What Is Positioning in a Marketing Plan?

Positioning is a marketing concept that outlines what a business should do to market its product or service to its customers. In positioning, the marketing department creates an image for the product based on its intended audience. This is created through the use of promotion, price, place and product.

The more intense a positioning strategy, typically the more effective the marketing strategy is for a company. A good positioning strategy elevates the marketing efforts and helps a buyer move from knowledge of a product or service to its purchase.

Target Market Analysis

The best start for any positioning analysis is gaining a thorough knowledge of a product or service’s target market. This is the group of people or businesses that will best benefit from the use of the product or service. With a good idea of the wants, needs and interests of a product or service’s target market, a good marketing team can help develop a positioning statement to help reach as much of the target market as possible.

Positioning in Advertisements

Advertisements are usually the first places businesses position themselves. A cosmetics marketing department, for example, must determine who they are targeting and what consumer need is being met. If the intended target is African American teenagers, what type of need should the cosmetics fill?

If the cosmetics line is trying to help teenage girls overcome acne issues, the person in the ad might be one of a younger African American physician who teaches girls how to battle acne with the use of these cosmetics. To note the importance of positioning, this same type of advertisement might not work if the intended audience of the cosmetics line was older Caucasian women trying to look younger.

Positioning in Sales Locations

Reaching the customer is not simply a matter of advertising, it is also a matter of choosing the right channels for distribution. If a majority of your target market lives in an urban area with only public transportation available to them, having your product in rural areas where a private automobile is needed for transport would not equal sales success. Place or position your product or service as close to the target market as possible. Create similar advertisements in store as the ones seen out of store to create an overall identity for your brand.

Positioning through Price

It should be noted that there is a large amount of research on the psychology of pricing in marketing. Simply put, the price of an item tells the buyer more about the item than most realize. Many associate a higher price with higher quality and the opposite with a lower price. Additionally, if a product is positioned as a good alternative to high-priced brands, the marketing department must price it in the middle of the market to avoid a comparison to the cheapest end of the spectrum.