale ① There’s really no such thing as “full service” ② Clients don’t hire you for “everything” but for something ③ “Full service” simply doesn’t scale
  13. FOCUS does scale ① People, competencies, and systems constantly improve. ② Time and money are directed toward a coherent strategy. ③ Expertise can be deployed across a large client base. ④ Alignment between your strategy and day-to-day decisions.
  14. Positioning = ?
  15. Positioning = Deciding what not to do
  16. Positioning = A way to repeat success
  17. Positioning = Letting clients outgrow you “Companies need to be true to a type of customer more than a specific individual customer with changing needs.” Jason Fried 37 Signals
  18. Positioning = Curating “What makes a great museum is the stuff that’s not on the walls.” Seth Godin
  19. Positioning = A business strategy Michael Porter Harvard Business School “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
  20. MARKETOONIST.COM BUSINESS STRATEGY DEFINED
  21. BUSINESS STRATEGY DEFINED X Choices, not plans
  22. BUSINESS STRATEGY DEFINED Subtraction, not addition
  23. BUSINESS STRATEGY DEFINED Fewer features, not more
  24. BUSINESS STRATEGY DEFINED Trade-offs, not add-ons
  25. Of over 200 management practices studied, only one has a causal relationship to superior business performance: A clearly stated, focused strategy. Source: Nohria, Joyce, & Roberson, “What Really Works,” Harvard Business Review,
  26. 1. We have a unique and differentiating answer to the question, “What business are we in?” 2. We have effectively identified the areas in which our firm is “best in class.” 3. We have a clear definition of our best, ideal client. 4. We target a specific segment of the market, not the entire market. 5. We try to focus on what we do best instead of attempting to offer every possible service. 6. We avoid the promises of “full service,” “complete,” or “wide range.” 7. We are as concerned with making our firm different as we are with making it better. 8. We actively avoid working in areas that don’t represent the core of our business. 9. We believe in the strategic advantages of “narrow and deep” over “broad and shallow.” 10. We avoid imitating the business models of our competitors. How differentiated are we? Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Strongly Agree
  27. POSITIONING STRATEGY? We help brands thrive in harsh environments by creating meaning work that makes a huge impact. We take brands from where they are to where they ought to be. We’re an end-to-end marketing and communications company that looks at everything from your perspective. Be passionate. Have big ideas. Make a big impact. Get big results. Because that’s what it takes. To innovate. To compete. To thrive.
  28. To arrive at an effective positioning strategy, you must interrogate your firm until it confesses its strengths.
  29. WHAT PRODUCT LEADERSHIP THE FOUR QUESTIONS THAT DEFINE YOUR STRATEGY WHO MARKET EXPERTISE WAY OPERATIONAL INNOVATION WHY MOTIVATING MISSION 1 2 3 4
  30. WHAT WHO WAY PRODUCT LEADERSHIP WHY 1. Which of our competencies could be considered best-in-class? 2. What different or innovative services do we offer? 3. In which service areas do we have specialized knowledge or expertise? 4. What kinds of unique strategic assets do we possess? 5. What specific problems do our clients have and which of our offerings are most effective at solving them?
  31. WHAT WHO WAY PRODUCT LEADERSHIP WHY
  32. WHAT WHO WAY PRODUCT LEADERSHIP WHY
  33. WHAT WHO WAY PRODUCT LEADERSHIP WHY
  34. WHAT WHO WAY PRODUCT LEADERSHIP WHY
  35. WHAT WHO WAY MARKET EXPERTISE WHY 1. What types of clients have we been most successful attracting in the past? 2. Which industries or business categories do we know best? 3. Which specific market segments do we know best. 4. What types of client company business models do we have the most experience with? 5. Do we have special knowledge or expertise understanding our customers’ customers?
  36. WHAT WHO WAY MARKET EXPERTISE WHY
  37. WHAT WHO WAY MARKET EXPERTISE WHY
  38. WHAT WHO WAY MARKET EXPERTISE WHY
  39. WHAT WHO WAY OPERATIONAL INNOVATION WHY 1. Do we have strong, differentiating philosophies that set us apart from other firms. 2. Have we created distinctive methodologies for solving problems and creating client value? 3. Do we have unique ways in which we provide or deliver services to our clients? 4. Do we approach resourcing in particularly effective or unconventional ways? 5. Are we differentiated by a non-traditional organizational structure?
  40. WHAT WHO WAY OPERATIONAL INNOVATION WHY
  41. WHAT WHO WAY OPERATIONAL INNOVATION WHY
  42. WHAT WHO WAY OPERATIONAL INNOVATION WHY
  43. WHAT WHO WHY MOTIVATING MISSION WAY 1. Do we have a stated purpose that transcends making money? 2. What do we preach? What do we crusade against? 3. What are our people volunteering for? 4. What would we attempt to achieve if we knew we could not fail?
  44. WHAT WHO WHY MOTIVATING MISSION WAY
  45. “Profit is not the purpose of a company, but rather a test of its validity.” Peter Drucker WHAT WHO WHY MOTIVATING MISSION WAY
  46. WHAT WHO WHY MOTIVATING MISSION WAY
  47. CLIENT SIZE BEST-OF-BREED AGENCIES LARGER NATIONAL CLIENTS AGENCY FOCUS “FULL SERVICE” AGENCIES SMALLER REGIONAL CLIENTS
  48. HOWARD SCHULTZ A.G. LAFLEY STEVE JOBS TO EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS, NARROW YOUR FOCUS
  49. HOWARD SCHULTZ “WE NEED TO FOCUS TO START GROWING AGAIN” ๏ Closed 900 stores in the U.S. ๏ Reduced store staffing by 1,000 ๏ Slowed down new store openings to a total of 73 worldwide ๏ Recommitted to core product: coffee
  50. A.G. LAFLEY 150 BRANDS 75 BRANDS “Fewer products will make us bigger — and more profitable”
  51. STEVE JOBS 300+ PRODUCTS 3 PRODUCTS
  52. 15,000 SKUs 60 SKUs Market Cap $50.6 Billion
  53. Positioning is a prospecting strategy
  54. THE FOUR QUESTIONS THAT DEFINE AGENCY POSITIONING

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