You might have heard the phrase go to market and thought it had very little to do with your business, but you have been ‘going to market’ ever since you launched your first product. To really accelerate your business growth, there are key steps you must take to develop a coherent go to market strategy that allows your business to scale with demand. This article will explain:
- What a go to market strategy really is
- Why the customer should be at the centre of your GTM strategy
- What constitutes an end-to-end customer experience
- How and why the empowered buyer has made this more important than ever
- The core ingredients of a GTM plan
What is a go to market strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a plan for reaching and serving the right customers, in the right markets, through the right channels, with the right products, that address their most important underserved outcomes with the right value proposition.
What will a GTM strategy do for your business?
The output of developing a go-to-market strategy is a winning end-to-end customer experience. It will attract, convert and retain the most desirable customers to drive both sales and market share growth at the lowest possible cost.
That’s the theory.
The challenge is how to develop the successful go-to-market strategy that actually delivers. If you look at recent UK high street fails you can see the effect of ignoring your customers’ needs. When a company doesn’t present its target customers with services and products they want, covet, admire and love then it’s game over. Do not expect loyalty. Customers are like flocks of birds. In a wing flap, they’ve disappeared over the horizon.
Before you begin it’s worth considering a budget as it’s highly likely you will need to bring in help when developing a professional go to market strategy. There are three main reasons for this:
- It eliminates the egocentric, inside-out focus most businesses apply to their product and marketing strategies
- Objectivity and skill will mean your strategy is honed, based on data, behaviours and creativity. Many businesses do not possess the expertise or have little time to devote to the all-important go to market strategy.
- Developing a GTM strategy takes time, research, discussion, development and frequent iterations. Be prepared for this.
Why the customer should be at the centre of your GTM plan
Most go-to-market plans are formed ‘inside-out’, focusing first on the business’s needs (particularly a desire to make more money faster). The focus should instead be on considering the customers’ needs first, and then on aligning your business to create value in that space.
This is what I call ‘outside-in’ thinking.
No customer really cares about your business’s needs, they care about the buying experience and the value you create for them when using your product or service.
Customers buy products to complete a specific job – and, in some cases, to complete multiple jobs. The product they buy also enables them to achieve a specific outcome. Do not underestimate this need as it underpins most, if not all, buying experiences.
A great GTM plan should address and nurture prospects and customers at every point along the customers’ journey, from first to last contact, to drive customer growth and increase lifetime value.
What is an end-to-end customer experience?
A complete customer experience encompasses every stage of the customers’ journey.
Consider where customers interact with your business? What are the critical points? These must be recorded. You need to form messaging to convince prospects as they explore, make the decision to purchase and even buy again. Your on-going customer service and opportunities for post-purchase communication should also be considered.
Therefore, ensure you have a good understanding of the whole customer journey. This will include thinking about pain or choke points, ways to improve the experience and even differentiating your company from other offerings along their journey.
All this should have the target customer at the centre of every decision. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reaching out pertinently with the right piece of content before the purchase might just seal the deal. Focus on the experience; in some respects, it’s all that matters.
How the empowered buyer has made end-to-end customer experience more important than ever
Buyers have never been stupid, but we can no longer take this for granted; knowledge is a single web search away. Therefore, transparency is essential. Don’t think you can pull the proverbial wool over their eyes.
There are price comparison sites, social media shout outs and other suppliers. These are just three ways buyers can check you out and learn all about how you do business and the quality of your offering.
Remember that sometimes the only differentiator might be your ability to respond to a question or solve an issue. Customers know they have power. They are happy to drop you and pick up a competitor. They are impatient., egocentric and time poor. Therefore, waiting is an anathema.
Employee empowerment can placate customers who want things right now. If you see sellers on eBay, for example, you are likely to be swayed by customer reviews. If clients feel they have a stake in product development or see their feedback makes a difference this can aid retention. The key takeaway is:
Plan your go to market strategy in such a way it aims to understand what the customer wants and puts them front and centre at every stage of the customer journey.
What are the core ingredients of a GTM strategy?
- Customer definition
- Define the customer job map
- Derive outcome-focused customer segmentation
- Ideal buyer profile & persona development
- Market definition
- Define TAM & competitive landscape
- Define initial target segment
- Identify related secondary markets
- Product strategy
- Use job map to define whole product solution
- Define customers’ highest value needs
- Develop offer model
- Messaging & positioning
- Define messaging hierarchy
- Develop positioning & value proposition framework
- Define outcome-solution map
- Market strategy
- Pricing, channel, sales, marketing, on-boarding & customer service strategy
If you are in the position to proceed with developing or reshaping your go to market strategy you will need to bring in professionals. I can help you define your GTM strategy and help make your brand attract, serve and retain the right customers.