We get it: creating a marketing strategy can be unusually stressful.
And for this reason, people hope instead of acting. But hope is not a strategy. Statistics show that 80% of businesses start without a market strategy. Then they wonder why they are failing.
This article will outline the simple approach to creating a successful go-to-market strategy and help us understand why we all need one.
Let’s get down with the nitty-gritty.
Planning our approach to the market is a critical part of building a profitable business. Without it, we would have no way to let people know efficiently and effectively about our great new products. Our go-to-market strategy is an essential but often overlooked element to our marketing strategy. A successful GTM (Go-to-market) strategy will successfully bring our new products or service to market and guarantee our business success in the process.
Many factors create a solid go-to-market strategy, including pricing, distribution channels, and unique selling points!
We need to think about how we’re going to launch it. What are we going to do with it? How are we going to get it? What is our pricing, distribution channels going to look like? Are we going to jump on some trend here, or are we taking a different approach? That is all part of the go-to-market strategy, and that’s why so many companies fail.
Starbucks didn’t just start selling coffee; they began with a goal to change the way people experience coffee. Successful go-to-market strategies follow a similar principle, so let’s explore how to make this an accomplishment.
What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a Go-to-market strategy?
Some people think “marketing” and “go-to-market” are the same thing. It’s not true. They are drastically different strategies, and the quicker our businesses realise this, the better.
Both our marketing strategies and our go-to-market strategies play vital roles in new market outreach and customer acquisition. Right at the beginning, when starting in business, these two strategies may seem to merge and become siblings. But as the company grows, the two strategies will become cousins, distant relatives and eventually just linked strangers.
When the business grows, we will need to use our GMT strategy to form a product marketing plan—deciding and exposing how we will introduce our new products to customers.
Our marketing strategy will play a role in defining our target market; how will we reach this market? What are the various products we have to offer to the market?
A marketing strategy is what we do before we start up our business and becomes ongoing. It’s a comprehensive plan that identifies how we get in front of customers. This strategy aims to determine how to reach our target audience and convert that audience into potential customers. This strategy is a lot more fluid than the go-to-market strategy. GMT is something we will always have in place; however, it will change over time.
On the other hand, our go-to-market strategy is what we do when we’re already in business and involves a specific product type. It is our actual, detailed sales and distribution plan. The strategy and plan focus on how we will successfully set up the launch of a new product or service. Our go-to-market strategy will most likely involve more fixed and rigid deadlines.
So how do we form a successful Go-to-market strategy?
Selling a product does not begin with logo design!
What is about to be covered below is ideal for small business owners looking to develop a great GMT for our next product launch. By following these steps below, we’ll form a discernible plan of action that will lead to a successful product launch.
Step 1: Identify our market.
It’s simple. Look for customers before we need them! Creating a successful go-to-market strategy without first defining our audience shouldn’t even be a thing! We are setting ourselves up to fail. We have to research who will buy our product and what they need—or want—to make that purchase. Getting to know our target audience intimately will give us a leg up on the competition later on. Once we’ve determined who our target audience is, look at their purchase habits and concerns.
It’s critical to understand our buyer personas because no single product is suitable for everyone. Along with traditional demographic factors, we need to consider where and from whom they buy—and how much they can spend.
Next, are those customers already part of our customer base? If we need to discover new customers, we mustn’t just stick our heads in the sand and hope they come to us. Finding customers will be simpler if we already know what we’re going to use to find them. We’ll need to figure out which lead generation strategies will help us the most.
Have competitors? Remember to weigh our options. Want perspective? If a product already exists at a lower price point, we may need to readjust our strategy to guarantee success. We may have to under-price our competition to make a sale.
Step 2: Determine our Value Proposition.
As in “finding a needle in a haystack,” determining our value proposition can be challenging, however, there are a few simple steps we can take to find our superpower.
What is our value proposition? Otherwise known as our unique selling proposition, the character trait that guarantees every experience with us is worth remembering. It’s what we promise to deliver our customers, and also what our customer promises to return to us by buying from us. To find our value proposition, it’s a good idea, to begin with assessing the top benefits from our product or service. Once we have this down to a T, we should determine the possible solutions that those advantages offer our target customers.
The overall goal when defining our value proposition is to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes. We need to think like our customers. What problems or challenges would I need to solve? Once we have understood this, we can figure out how our customers will use our products and meet their needs. Then we can align our marketing accordingly.
Setting a pricing strategy is what we should focus on next after we have identified our specific value proposition. The reason being our pricing strategy depends on our prospective customer base and our goals for market penetration.
Some suggestions to bear in mind when creating our pricing strategy are subscription-based pricing, value-based pricing and price skimming.
Step 3: Understand and define our product strategy.
In step 3, we need to address another vital aspect of our go-to-market strategy; identifying which products to sell and how we will position your brand.
We will often find that we want to create a unique product strategy for everyone in our target markets, including setting promotions or bundle offers.
It is a good idea to also be on the lookout for opportunities to differentiate products from our competitors. As a small business, we will need to realise that our strategies may need to shift based on the reactions we get from our strategies after launching our customers.
It’s correct- the timeline of the go-to-market plan is static. But although this is true, decision-makers will want to be in tune with the customer reactions to make any adjustments to the go-to-market strategy if required.
TIP: Monitoring social media is an excellent way to watch customers’ reactions to a new product or service.
Step 4: Open our channels up for discussion.
If we don’t have a strategy for reaching our ideal marketplace, it doesn’t matter how great our product is. We could have a mind-blowing product with no strategy. That will equal failure.
So how do we put a great strategy in place? We need to select the proper marketing channels. Marketing channels are the key places where we can promote and sell our products. While we should know where to find our target market, it’s more important to know where they hang out, where they shop. This will help in determining our marketing channels.
Developing our brand is vital, and whichever channel we select, it’s essential to put time into creating our brand and ensuring that it’s consistent. Ideally, we want our customers, whichever of our locations they shop at, to have the same experience.
So how can we make sure that our message is consistent in a larger business? Those of us who are larger companies will want to ensure that we coordinate our GTM across all our business channels.
Larger companies will need more coordination and planning to form a go-to-market strategy.
Step 5: External Marketing could be an option.
For companies looking to get a new product or service recognised, an external marketing plan could be an excellent idea for us. It dramatically increases the chances of our customers hearing and getting to know about our product.
Putting market research to one side, our go-to-market strategy will likely be made up mostly of external marketing.
As mentioned in step 4, our brand needs to stay consistent throughout our business. So how do we do this? One great place to start is to identify our brand. Ask ourselves questions- who are we? What language makes up our company? How will we make sure that our new product is kept consistent with the brand?
Step 6: Customers need our support!
Many companies make a huge mistake when releasing a new product and usually have to step back to see they are making this mistake! Not being there for our customers when we launch a new product is one of the secret snakes. Launching a new product, we can all expect higher volumes in demand in the weeks following the launch. We should plan for this! Before we even launch our product, we should prepare for our customers; prepare our support team for an influx in demand.
Neglecting this duty and letting our customers go unsupported is very dangerous. We risk alienating them, and we all know how serious this is when trying to build a customer base! We need to look after our customers. Once we have them, keep them! And make an effort to keep them! Supporting them, providing a listening ear and being there for them when they need us are excellent ways to keep them happy. In the end, to keep customers, all we need to do is keep them happy.
Step 7: Weigh up our success.
To make things a lot easier down the line, we should determine the objectives of our go-to-market strategy before we even launch. Determine what constitutes success. Determine our goals. Is our goal to achieve a particular sales volume? Do we want to target early adopters? What’s our goal?
Ensuring we understand these things, having them nailed and keeping our sales team on target will significantly boost our chances of success.
Creating an incredible product is only the first step to building a successful business. Success at selling is about knowing how to distribute. We’ve got to get our stuff out there in the hands of our target audience.
We need to take time to consider all the elements of our go-to-market strategy. We should think about:
- Whom will we target?
- How will we target them?
- Where will we reach these individuals?
By doing this, we are giving our business the best chance of succeeding.