I’m getting ready to teach Marketing Strategy to MBA students at the Graduate School of Business at Mills College next week. I’ve been reviewing an updated version of the simulation I use (and have used for 15 years!) called MarkStrat.

The basic premise behind success in the MarkStrat simulation is that the closer you match your product to the target customers’ ‘ideal point’ the higher your sales (and profits) will be. That ideal point is the set of attributes that the target client wants: design, performance, price, etc. And, as in real life, the client doesn’t always want the lowest price or the best performance. They want a particular combination of price, performance, design (how many different versions of the iPod are there?)

There are ways to have exactly the product that your clients want and still not be successful in the Markstrat simulation, but it’s hard to be successful if you’re way off from the ‘ideal point’. Again, like in real life.

Have you identified your target market segment? What do they want? Are you hitting the ideal point for them? (And articulating it?) This is the work we’re doing in Boot Camp Module 1 this month as well. Of course, small business owners don’t get the benefit of a simulation- we’re in it for real!

I’m looking forward to posting the online version of Boot Camp Module 1 at the end of January if you weren’t able to participate in the live, in-person sessions this month and want to get your strategy on target for your clients’ ideal points!  (Update: see the Online Courses page, this material is covered in Bulls Eye Positioning.)