Developing a product or service that customers should flock to buy is exciting – but only a fraction of your work. How you launch it to customers is what decides your business fate. Therefore the sobering and rather less exciting work is preparing your go-to-market strategy framework. If you skip this part, you’re inviting – at the very least – a challenging launch!
Let’s look at the elements of a sound framework. But first…
What is a Go-To-Market Strategy Framework?
A go-to-market strategy is an action plan. The steps and elements in it will vary from one company to another, but the aim is for you to:
- Discover your ideal customer for your product or service
- Identify the value you’re offering that customer
- Decide how you will convey this to them in your messaging
- Understand their specific needs and values and create a buyer persona
- Have sales goals and a growth plan for this product/service (units, volumes, revenue etc.)
- Define exactly how you will reach that customer: channels, retailers, direct, on-line etc.
The framework acts as your guide and helps you avoid common but unnecessary mistakes and challenges, while giving your well-targeted customers a positive experience when they interact with your new offering. User experience (UX) is the number one differentiator for why customers buy. You need to get it (and them) right.
Moreover, your well-thought-out go-to-market strategies not only ensure the best possible chances of success. They also put you a better position in terms of competitive advantage. Your competitors may take risks and may fail. What you’re planning to do is to increase the odds in your favor!
So now we’ll move on to what’s in your go-to-market strategy framework.
What’s Included in a Go-To-Market Strategy Framework?
1 Ideal Customer
Have you worked out the perfect customer for whatever need your offering addresses? Your company and your offering will probably have certain intrinsic requirements. Which customers will meet those requirements?
It’s essential to find out, because they’re the ones who’ll bring you faster revenue and more long-term value.
Analyzing your customer data in detail in this way helps you define who your target audience is as it relates to their demographic, age, gender, etc. You should also document your ideal customer’s pain points, where they spend most of their time, their decision-making process, etc. – anything that helps you target your marketing and sales efforts more accurately.
Once you have all the data you need, it’s much easier to create a personalized marketing strategy to connect with those customers.
2 Value Proposition
What makes you different from your competitors? This is another key ingredient of your go-to-market strategy framework. Have you identified that unique value proposition (UVP) and leveraged it in marketing and sales materials?
Your UVP is the core of your business, a large part of what your company is known for. It will also influence any new products/services you provide for your ideal customers.
When identified, everyone will be clear on how to help customers choose you. A good value proposition not only
- differentiates your product or service from competitors’ and
- solves your target customers’ pain points, but also
- provides value to them in a way they expect, understand, and can respond to.
3 Sales Messaging
Have you identified a unified and intent-ful message, based on your overall brand messaging? Whether in a more overt pitch or a so-called “normal conversation,” your sales message will figure in every communication at every touch point with your potential customers. Do you have variations of this for different situations?
Your sales messaging is the consistent voice of your company. Serious, casual, or young and light-hearted, your brand’s messaging doesn’t change. The tone of this messaging, however, will vary with the customer and the occasion. For instance, when networking over dinner or, instead, dealing with financial details when closing a sale.
Effective sales messaging includes
- using simple, conversational language instead of unnecessary business jargon,
- clearly showing the added value you identified, and
- answering your customer’s questions truthfully and transparently (remember the UX we talked about).
4 Buyer Persona
Can you picture and describe in detail just one of your ideal customers? This is your buyer persona. Does your go-to-market strategy framework contain this detailed description of your ideal customer?
It’s fictional, of course, but it’s based on the deep research you did of your existing customers. And if you find yourself with a prospect and you’re talking to someone who doesn’t match your buyer persona, you’re probably talking to the wrong person.
Since you can’t know every customer personally, creating a buyer persona will allow you to get as close as possible to the real personality of your ideal customer. All your marketing and sales materials should be speaking to this one person, not a group. The buyer persona is how you bring this into effect.
5 Goals/Growth Plan
Have you laid out your long-term strategic plan to achieve sustainable growth over time? Goals and a growth plan give you a clear path to your destination. Or have you been taking unnecessary detours and wondering why?
This plan for your goals and growth trajectory is another necessary step in your strategy framework. And it’s one you need to implement early on. You can then account for the time it takes to achieve your goals – and gain insight into your business methods.
One way to measure whether you’re reaching your goals is by using KPIs. So collect all data on your sales journeys so you can analyze the results of your go-to-market strategy. You’ll do this in terms of reaching your goals and growth through your KPIs. Real-time data will also help you adjust quickly where necessary.
6 Routes to Market
Have you planned which channels you’ll use to deliver your product to your target customers? Using your buyer persona of the ideal customer, you can easily identify the best means to reach them. Or do you stick with your usual channels out of habit?
Often, if not mostly, your customers dictate your channels, so being flexible in your strategy is essential. Have a written strategy for each channel, and be innovative in allocating the right channels to reach the right customers at the right times.
We Can Help You Get To Market!
Sometime it takes a village to produce and grow a successful go-to-market strategy!
If you feel you’d like extra expertise, experience, and skills to help you create the right go-to-market strategy framework for your unique product or service, we’re happy to be that “village” for you. Your top line is our bottom line. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our sales experts.