June 15, 2003 Issue #11


  • Business Odyssey Summer Special
  • Marketing feature: What's *your* position?
  • Good links: US Senate
  • Happy Independence Day
  • Write to us / pass it along / article reprints

Business Odyssey Summer Special

Get a jump-start on your fall projects now and SAVE!

Business Odyssey is offering a special "deal" for work started before July 31, 2003. Get the first hour free and 20% off our standard hourly fee for 5 or more additional hours.

If you are considering any of the following, call 216/221-8970 today. This offer will not last.

Newsletters ~ Brochures ~ Prospecting programs ~ Follow-up marketing programs ~ Business & marketing plans ~ Business coaching ~ Strategic planning ~ Market research ~ Special projects ~ In-house retreats & seminars

MARKETING: What's *your* position?

Do you firmly believe that you are getting all that you can from your marketing program? Is every penny that you spend on advertising, brochures, newsletters, and sales calls producing the results that you had planned for? If your answer is "yes" then you really don't need to read this article. You have obviously laid the groundwork needed to produce an effective marketing program

Unfortunately, most people I talk to are dissatisfied with the results - or lack of results - they are getting from their marketing efforts. When questioned about the approach that was taken in planning the marketing program, it is often a cart-before-the-horse-story. The usual approach is "Let's run and ad and see what happens." Or, "We need some brochures." Perhaps a writer and graphic artist are hired to do the job. The ad is placed, the brochures printed and distributed. Then you wait for the money to roll in. And wait. Your efforts produce a few sales but not anywhere near what you had hoped.

OK, so what's missing? All those big companies that spend millions on advertising and promotion can't be just throwing their money away. So why isn't your program delivering results?

A big part of the answer to that question is that the preparation work is not being done. One aspect of that preparatory work is to develop your marketing positioning statement. This is a statement of all of the aspects of where you stand - or where you want to be standing - in your market. It is how your business or product relates to your competitors and where it stands in the hearts and minds of your customers and prospects.

The marketing positioning statement should be used as your guide for all of the decisions that you make about your marketing and advertising. It will enable you to develop a clear consistent message that can be delivered to your prospective customers in a way that they are willing to receive it.

There are a number of elements to a positioning statement. It includes your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), where you stand in relationship to your competitors and other external factors, and how you want to be perceived by your prospective customers. Answering the following questions will give you a good start.

  • How is your product, service, company different from your competitors in terms of features, quality, distribution, and price?
  • Where does your product stand in relationship to technology? Is it innovative and leading edge or low tech?
  • Where does your product stand in relationship to industry trends? Again, is it leading or following?
  • What is your share of the market? Are you a big player or a specialized niche marketer?
  • Who are your customers / prospects and what do they look for in a product like yours?
  • What are your distribution channels? Is your product distributed world-wide or regionally?
  • How is your product perceived (or how do you want it perceived) by your prospective customers in terms of quality and value?
  • At what level are you able or willing to invest in technology and marketing?

Each of these questions should be addressed thoroughly. The answers will guide the development of your entire marketing approach from corporate image through packaging. To get the most from your marketing effort, you need to consistently communicate your "position" to your target prospects in everything that you do.


If your business needs help establishing a marketing positioning statement that your prospects will respond to, Business Odyssey offers an in-house mini-seminar to do just that. Conducted at your location, this half day seminar will help you produce a more sharply focused marketing program. Give us a call (216/221-8970) or e-mail info@businessodyssey.com for details.

Good links: US Senate

Did you know that Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican Senator from Maine, is Chair of the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship? Did you know that there is a committee like this in the US Senate?

At http://www.senate.gov, you can find out who else is on this committee, the legislative and meeting schedules, and upcoming votes for this and every Senate committee. This site is chock full of information including Senate history, key issues, text and explanation of pending legislation, Senators' voting records, Senate Rules and much more. There is a Virtual Reference Desk that answers questions on hundreds of related topics. You will also find information about the Senate Archives and access to a number of documents.

If you think that it is important to keep tabs on legislative issues that pertain to small business or if you are just trolling for interesting trivia, you will find http://www.senate.gov fascinating, informative and well-organized.

By the way, two key Presidential hopefuls serve on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Do you know who?

Happy Independence Day

Summer has finally begun, I think. Even though the temperature is more like April than June. At any rate, I hope that you all take time to enjoy our all-too-brief summer.

Because of the July 4th holiday, there will be no July 1 Odyssey Chronicle. Our next issue will be in mid July. Until then, have a great summer.

Write to us; pass it along; reprint articles

If you have questions, comments or an idea for an article you would like to see in The Chronicle, please drop us a line at info@businessodyssey.com.

Feel free to pass this newsletter along to anyone you think might find it of interest. If you do, be sure to forward it in its entirety and include the copyright notice.

To use an article in your own publication, just send me an e-mail telling me which article you want to use. I will e-mail you the complete article with an information block which MUST be included.

Copyright 2003 Kathleen Thompson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Business Odyssey

Cleveland, Ohio