The cornerstone of effective marketing is “positioning”– a concept that has increasingly gained importance since it entered the marketing literature almost 50 years ago. For an agent, your positioning is what sets you apart from the competition. It provides a prospect a clear reason to become a client. Your future success depends upon your ability to build and sustain a perceivable marketplace advantage.

An effective positioning strategy provides a firm foundation for all your marketing and promotional efforts by focusing on your competitive advantages and relevant marketplace differentiation. Positioning can also help you make important strategic determinations — such as how to build the greatest value into your business — and clarify your vision and mission. The focus provided by effective positioning will enable you to concentrate resources on marketing and promotional approaches that appeal directly to your target market(s) and offer the greatest opportunities for success.

To develop a singular, differentiated positioning, you should:

  • Create a vision that leverages your strengths and taps into a need in the marketplace. Many agents have found that specialization is their key to success.
  • Formulate a strategy to realize that vision by determining how you can best reach your target market.
  • Implement that strategy with multi-dimensional programs that skillfully combine a number of market-driven approaches such as seminars, direct mail (both electronic and traditional), articles in local papers, or speaking at local business events.

Finally, your positioning should never lose sight of the fact that success follows truth. To be most successful, you must always be able to deliver — or hopefully over-deliver — what you are promising the marketplace.

This article is adapted from a new book, The Professional’s Guide to Financial Services Marketing: Bite-Sized Insights for Creating Effective Approaches (Wiley Publishing), by Jay Nagdeman. For more information, visit www.FinancialServicesMarketingBook.com.