Why Do You Need a Go-To Market Strategy
Having a go-to market strategy is essential for any business. It helps to ensure that your products or services are marketed and sold effectively, allowing you to reach your desired target audience. Not only does a well-developed go-to market strategy help you stay competitive in the marketplace, but it also can give your company an edge over the competition.
The critical elements of a successful go-to market strategy include knowing who your target customer is, understanding their needs and preferences, creating effective messaging and branding, devising a clear plan for execution, and then measuring success against those goals. Knowing these five critical elements of a go-to market strategy can help ensure that you remain competitive in today’s ever-evolving marketplace while delivering maximum value to your customers.
GTM Critical Element 1: Know Your Audience – Create Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
The first critical element is to understand your target audience and create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Knowing who your ideal customers are and what they value is critical in determining how you will reach them.
And the first step is to start broad – are you Business to Business (B2B) or are you Business to Consumer (B2C). If you are B2B, create your “firmographic” profile with data like SIC or NAICS industry codes, company size, revenues, location, years in business, tech platforms, etc.. If you are B2C, create the “demographic” profile, information such as age, gender, income level, location and interests. For both B2B and B2C You should also look at their behavior such as online activity or purchase patterns. Once you have identified this data, you can use it to create a detailed profile of your ideal customer that will be used for segmentation and targeting purposes.
Understanding who your ideal customers are is essential for developing effective messaging that resonates with them. Developing “personas” or “avatars” is also a highly recommended step – but we’ll save that one for another time.
GTM Critical Element 2: Define Your Value Proposition – What Problem or Pain Do You Solve?
Having a clear understanding of your value proposition is an essential element for any successful go-to-market strategy. Your value proposition should outline the problem or pain that customers experience and how your product, service, or solution can make their lives easier or solve that pain. Identifying this helps to clearly communicate what differentiates you from competitors and why customers should choose your offering.
The process of defining your value proposition starts by understanding customer needs and identifying why and how they want to purchase the product. It’s important to recognize who is responsible for making buying decisions within target accounts, as well as what their personal objectives are in using the product or service. Once these factors are established it will be easier to craft messaging that speaks directly to the customer’s needs. This is where the detailed personas a=or avatars can be helpful, because the value you offer may change based on who the user is.
I also highly recommend that you go deep on this. Saying that you have great quality, excellent service and competitive pricing is just the entry stakes of doing business today. Yes, you and your team’s experience and knowledge is a differentiator, and is unique to your firm, but go deeper. A tactic I use often is called the “5 Whys. After each answer or solution – ask “why is that unique or important” – and do it five times. Yes, it’s annoying – but the outcomes can be pretty amazing and intuitive.
GTM Critical Element 3: Establish Your Branding/Identity/Voice
Your brand identity and your company voice should be consistent across all marketing channels and platforms, as well as in customer interactions and communications. It should capture the essence of your company’s culture, values, mission, and goals.
When creating a branding identity, there are three key elements to consider: tone, messaging style, and visual branding. The tone should reflect the spirit of your company’s core principles. Messaging style should be about conveying a clear message about what makes you different from your competitors. Visual branding encompasses your logo, colors, fonts, imagery and style. Again – the primary point is to be consistent and congruent.
GTM Critical Element 4: Develop a Tactical Marketing Plan – What Channels Will You Use
Developing a tactical marketing plan is the fourth element of creating an effective Go-To-Market Strategy. This plan should identify the specific channels you intend to use to reach your target audience and bring your product or service to market. It should also specify what actions need to be taken on each channel in order to ensure that you are getting the best possible results.
When developing your tactical marketing plan, it’s important to consider which channels will be most effective for reaching and engaging with your target customers. Social media platforms are great for raising awareness about your product or service, while email campaigns can help drive conversions by offering personalized content and discounts. Paid advertising through search engines or display networks can also be highly effective in bringing more leads into the top of your sales funnel. But you may also want to consider traditional media, such as direct mail, television, radio, print or billboards.
It goes back to your ICP – where are they “hanging out” and how can can you get their attention. Ultimately, your channel selection is all about getting your message in front of that ICP – so be sure that you are choosing it based on them – not just what you think you should do.
GTM Critical Element 5: Execute & Monitor Results – What Are Your KPIs?
Essentially, this is where the “rubber meets the road”, and it’s where these critical elements provide the framework and direction necessary to launch. As part of any GTM strategy, it is critical that you have in place a system to measure success and track progress. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used as metrics to evaluate your success against your objectives.
KPIs should be tailored specifically for each organization based on factors such as industry, business model, target audience, competitive landscape etc. Identifying relevant KPIs will ensure that you are able to properly assess whether your strategy is achieving its desired results. Be diligent and don’t fal into the vanity metrics trap. Sure getting likes is a good feeling – but if they don’t contribute to conversions and revenue – are they really important.
Two key metrics I always advise on is Lifetime Value of a customer or client or “LTV”. This is crucial as it it defines how much you can spend to acquire them, what your profits will be, and what your model will ultimately produce. The other is Customer Acquisition Cost or “CAC”. This number along with LTV help you identify profitability potential and more.
Conclusion – 4 Critical Go-To-Market Strategy Elements
Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy requires an in-depth understanding of the target customer or your ICP, the competitive landscape, positioning, messaging, and measurement of your efforts. It pretty much goes without saying that having an effective GTM strategy is critical for any business that wants to maximize its success. Creating your GTM strategy and plan doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need to be done.