The Value Proposition determines that there is a target market (all possible customers for your product) with a “customer problem” seeking a “product solution” to their problems from your business. This is essential for any new business and important throughout the life of your business to ensure survival. You just have to look at what happened to Blackberry in its rise and eventual failure in the mobile phone market. Essentially Blackberry lost focus on the customer wants & needs and failed to consider the competition and the need to continue innovating the product features.
Micro Value Propositions come out of the business planning and marketing strategy concept called the Value Proposition. Strategy rooted in the Value Proposition ensures that there are enough identifiable customers who want your business product.
When beginning to look at your digital marketing strategy, we find that the Value Proposition is where it all begins. You need to have a firm understanding of what your business does well and for whom in order to digitally market effectively. If your business does not have a strong Value Proposition you will be forever brought into price competition or lack of relevancy with your new and current customers.
Research, Research, and more Research! Remember that time before you started your business? You had an idea about solving someone’s problem. How you are solving that problem is probably what sets you apart from your competitors – that’s where you find the value proposition.
Value Proposition research centers upon three areas:
1) What the customer market wants (Customer Problems). I will use an example of John Deere riding mowers. Customers have a problem with a big yard of grass that needs to be cut.
2) Who else is offering customers what they want (other Product Solutions) similar to you? For riding mowers the product solutions other companies are offering customers with their problem of cutting grass.
3) What is the unique product/service solution that differentiates you from your competitors? To simplify you might differentiate product, price, place, or promotion (commonly known as the 4Ps or marketing mix). Ideally, at least one of your 4Ps is unique relative to the offerings of your competitors. Examples of unique 4Ps are Dominos (place), robots that deliver pizzas, or Apple iPhone (product) where they introduced the touch screen. For a riding mower, you could put in customer-friendly options, such as a beer cup holder (product 4P) or a payment plan (price 4P). With an awareness that this is a unique place for your product in the market, you begin forming your marketing strategy.
What you are trying to determine with your research is if there are customers who want your product and how much competition you are up against. This is not just for a new product; you will always be accessing that your product is needed and has a competitive advantage in the market. For example, Blackberry should have kept researching and listening to their customers when Apple iPhone came out and responded to this product shift.
With a smaller business, you are promoting your business or products in the incredibly noisy and competitive internet search and social media space. Focusing your digital marketing strategy on micro value propositions will help you get noticed in the crowd. The riches are in the niches! It is better to promote specifically to 10 people than to not as specifically promote to 100 people. People want to know your promotion is centered upon their specific wants and needs.
Micro Value Propositions (Online Value Propositions) are merely the unique aspects of your products relative to the competition which you use to promote to a minimal viable target audience.
Minimal viable target audiences are smaller customer segments that you pull out of your larger overall target market. Slicing out these small customer target audiences helps you to better communicate with them as personalized as possible and still ensuring your marketing is cost-effective.
For example, John Deere has an overall customer target marketing of people who need to cut large areas of grass. They could break this target market into two target audiences: 1) homeowners with a large yard and 2) landscaping companies who need a mower to cut the grass of their customers. Each target audience will have an overlap of benefits (product solutions sought), however, there would also be benefits sought that are particular to each target audience. For example, a homeowner might want stereo speakers and a beer cup holder! A landscaping business owner might want a payment lease plan or a long product warranty. The benefits sought by each target audience would be the primary content of your promotional messaging.
Most of your time in the digital marketing strategy process is in researching the Value Proposition. When you get really clear on WHAT sets you apart, you will then need to figure out how to communicate this to your audience, and WHERE. Follow your competitors on social channels, subscribe to their newsletters, add them to your Google alerts.
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