Welcome to the Jungle

3 AI prompts to nail your startup's positioning

Happy Saturday to every damn unicorn in the galaxy.

Imagine this:

You’re a famous rockstar with a stadium of fans eagerly awaiting you. Instead of showing up for your gig, you head to a fireworks show across town. You finally arrive at your own concert three hours late and tell the angry crowd:

“If you’re bored, you should’ve saved your money and gone and seen the fireworks tonight.”

I doubt Celine Deon could get away with it.

But Axl Rose used to do this shit all the time.

Fans expect this behavior from a guy whose initials are W.A.R., his band’s name is Guns N’ Roses, and their most famous album is Appetite for Destruction.

That, in essence, is POSITIONING.

And it’s exactly why I love GNR and not Celine Deon.

(Aside from their musical differences, of course)

Today we’re going to talk about positioning.

You’ll get 3 prompts you can use to go from position zero to positioning hero with the help of our good friends, Google Bard and ChatGPT.

Yes, another f#cking AI column!

But I promise you, these are diamond prompts.

Let’s get to it.

Time to read: 3 minutes

Difficulty level: EASY (you can type, right?)

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"I don’t give a fuck about positioning."

- W. Axl Rose, badass

What is Positioning?

Positioning is sometimes obvious:

Liquid Death is the Axl Rose of water.

In other words, this brand is saying “Fuck all those boring waters out there. We drink our water hard, like it’s beer or an energy drink.”

Water is water.

Yet somehow this is a billion-dollar brand because of the attitude it conveys, and its distinctiveness.

Positioning is the process of searing your brand’s identity in the minds of consumers, especially in opposition to competitors.

No one would mistake a can of Liquid Death for Poland Springs, right?

It’s about defining how you want your target market to perceive your brand, product or service.

How Do You Position Something?

You position your product by showing what it is and what it’s not.

By including and excluding.

By comparing and contrasting.

By the end of today’s newsletter you’ll be able to answer three valuable questions:

  • What are the most popular positions in my competitive set?

  • What does my competitor’s page reveal about its position?

  • How do different companies in my industry compare to each other?

A good place to start is seeing how the incumbents position themselves.

For this example we’ll imagine that we’re launching an SEO tool and want to understand how competitors are positioned within the ecosystem.

AI is great for this because it can analyze vast quantities of text quickly and synthesize the results.

For our data source we’ll use the G2 category page for SEO Tools, which has reams of product descriptions and review summaries of all major products in the category.

Since Google Bard natively has access to the internet, we’ll start there.

Here’s our prompt:

You are a marketing expert in positioning. 

I'm going to give you a URL to retrieve from G2, where products in the SEO Tools category are reviewed. 

I want you to assess the information on the webpage and identify and define any distinct positions among the competitive set. 

Please explain what each position is, and how it's demonstrated. Here is the URL: https://www.g2.com/categories/seo-tools

Bard’s response identifies 5 primary dimensions of differentiation:

Price: SEMrush is the most expensive SEO tool on the market, but it also offers the most features.

User interface: Ahrefs has the most user-friendly interface, making it easy to use for beginners and experts alike.

Customer support: Moz offers the best customer support, with knowledgeable representatives who are available 24/7.

Accuracy of data: SE Ranking has the most accurate data, making it a reliable source for SEO insights.

Lack of features: Moz is missing some features that other SEO tools offer, such as keyword research and competitor analysis.

Overall, the most distinct position among the competitive set seems to be SEMrush's price. It is the most expensive SEO tool on the market, but it also offers the most features. This makes it a good choice for businesses that are serious about SEO and are willing to invest in a powerful tool.

Well that’s helpful.

It gives you a bunch of stuff to think about.

What do you want to be known for?

What is your product the best at?

What is your product NOT?

What does a landing page reveal about a product or company?

Here’s a mega prompt for Bard to analyze the positioning and marketing psychology behind a landing page (in this case, semrush.com).

Please go to https://www.semrush.com/

Study the content on that website and tell me the following: 

1. What are the most common and important phrases related to their business (exclude unimportant words like "the", "a" etc.) 

2. How do you think this company is trying to position itself in the marketplace among competitors? 

3. What does this company think are its key advantages or most valuable benefits? 

4. What is the information hierarchy of this marketing information presented? 

5. What would you change to improve the persuasiveness of this website?

6. Please analyze the website through the lens of maslow’s hierarchy of needs

7. Please analyze the website through the lens of the Life-Force Eight

8. What are some ways that this webpage could motivate and persuade consumers more effectively?

9. What intellectual appeal is this webpage making to consumers?

10. What emotional appeal is this webpage making to consumers?

11. Is this webpage promising anything? If so, what? How should they keep those promises?

Bard returns a ton of great insights about SEMRush’s page and business:

  1. The most common and important phrases related to SEMrush's business are:

    • SEO

    • Marketing

    • Competitive intelligence

    • Content marketing

    • Paid advertising

    • Social media

    • Analytics

    • Research

    • Tools

  2. SEMrush is trying to position itself as the leading all-in-one digital marketing solution. It offers a wide range of tools and features that can help businesses with all aspects of their marketing, from SEO to social media to paid advertising.

  3. SEMrush believes that its key advantages are its comprehensive suite of tools, its powerful data analytics, and its expert customer support.

  4. The information hierarchy of SEMrush's website is as follows:

    • Homepage: The homepage provides an overview of SEMrush's products and services.

    • Products: The products page lists all of SEMrush's products and features.

    • Features: The features page provides more detailed information about each of SEMrush's products.

    • Pricing: The pricing page lists SEMrush's subscription plans.

    • Testimonials: The testimonials page features customer reviews of SEMrush.

    • Blog: The blog provides news and insights on digital marketing.

    • Contact: The contact page provides information on how to contact SEMrush.

  5. I would change the following to improve the persuasiveness of SEMrush's website:

    • I would make the homepage more visually appealing.

    • I would highlight SEMrush's key advantages more prominently.

    • I would provide more case studies and testimonials.

    • I would make it easier to contact SEMrush for a free demo.

  6. Through the lens of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, SEMrush's website is primarily focused on meeting the needs of esteem and self-actualization. The website emphasizes SEMrush's ability to help businesses achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

  7. Through the lens of the Life-Force Eight, SEMrush's website is primarily focused on the following areas:

    • Health: SEMrush's website emphasizes the importance of a healthy website for businesses.

    • Wealth: SEMrush's website helps businesses to generate more leads and sales.

    • Love: SEMrush's website helps businesses to build relationships with their customers.

    • Creativity: SEMrush's website helps businesses to create engaging content that attracts attention.

    • Learning: SEMrush's website provides businesses with the resources they need to learn about digital marketing.

    • Contribution: SEMrush's website helps businesses to make a positive impact on the world.

    • Play: SEMrush's website helps businesses to have fun and enjoy the process of digital marketing.

    • Spirituality: SEMrush's website helps businesses to find meaning and purpose in their work.

  8. Some ways that SEMrush's website could motivate and persuade consumers more effectively include:

    • Using more visuals and infographics to make the information more engaging.

    • Telling more stories about how SEMrush has helped businesses succeed.

    • Offering more free trials and demos to let consumers try the products before they buy.

    • Providing more customer support options to answer questions and resolve issues quickly.

  9. The intellectual appeal that SEMrush's website is making to consumers is that it is a comprehensive and powerful tool that can help businesses achieve their digital marketing goals.

  10. The emotional appeal that SEMrush's website is making to consumers is that it can help them to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. The website emphasizes the importance of a strong online presence for businesses, and it shows how SEMrush can help businesses to achieve their goals.

  11. SEMrush's website is promising to help businesses achieve their digital marketing goals. It is important for SEMrush to keep these promises by providing high-quality products and services, and by providing excellent customer support.

How to Compare Two Different Brands’ LPs

I want you to compare semrush.com versus ahrefs.com. Please analyze for me: 

1. What is the primary purpose of each homepage? Is it the same?  

2. What are the key differences between these two webpages? 

3. Are both companies prioritizing the same business goals or are they pursuing different business goals?  

4. Which page do you think is more persuasive to potential customers? Why? 

5. What is the main value proposition for each webpage? Which do you think is stronger, and why? 

6. What emotions is each page playing on to create a connection with the user? 

7. Analyze each page through the lens of Maslow's hierarchy of needs

8. Analyze each page through the lens of the Life-Force Eight

9. What call-to-action does each site use to encourage sign-ups? Are there any important differences in the economics, such as free-trial vs paid options only?

In this case, Bard returned a pretty generic (although comprehensive) answer.

I won’t print it here to spare your time.

ChatGPT’s browser plugin functionality couldn’t quite manage to access these pages, but still offered some valuable feedback:

Based on the general knowledge of these platforms up until my last training data in September 2021, here are the comparisons and analysis:

1. Primary Purpose of Each Homepage

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are renowned digital marketing tools that offer solutions for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), content marketing, and competitive analysis. The primary purpose of both homepages is to introduce their services, highlight their key features, and encourage visitors to use their platform, either through free trials or subscriptions.

2. Key Differences Between These Two Webpages

While both platforms offer similar services, they have different strengths and unique features. SEMrush is known for its comprehensive keyword research tools and competitive analysis features. It's also recognized for its PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising tools. On the other hand, Ahrefs is particularly strong in backlink analysis and has a highly praised site audit feature.

3. Business Goals

As of my last update, both SEMrush and Ahrefs aim to help businesses improve their online visibility, understand their competition, and develop effective digital marketing strategies. They target SEO professionals, digital marketers, and businesses of all sizes. So, their business goals are relatively similar - to provide a comprehensive set of tools for their target audience to succeed in the digital marketing space.

4. Persuasiveness to Potential Customers

The persuasiveness of each page would depend on the specific needs of the potential customers. If a customer is looking for extensive backlink analysis and site audit features, they might find Ahrefs more persuasive. However, if they require a more rounded tool with strong PPC features and competitive analysis, SEMrush might be more appealing.

5. Main Value Proposition

SEMrush's value proposition lies in its comprehensive suite of SEO, PPC, and social media marketing tools, along with competitive analysis. Ahrefs, on the other hand, prides itself on its extensive backlink database and site audit feature. The stronger value proposition would depend on the specific needs and priorities of the user.

6. Emotions Each Page Plays On

Both platforms aim to appeal to the desire for success, growth, and efficiency. They promise improved search engine rankings, better understanding of competitors, and more effective marketing strategies.

7. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In the context of Maslow's hierarchy, both platforms appeal primarily to esteem needs (professional success and recognition) and self-actualization needs (realizing one's potential and seeking personal growth).

8. Life-Force Eight

The Life-Force 8 represents eight fundamental motivations: survival, enjoyment of life, freedom, power, expansion, love, self-esteem, and reproduction. SEMrush and Ahrefs cater to several of these, particularly power (through control over one's SEO strategy), expansion (growth of one's business or website), and self-esteem (professional success and recognition).

9. CTA & Economics

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs use a call-to-action to encourage sign-ups. SEMrush offers a free trial, while Ahrefs does not. SEMrush's pricing starts at $119 per month, while Ahrefs' pricing starts at $99 per month.

That’s it for today.

Here’s a great book on positioning:

‍"Positioning defines how your product is a leader at delivering something that a well-defined set of customers cares a lot about."

April Dunford, author of Obviously Awesome

🦄 Shoutouts 🦄

Special welcome to some new members of the unicorn crew:

Dmytro, Head of Sales at axterior.com, a professional recruitment platform.

Libor, CMO at Behavio.app, an insights platform for creative advertising.

Lawrence, Director of Digital Marketing at TwoChairs.com, which connects patients with therapists.

Gints from Confect, a tool that helps e-commerce brands create winning ads.

✨ That's it for today.

LLMs are fantastic at digesting an enormous amount of content and distilling what it says.

These are 3 simple use cases that I hope have inspired you to experiment and get more insights for your marketing strategy.

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