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Peterson’s 10 Tests of a Good Market Strategy™

© 2002 Roger S. Peterson. All rights reserved

1.   Your market strategy must reflect a competitive analysis that compares the relative strengths and weaknesses of each competitor and alternative to your offering.

2.   Your market strategy should be anchored to the unique added value you offer that survives your competitive analysis. It’s also called unique selling proposition or USP. This added value could be a logical, quantitative factor or it could be a subtle, emotional appeal. Ideally, your added value is generated by your sustainable competitive advantages (SCA) - something you have that competitors and alternatives could not duplicate without substantial resources. Note: Not just how you are different, but why is that factor perceived as important to your target customers?.

3.   Like a compass, your market strategy gives direction to your commercial voyage:

  • Where are we going?
  • Where don’t we want to go?

4.   Your market strategy lends discipline to your objectives by answering the question “Ok, but how are you going to do all that and what spin will you put on it?” The strategy spotlights that one thematic emphasis or focus that will best reach your objectives.

5.   Therefore, you can have only one market strategy per product or target audience. There is no such thing as “our market strategies are....” Also, a strategy statement should be limited to two sentences: one to spotlight the uniqueness or added value of your offering and the second to define how your offering appeals to the customer.

6.   Your market strategy hangs on a clear, directional verb:

  • “We will focus prospects’ attention on our superior warranty.”
  • “Our strategy is to concentrate attention on our 100% overnight order fulfillment commitment”
  • “We will spotlight the disadvantage of competitors’ X factor and how we eliminate it”
  • “We will emphasize our relationship (piggyback) with Acme to show added-value.”
  • “Our strategy is to emphasize that we bring our car repair service to your home.”

7.   You cannot have a market strategy without consensus, from CEO to the mailroom. Everyone must agree to it - including those who neither like it nor agree with it!

8.   Considering steps 1 to 7, if you did not agonize over your market strategy, if you did not think until it hurts, you probably don’t really have a good strategy.

9.   If your next store neighbor or plumber can’t understand your market strategy, it’s not stated directly or simply enough for your employees and customers to “get it.”

10.   Lastly, if you can’t create an advertising tagline (e.g. “Have It Your Way”) that mirrors your strategy in seven or fewer neck grabbing words, go back to #1.

Contact Roger S. Peterson via email today: Peterson@sacramentowriters.com