Steps to building an effective Go-To-Market Strategy

Every company was started with one objective in mind, to grow. And with growth comes profit and productivity. Most especially when the resources are limited and terrain highly competitive you will want a strategy document that you can always fall back on to serve to guide you on the right path. This is what a Go-To-Market Strategy is known as.

The term Product in this article will be used to represent – services, products, offerings, etc.

The main objectives of a go-to-market strategy are as follows;

  • It serves as a guide and supports you as you launch a new product.
  • It gives your brand a refresh. That is, bringing to light wrong paths and ways to improve on them. 
  • Strategically position your brand to go after new audience segments once the need arises.

Now that we have defined a go-to-market strategy, why does your business need one?

What are those fundamentals you need to know before you put pen-to-paper and write your go-to-market strategy?

They are highlighted below so let’s get started.

Why does your business need one?

Because a go-to-market strategy clarifies the WHY of that new product you seek to launch, the audience with which you seek to launch the product for and how you seek to successfully engage them to buy and stand as advocates for your product or service.

It forces you to think through the customers’ journey, from curiosity to interest to purchase, and advocacy. This helps you give them the best experience possible with your business at every turn and build long term trust.

What are those fundamentals you need to know before you put pen-to-paper and write your go-to-market strategy?

Research is key before the full development of your go-to-market strategy. This should be short and concise. Before you begin, it is important to have a good idea of what you are doing and what the end result will be. 

  1. Product Market Fit

What inherent problem(s) does your product solve and how have you validated the need for the product?

Demand is not so easily determined and this is what we’ve learnt as a brand that has managed various businesses over time. In fact, most startups fail as a result of market problems. Not being able to clarify customers needs and wants.

While developing your go-to-market strategy, it is important you dig deep as to “why” the product was built in the first place. How you validated the needs and wants of your customers. And finally, were you able to test and validate the idea with prospective customers?

  1. Strategic Objectives

In the long run, will your product adapt to industry changes? What is your game plan for the next four quarters?

  1. Buyer Personas

Who are your buyers? What do you know about them? How does your go-to-market strategy engage and sustain them? 

Remember, “whoever understands the customer wins best.” 

Who exactly is your customer? This must reflect high-level knowledge and specific knowledge of who your ideal customers are – their aspirations, wants, needs, passion point and preference. Additionally, this can be broken down as follows;

  • Who are your target markets? 
  • What is your audience size?
  • How reachable are they and their buying power?
  • What do you know about this market
  • And if you have already deployed a strategy, What does the data reflect – are they in support or against?

Will the personas created support the long-term vision of your business? Subsequent add-ons, features and so on?

Be very specific and detailed. Make it as realistic as possible, as this will make decisions on how to get in front of your customer eyeballs easier. Speak to their understanding, then successfully translate them into paying customers.

  1. Competitors Analysis

Who else is in this market and how will they most likely react to your setting up shop as well? It is ill-advised to launch a new product without a comprehensive knowledge of who those on the other side of the fence are – your competitors.

A go-to-market strategy is a document which will need constant revision, think of it as a business plan but for your marketing efforts, so having a deep understanding of the market as it is now and what the possible changes in industry climate will be will always give you a competitive edge over your competitors.

Questions such as;

  • What market trends are looking to disrupt your industry which will affect your product success?
  • Your main competitors? Their Offerings? Digital Footprint?
  • How will they react to your product launch? Will they replicate the same approach or launch a closely related product?
  1. Dissemination

Once you have been able to identify your customers and they are now interested in the purchase of your product, how do you hope to fulfil that need?

  • Physical stores? If yes, how do you get it there, through partnerships? The launch of your own outlet?
  • An E-commerce Site or a Third Party affiliate site?

Dissemination of products should never be left as an afterthought.

  1. Is your product marketing-intensive or sales-intensive? That is, will your customers respond better to Marketing or Sales?

In as much as one does not negate the other, you need to determine which will work effectively in reaching your customer base more efficiently. In some industries, traditional sales are it while others the reverse is expected. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Pricing: Higher prices and economic decisions for customers are better suited to sales than marketing.
  • Long Term Business Relationships: Sales helps you connect more regularly with customers, while marketing puts you in front of customers when they need you.
  • Business to Consumer or Business to Business: Is your product geared towards – companies or individuals? Marketing is better suited to Individuals, while companies will be sold the idea of the product.
  • Market size: Are your customers of a larger market size where direct sales won’t be visible or a niche market size who will be in need of that one-on-one approach?
  • Product Understanding: Is your product so complex that potential customers will need detailed explanations from your Salesperson? Or is it off the bat self-explanatory?

Having a clear sense of an approach will help you greatly in the development of an efficient go to market strategy. 

Look out for the concluding part of this writeup. 

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