No battle was ever won without a strategy, and no business ever found success without having a plan for growth. When it’s time to go to market with a new product or service, you need a strategy.
You need a go-to-market strategy that will serve as a compass in new territory. Even if you’ve sold in this market or to certain customers before, each new campaign is unique.
How can you formulate the right market strategies to ensure success? That’s where we come in. Today we’ll look at how to craft the best go-to-market strategy for your business. Ready to succeed? Let’s get started!
What Is A Go-to-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy (or “gtm strategy”) is best described as a plan of action. Whether it’s a new market or a new product, every launch needs a plan of action.
This plan should be a step-by-step guide outlining how, when and where you’ll be marketing. A go-to-market strategy is your company’s dedicated order of operations.
You already have a broad marketing plan for your company. For new products, services or new markets, however, you need a plan that’s focussed and specialized.
That specialized plan is your go-to-market strategy.
Once you have one in place, your gtm sales goals will become easier to achieve. An effective go-to-market strategy framework answers a few key questions:
Who needs this product or service, why is it being offered and how will it generate sales? Anticipating these types of questions is key to any go-to-market strategy.
Why Do You Need A Go-to-Market Strategy?
Some of you may be asking if a gtm plan is really necessary. Perhaps you have a generalized go-to-market strategy for your company, so a specialized one seems redundant.
The thing is, customers follow a different path for every product or service they purchase. Needing someone to mow a lawn versus buying a lawn mower are two very different purchasing paths.
By establishing a go-to-market strategy, you’ll anticipate the journey from your customer’s perspective. This allows you to overcome obstacles before they appear and better guarantee your gtm marketing is effective.
What Are The Basic Components of a Go-to-Market Strategy?
By now you recognize how beneficial a go-to-market strategy can be for your company and its customers. You understand how that strategy can help your team meet goals and stay focussed.
It’s time to do some research and compile a focussed gtm plan.
What are the basic components of an effective gtm strategy? Let’s consider some go to market strategy plan examples:
Product to Market Positioning
This component answers a key question: why are you offering this product? What need or problem in the market does this product solve?
Product positioning involves deep research into why your product is needed and how to solve that need. Solving actual market needs is fundamental to your company’s survival.
Do your homework to best position your product to meet customer needs. With this key component you’ll be on your way to crafting an effective go-to-market strategy.
Target Audience or Customers
Knowing your customer and understanding the market is related to the first component.
In this part of the go-to-market strategy, you need to ask yourself who are my intended buyers? The answer may require a bit more research than expected.
It’s important to cover general information (location, demographics) on your customers and specific information (profession, education). Specific information would be used to create an image of the “ideal customer” for direct sales.
For example, if you’re selling lawn mowers, your research may describe the “ideal customer” as living in specific locations. Obviously, lawns need to be mown a bit more frequently in suburban Kansas than in arid Arizona or urban centers.
Your “ideal” customer may be an owner of a landscaping business. Why? Because that customer is likely to buy multiple mowers at once (more profitable than a homeowner or urban dweller).
Identify your target customers’ buying habits and purchasing power. This will help align your long-term sales goals with a focussed gtm plan.
Competition and Demand
Understanding competition and demand is all about grasping today while anticipating tomorrow.
An effective business owners’ go-to-market strategy includes detailed information on market competitors. Who are they? How do their products compare? What are their marketing behaviors?
This information is critical to effectively compete for market share.
You also need to anticipate market trends. We mentioned above the need to identify market needs and potential customers. Now you must understand their buying habits and forecast what they’ll need and buy in the future.
The next component is planning specifically how best to get your product into your customers’ hands.
Product distribution in any gtm strategy is all about identifying where and how your product appears in the market. Will customers receive their purchase by mail or from a physical storefront? How exactly will your product travel from manufacturer to consumer?
Craft your marketing here to buyers’ expectations. Do they respond better to traditional sales models, or directed marketing?
Consider these variables. Direct sales can often be effective to smaller pools of customers. By contrast, it’s far more efficient to use marketing tactics for larger groups. Identifying your market size is important.
The nature of the product you’re planning to launch is also important. Your distribution model may require a salesperson to explain or demonstrate a new technology. Lawn mowers (from the previous example), however, don’t require much explanation and can be easily mass-marketed.
Another important component to consider is product pricing. Your go to market strategy needs to take this into account as marketing methods are largely affected by price.
Is your product relatively inexpensive or a common purchase? Mass-marketing may be appropriate. However, if it’s considered a major purchase or is a high-priced item, direct sales may be more effective. Having a salesperson explain the benefits and uses of a major purchase will put buyers at ease.
Steps on How to Build an Effective Go-to-Market Strategy
By now the goals and important components of an effective go to market strategy should be coming together in your mind. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to building your action plan:
Identify Buyer Personas
To achieve long-term goals, your first step in crafting an effective gtm strategy is identifying your customer base. This process started earlier when you considered who you’d be selling to.
Use the information you gathered beforehand to formulate a plan for delivering the right product to the right customer. The ideal plan will deliver your product in a way that efficiently solves your customer’s needs.
Map A Value Matrix
Next create a “road map” demonstrating the path your product takes to solve market needs. Your value matrix also serves to help you define what success means in this process.
An effective value matrix will aid you in designing marketing action plans as you continue building your gtm strategy.
Advertise on Different Marketing Platforms
Knowing your customer means knowing where they are in the market. It also means understanding where your message needs to appear to reach the right buyers.
In this step you’ll consider branding (what most appeals to your target customer?). Also consider adding additional content to your marketing material as appropriate. For example, a blog post should be more informative than a well-timed tweet.
Lastly, consider creating a marketing website to help generate leads or attract impulse shoppers. Provide a multitude of paths from the market to your product, and the buyers will follow.
Optimize Your Ads Campaign
Your ad campaign should be optimized to appeal to a target audience identified as having the most potential. Advertising in any go-to-market strategy should be deliberate and focused.
For best results, research the optimal time, place and type of advertising for reaching your customer base.
Analyze Your Buyer’s Journey
Consider the paths taken by your business and your customers from need to solution. You need customers who buy what you’re selling. They need a product that meets a need. How do you bring these two paths together?
By crafting effective go-to-market strategies! Understand how your customer identifies their need, researches options and ultimately settles on a product or service.
That journey will include effective advertising and distribution, but it begins with brand awareness.
Build Brand Awareness
Even the best product on the market will ultimately fail if nobody knows it’s available! The entire go-to-market strategy is an exercise in brand awareness, and that’s why this step is critical.
Use the previous steps to craft your message and then broadcast it in the most effective way. Know your customer and your audience (and competitors!), anticipate their needs and habits and where they are in the market.
Plot their journey on the buyer’s path, and make sure that your brand is the clearest and most obvious choice. You want your customers to know who you are and what you provide when they see your brand name.
Implement Content Marketing
Implement content marketing that flows from the brand work you began in the last step. By now your customers should recognize your company’s values and its benefit to them.
Your next step is to begin disseminating content that will inform and empower your customers to confidently buy your product. Perhaps this means releasing blog posts or e-books. Videos can also be very effective marketing when their content is both engaging and informative.
Optimize Your Pipeline
This step is based on the product distribution component we discussed above. An effective go-to-market strategy is one that carefully considers your product pipeline.
In this step focus on optimizing the path your product takes from manufacture to customer. Consider shipping options, payment methods and where your customers are in relation to your base.
Costs for these and other elements of your launch must be included in your strategy forecasts.
Optimize Customer Acquisition Cost
To optimize your customer acquisition costs you need to employ the marketing considerations we described earlier. The cost of using direct sales methods can vary considerably from mass-market tools and tactics.
By understanding your customers, the market and other variables like pricing, form a strategy that best makes use of acquisition budgets. Finding and keeping customers is an investment.
Make it count by applying focussed gtm strategies.
Upsell A Product or Service
Lastly, make sure that your go-to-market strategy includes maximizing each sale. Implement marketing strategies that include upsells or add-ons. It’s one thing to sell that lawnmower we mentioned at the beginning, but surely your customer will also need a weed-wacker?
Make upsells a regular part of your sales strategy to maximize each buyer encounter. It’s easy to do once you compile the components listed above.
Bringing it all together
Crafting and implementing successful go-to-market strategies for your business can be easy and fun with the right guidance. At Selling Revolution, it’s our mission to see every business succeed, and that’s why we offer go-to-market strategy planning guidance.
With our fully customizable marketing plans, we can help you build the best go-to-market strategy for your business. Book a call with Selling Revolution today to begin laying out your action plan for success.