There are some 10,000 agencies in the Creative and Digital sector in Greater Manchester. *
One of the greatest challenges in that space is to define what it is that makes you special, what is your competitive edge – what is your positioning?
To be clear, confident and strong about your position in the market is a vital element in any business but especially one operating in such a crowded sector.
So, what’s so important about positioning?
Positioning your agency is critical because it establishes where you sit in the competitive spectrum and also on what basis and where you are competing.
Ideally, you’re looking to reduce the number of other agencies that can be said to do what you do.
Without a clear position, it’s very difficult to establish value in the eyes of the market and as such, price becomes much more of a consideration.
It’s commonplace for agencies to describe themselves as;
• an award winning digital marketing agency
• a strategic brand design agency
• a web development agency
• a strategic web design agency
• providing SEO services
Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to do better than that.
You need to be able to express clearly what your unique, relevant and exclusive reason for being in business is.
And what’s more, it needs to be communicated, clearly and effectively – and you need to live it!
If you can do this, you’ll find it much easier to attract the type of client that you want. And if you can attract new, profitable clients, and manage them well, your business will more than likely flourish.
What are the benefits of positioning?
If you have a clear position in the market, you will find that it will have a positive impact right across your business:
• you will attract the right profile of prospective client because you will communicate clearly what you do and for whom
• you will find that you have fewer competitors because there will be less agencies doing what you do
• you will build more authority on the back of your growing expertise in your chosen specialism
• you will lead the conversation and your clients will be happy to be advised by an expert
• you will be more profitable because your expertise will command a premium
So how do we position ourselves?
Well, this is where it needs some time and attention – if it were straightforward, we’d all have it cracked.
Positioning is largely insight based and built around your knowledge of the market, your competitors, the competitive landscape, your capabilities, your strengths and your passion.
Through understanding each of these in detail, you’ll be able to work out the optimum position within this mix for your particular business and then you can build real authority and expertise in your field.
For example, you may describe yourself as an award winning digital marketing agency. This may well be true but why would a client come to you over the other award winning digital marketing agencies in the area? Perhaps you pitch well or, you may have the inside track but that’s not enough. You’re going to be too reliant on price to do the deal.
If you decide to specialise in b2b, social good, retail, e commerce, lead gen etc then you will no doubt describe yourself differently, with more purpose, clarity and conviction.
Maybe you refer to yourself as a marketing agency specialising in b2b comms for high growth businesses, or specialists in helping extend the reach of social enterprises, not for profits and charities.
Having a clear, confident and strong positioning is a key element in securing your place in such a crowded market and will help your business to flourish.
Again, to quote Jack Welch – former CEO of GE ‘if you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete’ and this pretty much sums it up for me.
*Source: Deep Dive 04 Digital and Creative Industries report published by GMCA new economy.