Posted by: wingnut650 | July 15, 2008

Adaptive positioning

Positioning has usually followed a pretty steady formula for us when discussing our products at Quest.  We use a process that is promoted by Pragmatic Marketing where we determine the pains that our market experiences in a certain area (monitoring, capacity management, performance optimization, etc.) and where there are needs in their current approaches to dealing with their pain.  This formula has worked really well for quite some time, in my tenure as a product marketing manager.  Now one of our products is really bucking this trend.  Toad for SQL Server is a the cousin of Quest’s extremely successful Toad for Oracle product.  Toad Oracle offers versions for developers, DBA’s and analysts in the Oracle market.  This is where the SQL Server market deviates – there is no real solid delineation b/w the DBA and developer/analyst and a single product offering for all.  The pains of Toad SQL Server users are going to be pretty well all over the map…some that are specific for DBA’s, some specific for those that do more development work in their environment.  The end result is that our positioning for Toad SQL Server has to be more adaptive to the needs of this audience in areas too numerous to have in an ‘all encompassing’ positioning document.  So what is our solution?  We’re focusing on use cases.  We’ve determined about six use cases where our target audience (DBA, developer, DBA/developer) has common ground and we focus on these use cases.  Our product page gives good real estate to promoting these use cases and showing how Toad can address them.  This has been vetted with customers and domain experts and seems to be working with this product…it’s just different.  We’ll change these use cases as time goes on and make sure we continue having the most relevant for our audience.  In the end, it’s all in the revenue that this product gets, so we’ll see how this ‘adaptive’ positioning works out.



  1. This use case orientation makes a lot of sense. It’s often true that titles and roles don’t line up in a traditional sense. That is, a bunch of people with different titles use a product, but perhaps they all use it in a similar way.

    For example, Word has two types of personas: power users and everyone else. It may be that Toad for Oracle is used by everyone the same way–if so, you only need one persona.

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