Positioning concerns how to position a product in the minds of consumers and inform what attributes differentiate it from the competitor's products. A firm often performs this by producing a perceptual map, which denotes similar products produced in the same industry according to how consumers perceive their price and quality. From a product's placing on the map, a firm would tailor its marketing communications to meld with the product's perception among consumers and its position among competitors' offering. [54]

In 1980, Michael Porter developed an approach to strategy formulation that proved to be extremely popular with both scholars and practitioners. The approach became known as the positioning school because of its emphasis on locating a defensible competitive position within an industry or sector. In this approach, strategy formulation consists of three key strands of thinking: analysis of the five forces to determine the sources of competitive advantage; the selection of one of three possible positions which leverage the advantage and the value chain to implement the strategy.[68] In this approach, the strategic choices involve decisions about whether to compete for a share of the total market or for a specific target group (competitive scope) and whether to compete on costs or product differences (competitive advantage). This type of thinking leads to three generic strategies:[69]
Selling: Determine where and how you plan to sell to customers. Consumer product companies, for example, sell to wholesalers who then sell to retailers. In the industrial market, the buying process is longer and involves more decision-makers. You may sell locally, nationally, or even internationally, and some companies only sell their products or services online. Your distribution and sales channels impact who buys your products, when they buy them, and how they buy them.
This refers to how the product gets to the customer; the distribution channels and intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers who enable customers to access products or services in a convenient manner. This third P has also sometimes been called Place or Placement, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc. also referring to how the environment in which the product is sold in can affect sales. [44]
^ , Blackwell Reference, Kotler, P., "What consumerism means for marketers", Harvard Business Review, vol. 50, no. 3, 1972, pp. 48–57; Wilkie, W.L. and Moore, E.S., "Macromarketing as a Pillar of Marketing Thought," Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 26 No. 2, December 2006, pp. 224–32 doi:10.1177/0276146706291067; Wilkie, W.L. and Moore, E.S., "Scholarly Research in Marketing: Exploring the "4 Eras" of Thought Development," Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2003, pp. 116–46
During decline, demand for a good begins to taper off, and the firm may opt to discontinue the manufacture of the product. This is so, if revenue for the product comes from efficiency savings in production, over actual sales of a good/service. However, if a product services a niche market, or is complementary to another product, it may continue the manufacture of the product, despite a low level of sales/revenue being accrued. [4]
The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market, which includes these steps: broad market research; market targeting and market segmentation; determining distribution, pricing and promotion strategies; developing a communications strategy; budgeting; and visioning long-term market development goals.[18] Many parts of the marketing process (e.g. product design, art director, brand management, advertising, inbound marketing, copywriting etc.) involve use of the creative arts.[citation needed][19]
The process of marketing is that of bringing a product to market, which includes these steps: broad market research; market targeting and market segmentation; determining distribution, pricing and promotion strategies; developing a communications strategy; budgeting; and visioning long-term market development goals.[18] Many parts of the marketing process (e.g. product design, art director, brand management, advertising, inbound marketing, copywriting etc.) involve use of the creative arts.[citation needed][19]
What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don't have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you'll just be throwing money away.

Those who follow after the Close Followers are known as the Late Entrants. While being a Late Entrant can seem very daunting, there are some perks to being a latecomer. For example, Late Entrants have the ability to learn from those who are already in the market or have previously entered.[98] Late Followers have the advantage of learning from their early competitors and improving the benefits or reducing the total costs. This allows them to create a strategy that could essentially mean gaining market share and most importantly, staying in the market. In addition to this, markets evolve, leading to consumers wanting improvements and advancements on products.[99] Late Followers have the advantage of catching the shifts in customer needs and wants towards the products.[92] When bearing in mind customer preference, customer value has a significant influence. Customer value means taking into account the investment of customers as well as the brand or product.[100] It is created through the “perceptions of benefits” and the “total cost of ownership”.[100] On the other hand, if the needs and wants of consumers have only slightly altered, Late Followers could have a cost advantage over early entrants due to the use of product imitation.[95] However, if a business is switching markets, this could take the cost advantage away due to the expense of changing markets for the business. Late Entry into a market does not necessarily mean there is a disadvantage when it comes to market share, it depends on how the marketing mix is adopted and the performance of the business.[101] If the marketing mix is not used correctly – despite the entrant time – the business will gain little to no advantages, potentially missing out on a significant opportunity.
Gap analysis is a type of higher order analysis that seeks to identify the difference between the organisation's current strategy and its desired strategy. This difference is sometimes known as the strategic gap. Mintzberg identifies two types of strategy namely deliberate strategy and inadvertent strategy. The deliberate strategy represents the firm's strategic intent or its desired path while the inadvertent strategy represents the path that the firm may have followed as it adjusted to environmental, competitive and market changes.[51] Other scholars use the terms realized strategy versus intended strategy to refer to the same concepts.[52] This type of analysis indicates whether an organisation has strayed from its desired path during the planning period. The presence of a large gap may indicate the organisation has become stuck in the middle; a recipe for strategic mediocrity and potential failure.

A common method of assessing a firm's macro-environment is via a PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Ecological) analysis. Within a PESTLE analysis, a firm would analyze national political issues, culture and climate, key macroeconomic conditions, health and indicators (such as economic growth, inflation, unemployment, etc.), social trends/attitudes, and the nature of technology's impact on its society and the business processes within the society. [8]
Gap analysis is a type of higher order analysis that seeks to identify the difference between the organisation's current strategy and its desired strategy. This difference is sometimes known as the strategic gap. Mintzberg identifies two types of strategy namely deliberate strategy and inadvertent strategy. The deliberate strategy represents the firm's strategic intent or its desired path while the inadvertent strategy represents the path that the firm may have followed as it adjusted to environmental, competitive and market changes.[51] Other scholars use the terms realized strategy versus intended strategy to refer to the same concepts.[52] This type of analysis indicates whether an organisation has strayed from its desired path during the planning period. The presence of a large gap may indicate the organisation has become stuck in the middle; a recipe for strategic mediocrity and potential failure.

Selling: Determine where and how you plan to sell to customers. Consumer product companies, for example, sell to wholesalers who then sell to retailers. In the industrial market, the buying process is longer and involves more decision-makers. You may sell locally, nationally, or even internationally, and some companies only sell their products or services online. Your distribution and sales channels impact who buys your products, when they buy them, and how they buy them.
Taking these statistics into consideration, online marketing is a critical element of a complete marketing strategy. It is vital for marketers to use online tools such as social media and digital advertising, both on website and mobile device applications, and internet forums. Considering an appropriate distribution channel for products purchased online is also an important step. The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy
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