How Can The Strategic Positioning Audit Help You Grow Your Business?
Business strategy is a complex beast. Not many understand strategic positioning, and even fewer are able to wrangle it. However, it’s essential not only to a company’s success, but its survival. In the US alone, about a million new businesses open each year. Do all of these companies have the expertise necessary to develop a successful strategy? Sadly not: of these million new businesses, half will close within 5 years.
Businesses, however, especially small and medium enterprises, are the lifeblood of any economy, and entrepreneurship is an indelible part of human nature. The very fact that virtually everyone who starts a business is aware of the gloomy statistic above—and yet still powers through—is proof positive. So how do we bridge the gap between the few who ‘get’ strategy and the many who need it?
Can You Rely on a DIY Marketing Strategy?
To say that we have access to more information than ever before in human history is an understatement. From 2010-2020, the volume of data created worldwide went from 2 to 64 zettabytes (that’s a byte with 10 zeros at the end), and this is expected to have doubled by 2025. So there’s no shortage of information on how to run a successful business. But to weed out the good info from the bad is a full-time job in itself. And the ubiquitous listicles with advice like “Hire the right people”, or “Be adaptable” might get clicks, but they don’t provide much in the way of tangible, actionable advice (how do you hire the right people? Are you supposed to fire your team and start over? In what way do you adapt? How do you know in what direction to pivot?)
There are also plenty of tools out there to help you conduct market research and analyze market data. But they require a lot of time and effort, not just to learn, but to use.
This is why many entrepreneurs choose to leave it to the professionals. You barely have time to sleep, let alone learn a field that’s normally a four-year degree! Professional strategy services allow you to take the guesswork out of the equation and make sure that you’re getting the best recommendations for the successful growth of your business based on cold, hard data.
If strategy services are already available, what’s Marketpedia’s Strategic Positioning Audit bringing to the table? In a word, lots!
What is a Strategic Positioning Audit?
Before a business strategy can be elaborated, it’s important to analyze your current strategy from top to bottom, and from every possible point of view, to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).
This involves collecting data, usually in the form of interviews and surveys, and using various strategic planning matrixes and methodologies to glean insights from this data.
Marketpedia’s Strategic Positioning Audit is not reinventing the wheel. Audits are an important part of business strategy and marketing. However, they’re often very labor-intensive, which can make them… not so budget-friendly. They also require the use of several different software programs that don’t necessarily play well together. All of this results in valuable data falling through the cracks, even for the most experienced strategist.
The Strategic Positioning Audit is the first program to offer automated and adaptable data collection capabilities, all on one integrated platform. While it’s designed for use by strategy professionals, the ultimate winner in this scenario is you. Simply put, you get a better business strategy, in less time and potentially for less money.
But how do you know your strategy professional is using the Strategic Positioning Audit? Just ask Marketpedia !
The Strategic Positioning Audit is done in collaboration with one of Marketpedia’s partners, who you can find listed here. We offer this service through partners to ensure that you get the absolute most out of the program. Think of it as getting a medical procedure, like an MRI. You wouldn’t just rent the machine and have at it. It takes advanced knowledge to both operate the equipment and interpret the images. Sure, there’s a WikiHow on how to interpret an MRI, but would you trust it when your health is at play? (No joke; if you see this open on your MRI tech’s computer, run.)
So, in essence, the Strategic Positioning Audit is saving your partner time. The advantage for you is fewer billable hours—not to mention faster results so you can implement your new strategies quicker and watch your business flourish.
It’s All About Perception
We’ve already learned that before you can build a strategy that works, you have to point the lens at yourself—that is, your business.
One of the most common problems strategists encounter, and a major impediment to moving forward with a new strategy, is a lack of cohesion in how you and, well, everyone else, see your company and the market you’re in.
Here’s a real-life example: two friends started a shoe company. They agreed on a lot of things: they both wanted to create high-quality, handmade leather goods; they wanted to use sustainable materials and socially-responsible business practices; and they wanted to collaborate with artists to create wearable art that’s also comfortable and functional. Sounds like they’re walking the same path, right?
Eventually, it became evident that one of them wanted to continue what they did well— producing small collections for a niche market—while the other wanted to grow and expand into other products and broader markets. This difference in how they perceived both the market and their own company proved too big to overcome, and the partnership was dissolved—sadly, with no love lost between them.
This tragic tale is not meant to scare you, but rather to highlight the importance of having a strategy that everyone knows, understands, and agrees with. It was a two-person company; imagine a business with 50, 100, 1,000 employees. If there’s not a single, cohesive strategy, you’re looking at potentially hundreds of decisions being made daily that aren’t following the same thread.
Asking the right questions
Your Strategic Positioning Audit partner’s job is to find out what everyone thinks. What does the CEO think the company does? Where is it going? Who is your market? Who are your competitors? What are they doing? Now repeat, but with the COO, the marketing team, the accounting team, HR, the interns, and everyone in between.
And it doesn’t even stop there. Customer and supplier perceptions can provide valuable insight, too. You might find out, say, that your branding and your pricing aren’t aligned, and that the people you’re targeting can’t afford your product (it happens more than you think). Or a supplier might reveal that other companies in your market are moving away from certain materials, for financial or social reasons (suppliers are a key ally: they bring the goods and the tea).
Until recently, this information has been notoriously long and difficult to collect. Your strategy team might spend weeks designing surveys, conducting interviews, designing follow-up surveys, conducting follow-up interviews… you get the picture. Marketpedia’s Strategic Positioning Audit software uses a set of standardized surveys that are also adaptive and dynamic (kind of like an automated choose-your-own-adventure). This not only ensures that the right questions are being asked to the right people, it also saves a ton of time. Which is a big win for your budget.
While gathering as much information as possible is super important, to create a winning strategy, you have to know what to do with it. That includes having the proper analysis tools.
Data Analysis Done Right
This is where your strategy partner takes the data they’ve painstakingly collected and examines it from all angles and through every possible lens. Because the real key to a successful strategy that will position you ahead of the pack is usually hidden. Sometimes it’s hiding in plain sight, and sometimes it’s found in the most unexpected places.
This is why employing strategy professionals is a good idea. Data analysis is their jam. They’re familiar with the various data analysis matrixes, such as Ansoff, Pestel and BCG, and they can wizard spreadsheets and graphs in their sleep.
This is, however, where the process tends to slow down again (did it ever speed up?). Historically, strategists have had to use separate tools for data collection and analysis. While many of the more popular software programs used in strategic management are designed to integrate with one another, there are some pretty major limitations.
Marketpedia’s Strategic Positioning Audit includes its own integrated software, so absolutely nothing is lost in translation, and data and visuals update in real time. This means your strategy partner spends less time juggling apps and managing software and more time analyzing your data and creating an effective strategy that will help your business thrive.
Strategy Services That Are More Accessible to You
Despite the fact that the vast, vaaaaast majority (we’re talking 99.9% in the US) of businesses are small businesses, it’s getting harder and harder for small and medium enterprises to compete with the big players, and this is true in just about every area of the market. When budgets are already stretched so thin you can practically see through them, enlisting the services of strategy professionals is not always an option.
The Strategic Positioning Audit allows our partners to conduct audits 2-3 times faster than with traditional methods. This means that they can be more flexible in their pricing in order to reach market segments that have previously been priced out. They’re a business, after all, one that, like yours, is probably looking to grow.
Yes, it’s true that you have to spend money to make money. But you don’t have to break the bank. Marketpedia can help connect you with the right strategy partner for your needs, and your budget.
At Marketpedia, we believe in empowerment. We want to see small and medium businesses succeed. And the best way for us to do that is to provide the tools and knowledge to make professional strategy services more accessible to all.
The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll see results. Contact the Marketpedia team to find your Strategic Positioning Audit partner today!