A defined strategy to approach the process is essential to rise in an increasingly competitive global market. Whether you are taking a new product to a market or introducing an existing product to a new economy, you need a pre-planned strategy to find success. Being able to sell to a global audience has increased opportunities for all, but consequently, worldwide reach has increased competition in every market. Where businesses were once able to trade off-brand awareness in localized markets, heightened competition means that an active go-to-market strategy is crucial for any product launch to be successful.
However, finding the right approach is not straightforward and will vary depending on the product or service being launched, the specific Market, and more.
Defining your go-to-market strategy means understanding the impact of all these variables and creating an overall approach that maximizes the effectiveness of all mediums to build awareness and encourage interest. Of course, having a go-to-market plan developed from analyzing all these impactful variables is a challenge. Still, business leaders can craft a practical go-to-market strategy framework that can power all future innovations and production cycles by understanding the process.
What is a go-to marketing strategy?
When crafting new approaches for businesses of any size, getting the basics right and building from there is crucial. One common failing with bringing new products to the Market is a misunderstanding of a go-to-market strategy.
A go-to-market strategy provides a structure for businesses to develop a product and know that all aspects of the business are aligned with the same plan, from identifying the ideal customer to market expectations and every other facet of the process.
A failure to adopt an appropriate go-to-market strategy framework leaves you in a challenging position with too many unknowns. For example, are you focused on the wrong audience, is the Market already too crowded with similar products, is the product suitable for the culture or demographics of a particular market?
A got to market strategy provides a step-by-step approach that avoids these issues and enables a successful launch. A good go-to-market example should include identifying a target customer profile, a comprehensive marketing plan to reach them, and a sale strategy to place the product in the market.
With these components in place, the journey to Market is much clearer, enabling the business to define a problem and craft a saleable solution. However, while this go-to-market plan seems relatively straightforward, creating an effective actional strategy needs excellent market insight and product understanding. In addition, such a strategy will be unique to each product. Still, by adopting a go-to-market strategy framework, businesses can have an adaptable approach tailored to each project.
The go-to-market plan
While we have talked about a product in describing a got to market strategy, this approach can be applied to anything a business sells, including services, physical or digital products, a software platform, or in the case of a consultancy, even experience. Of course, each product and market creates unique challenges, but a practical go-to-market strategy framework provides a roadmap for creating the ideal approach for each new project.
There are five critical elements of the go-to-market plan, and by taking each in turn, a team can develop an effective go-to-market strategy tailored to each specific product. For example, in some cases, pricing and demand are viewed as part of the same challenge; however, segmenting a little more often makes it easier to assess specifics and craft a more effective response.
Know your Audience
An effective strategy begins with knowing who it aims for. In a competitive global marketplace, having the scope is the essential part of the process in many ways because the influence of choices extends way beyond just the product launch and can cover the entire project’s lifecycle.
Building an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is the foundation of effective marketing, but it needs to go further within a go-to marketing plan. In this process, your team must consider who will be buying the product and who will be buying it at launch. Those early adopters are critical to a successful launch into the market, and you must understand who they are.
A profile should include who they are, what kind of jobs they hold, their problems, and their interests. Such an approach allows for effective marketing to their needs. Still, it can also shape product development, helping refine an offering to meet those challenges more efficiently and present a more attractive overall offering.
But a product needs to maintain sales well after those early adopters have made their purchases, which is why in an efficient go-to marketing strategy framework, multiple ICPs are necessary, identifying customers who will be buying throughout the product life cycle.
Such tendency becomes clear if we look at a go-to-market example releasing new technology, such as Volvo Penta’s recent launch of a new docking system for sports boats. Early adopters who are more open to technology will be vital to establishing the system, which changes the entire boating experience in a traditionally conservative market. However, as the system proves effective and beneficial, the consumers buying the product later will have a very different profile. Likewise, later in the product cycle, those with older boats upgrading to the system will have a different profile.
Buying first is crucial when building a strategy, but those who buy later are just as important.
Knowing who will buy the product is essential because it leads to the next aspect of our go-to-market strategy, product-market fit. Product-Market Fit is the concept of a product offering a solution to a problem the Market has.
A simple go-to-market strategy example of this would be people struggling to get Covid tests for use at home. A business being first to market with a cheap and readily available test would solve a problem in those needing tests. That is a perfect product-market fit. In most cases, the relationship between a product or service and the market it aims at will not be so simple, but the principle remains the same. Whatever the product, physical or digital, a service or something else, it must be a solution to an identifiable problem.
Beyond the limits of actual costs, pricing is mainly tied to market acceptance. A product being sold in a lucrative finance market will attract higher premiums than if the same product is sold to educational institutions, as an example.
It is essential to assess the pricing opportunities for any product within the targeted Market. Such an approach is just as important when introducing an existing product into a new market with a product launch. The pricing model will vary depending on the ICP, any competition, and the overall market in question.
As a go-to-market strategy example, if your ICP focuses on wealthy entrepreneurs and leaders, the pricing margin is considerably higher than if the ICP is middle management parents with much less disposable income available. Knowing your audience is an essential factor in pricing, where businesses often suffer from tunnel vision and forget pricing can be flexible, primarily through the product lifecycle.
As with creating an ideal consumer profile, pricing should also adapt throughout the product lifecycle to help maintain appeal as the ICP of the product shifts. In this sense, pricing must be agile, responding to changes throughout the lifecycle, but getting pricing right at market entry remains crucial.
With a target customer in mind, a product that solves a specific problem, and pricing that suits both, any go-to marketing strategy has the foundation to craft marketing and sales platforms to maximize the opportunity. However, understanding the competition is just as important, as this helps place a product within the Market.
Here, a go-to marketing strategy needs to recognize what competition there is, if any, whether there is a market leader within that competition who dominates sales and assess their pricing, marketing, and sales strategies. Notably, the critical choice here is how to differentiate the new product from that competition, presenting it in a way that will persuade customers to switch from that current offering.
Here, a detailed analysis of the market leader can be used to identify areas of differentiation so that marketing strategies can target benefits beyond the existing products available. While this process is complex, no go-to marketing strategy would be complete without considering competition as a factor within the market entry process.
The final aspect of the go-to marketing plan is distribution. We have almost endless opportunities to reach out to a target audience to inform them about a new product and the ability to make sales from almost anywhere on the planet, thanks to websites and other digital assets. However, it is not enough; getting a product into customers’ hands and potential customers is not quite so simple.
Shipping is not just a problem for physical products either; effective distribution of digital products is just as important as delivering services and other projects. Distribution of digital products is perhaps the most demanding, as consumer expectation is for instant, seamless access to any purchases. Even a slight delay or issue can be seen as a failure.
The distribution must be developed alongside the product itself as part of the go-to-market strategy to avoid delays. It can adapt with the overall approach to meet the customer, and Market needs best. In this way, the best distribution strategy is always in effect, considering volume, cost, and speed depending on consumer expectations, projected sales, and pricing choices.
Creating a go-to-market strategy
The importance of a viable go-to-market strategy cannot be overstated but knowing that you need that strategy and creating the go-to-market plan are two different things. Every situation is different, and every path to Market will be just as unique. However, by establishing a go-to-market framework, it is possible to streamline the process and obtain the best outcomes possible for every product.
Before creating the go-to-market plan, the question that must be answered is what the business case for this project is? For example, tying the new product launch to the current overall strategy, how the product compliments other offerings, what advantages the new Market will bring, etc. The answers to this will shape everything that follows, so be accurate and honest when assessing your business case.
From here, three processes together will shape the go-to-market strategy.
The marketing plan is built to focus on your chosen customer profile and reflect the target market’s cultural and economic conditions at the heart of your go-to-market strategy. Your marketing plan aims to define where your product sits within the Market and how you will tell your audience about it.
To make an efficient plan, you should define several aspects of the product:
- Value Proposition – What sets your product apart from the competition?
- Market Position – Where does your product fit into the market landscape in relation to the competition?
- Messaging – Find three pain points that your product solves for users.
- Sales Materials – What materials are necessary to support and sell the product? Here, define the tools, support structure, and resources required.
- Use Case – How will your audience use the product? Can you use that to present a solid reason why the product will enhance their lives?
Working through these aspects of the marketing plan, don’t get carried away with details. With a go-to-market strategy framework, you are looking to define the steps you need to take, and your team will find the most effective way of implementing these ideas.
This covers everything from pricing to content that accompanies the launch. No matter how good the product is, it will fail if you don’t have a sales strategy to convert interest into purchases.
There are several tasks to work through to establish an effective sales strategy, including:
- Branding – Who are you, what is the product?
- Leads – To sell the product, you need prospects. Use your customer profile to develop a strategy to engage with them.
- Events and Ads – Is the product suitable for an event or other PR solution?
- Internal Training – What training are you offering to your sales team? A new product, new market, or new audience means your team may need some guidance to be effective in this new scenario.
- Conversions – What is the right approach to suit your product and customer profile?
Again, the goal here is to outline an approach; the details can be refined as the process is implemented.
Defining your goals is an essential part of creating a go-to-market plan, as it allows you to judge whether the project is successful or not. If you have no goals set, you cannot quantify performance. The metrics chosen will depend on the product and your expectations, but they should always be measurable and meaningful for the overall project.
With these processes defined, you have a go-to-market strategy framework, a roadmap that takes you from development to sales.
Go to market strategy Examples.
Businesses of all sizes need a go-to-market strategy, and to illustrate the point, here are some examples covering everything from large multinationals entering a new market to smaller businesses launching a new product.
Huawei enters the Indian Market.
Here’s an example of a multi-billion-dollar company creating a go-to-market strategy to begin offering their products in a new market, one that presented several challenges. The telecom market in India is relatively saturated, with Apple and Samsung representing the quality portion of the Market and several suppliers offering value-focused products.
As a Chinese manufacturer, Huawei also faced cultural challenges, as the Indian Market views Chinese-made items as inferior, with resistance partly coming from political animosity between the two countries.
To overcome such challenges, Huawei did not start by bringing products to the market; instead, investing significantly in R&D and Service Centers in the country, mainly employing local workers. This showed their commitment to India as a customer base and built trust and goodwill for the brand.
The products themselves have been positioned as aspirational, using contests and other local events to challenge the stereotype of low-quality Chinese products.
Specializing in a video on demand for mobile platforms, Vuclip identified a key pain point for existing products: slow video streaming with buffering running the experience.
Vuclip then targeted markets where mobile infrastructure had not evolved to provide the buffering-free playback experience that users demand, specifically India and Indonesia, as well as several other emerging markets.
In these markets, where the majority only have mobile to access videos awaiting market was looking for a better solution than poorly performing apps.
By ignoring the app-based solutions and developing a web-based platform that focused on performance instead, Vuclip has amassed over 7 million subscribers across India, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
A go-to-market strategy gives you a roadmap to product launch and beyond, but that doesn’t mean they are set in stone. For example, Upscope offers a software as a service solution for sharing screens; launched in the early days of cloud computing, the product was envisioned as a tool for IT support staff, allowing a quick look and access to a screen to solve problems minor issues.
Today, the major users are onboarding, account management, and support teams, who often spend as much as half an hour with each customer. Identifying this switch enabled Upscope to adjust their go-to-market plan to better focus on their majority users.
Such a personalized approach highlights the importance of constant review of user-profiles and usage itself. The Upscope system was initially designed to offer fast, easy screen sharing with no downloads. However, the competition required software installation and setup, not always suitable for the customers being helped.
This still matters today, but a key statistic that has reshaped the sales and marketing approach is that Upscope reduces the length of support calls by as much as 30%. That is a significant cost-saving for businesses and one that has allowed Upscope to continue to grow even as the market itself has changed.
A go-to-market strategy is not a fixed point, as, with all areas of business, you must be adaptable, and if new opportunities appear, adjust the approach to take full advantage. One of the key disadvantages of a go-to-market strategy is not in its makeup but its application. In many cases, businesses fail to adapt as situations change, leading to problems with the project, whereas effective go-to-market strategies reflect changes as they occur.
With continued reassessment of those core assumptions, who your customer is, what your product offers and what the market needs, it is easy to adapt to changes as they emerge, refining the strategy to meet the new paradigm.
Go to marketing strategy creates a roadmap to success.
With a go-to-market plan in position, every project has a defined path from development to launch and beyond. Identifying who your customers are, the market needs and product benefits, the right approach for marketing, sales, and other aspects of the launch can all be tailored correctly, giving the project the best chance of success.
However, creating a go-to marketing strategy framework can be complex, and not every business has the in-house skills or resources to do so effectively. That doesn’t mean those businesses should miss out on the advantages of a go-to marketing strategy, though, and there is another solution.
The Xinergy team is experts in providing go-to marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. They will provide a comprehensive service that analyses your product and business, developing a practical solution that is ready to implement.
Our Cost-effective, quality service covers every aspect of the go-to-market plan, delivering actionable solutions designed to meet your unique needs. In addition, we offer complete and continuing support, ensuring that your go-to-market strategy achieves your identified goals.
With solutions from Xinergy, your resources can be more effectively deployed, leaving our experts to craft a go-to-market strategy that identifies your customer and develops the right approach for maximizing your product potential in any given market.
With expert guidance, comprehensive analysis, and superb outcomes, Xinergy can help you gain a competitive advantage in the global economy transform your product launches, giving confidence and security with innovative strategies that provide a roadmap from development to launch and into the future.
Contact us for detailed information and a tail-made plan.