There are always new buzzwords in every marketplace. If you haven't heard of these particular P words before then you should look at them now. Each is worthy of their own full post and are getting that treatment from many of the top blogs in business and marketing right now. Every now and then there are a few buzzwords that are here to stay, mostly because they aren't really new, just refined concepts of existing methods. What follows are introductions to three words that can breathe new life into your practice if you utilize them effectively.
When marketing gurus and specialists talk about personas it will usually be attached to another word: buyer persona, target persona, user persona. These phrases refer to the types of people that are interacting with a particular product, service, market, etc. These are not loose interpretations or guesstimates, previously referred to as target markets, but specific definitions of the actual type of single user that you may typically find buying your product or reaching out to you for help.
Personas are literal definitions of desired personalities that you want to talk to, not general demographics. I found it's better to illustrate this point to understand it wholly, so I've adapted a Hubspot template to share with you.
If you take the time to develop personas you can hyper target people that are right for your business, find common threads between customers you never noticed before, and leverage distinct touch points that you may have neglected in the past.
How do you take a service and sell it like a product? If you have a SAAS business this is easier for you, but what about consulting? You typically don't think of consulting as a packaged product because the deliverable varies widely from client to client. Or does it? Let's take a step back for a second.
Consulting requires ownership of your craft; a certain amount of ego. With this ownership attitude comes the urge to think of what we do as infinite in some respects. The possibilities of all the things a client can ask for are endless, so approaching the selling of our services as products is not a natural approach. However if you think about the end products as conceptual instead of physical then you can reform your idea and method of selling consulting.
Do you deliver a custom website or a competitive online presence to your client? Both probably, and while the former is a physical deliverable and varies from job to job, the latter can actually be sold as a product of your consulting. It's simply a matter of perspective and finding a way to translate this to your potential clients. Productizing is a great way to communicate value in a market that is more apt to price on value and sell on concepts, which can be difficult to translate to clients.
For some great examples head on over to this article.
This is a word you've likely heard before but I'd like to present a different take on the meaning. Originally positioning was about placing yourself in a market. Defining what areas you specialize in and marketing specific services. Now the trend is to take this one step further.
How do you align in your current market with your philosophy? With your moral authority? The intangibles that speak more to who you are and less what you do are becoming very important to potential clients. More and more people want to know if you align with their goals, if your communication style is a comfortable fit for them. Gone are the days where people will trust you and hire you simply because you're an expert.
Effectively positioning yourself as having a certain active ethical component to your work can be the difference for someone on the fence about hiring you. If you're looking to hire an accountant and they both claim to be professional but only one gives a measure of accountability, like a guarantee that they will pay for any errors if found, then that will probably sway you. While they might both be ethical and honest people, one has positioned himself as more honest by promising to rectify any mistakes he may make.
Again, these are not comprehensive explanations and can be rather subjective to your business needs and style. What you should remember is that there aren't really any new trends or methods out there, only fresh takes on existing ones.
Dale Beaumont has some excellent ideas on positioning in this podcast.
Have you capitalized on any of the P words? I really would like to hear your thoughts on how these have evolved in the marketing and business worlds to mean new and different things.