Marketing Strategy Made Easy: The Reduction of Degrees of Freedom Principle
The formulation of a brand or product marketing strategy can be an uphill struggle. Deciding on the appropriate positioning and marketing mix often involves internal disagreements within the management team. This is very understandable given our desire to not just come up with a strategy that works but, instead, one that is optimal. Indeed, this should be the goal of any management team – to create the Optimal Value Proposition – a proposition that creates value to the customers, collaborators and our company alike. Another reason is the large number of degrees of freedom available to the team in each choice context – there are so many options from which to select the “right” positioning, communication strategy, product features, pricing policy and distribution structure. Is this just the way it has to be? Is it the cost of managing in our field?
In this note we propose that the answer to these questions is a resounding NO! We propose that what usually makes marketing strategy formulation so difficult is either a too broad segmentation structure or a lack of clear understanding of the target segment selected. We propose that, if a tight, homogeneous, segment is selected and research provides a clear understanding of the benefit requirement underlying that homogeneity, than the degrees of freedom in choosing a positioning strategy for this segment will be reduced to a few coherent options. Further, we suggest that, coupling the understanding of the target group with the strategic positioning chosen will create a parallel reduction in degrees of freedom in the tactical phase (marketing mix or 4 p’s). Essentially, the reduction of Degrees of Freedom Principle “lights up” only those options truly appropriate for the segment targeted thus making the formulation of marketing strategy easy.
How easy was it to see the product? Was it colorful? Did you see cartoons? Maybe...
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