The ‘go-to-market’ strategy is the action plan of how organisations reach potential customers and achieve competitive advantage.
It may sound obvious, and it probably does, but it’s not only about having a good plan, rather, it’s about having the kind of plan that’s detailed, realistic, and believable. If done effectively, it can glean a huge advantage over so many other companies that are seeking startup funding.
A good go-to-market strategy is a fundamental tool for startups and other organisations when launching value propositions in a market. It could be the make or break deal for whether these propositions succeed on the market or not.
Many people associate the go-to-market strategy term solely with the launch of a new product or service. However, the strategy is also an ongoing process that requires a constant adaption to changes in customer needs, competitor activities, and technology developments, for instance.
The Go-to-Market Strategy
When putting together a go-to-market strategy for new value propositions, it’s good to ask questions such as: who is likely to buy, what would they buy, how to reach them, and where is best to promote the value proposition?
As a first step of implementing an effective go-to-market strategy, defining the target market for an offering is a prerequisite. In how many ways can the market be segmented?
Depending on the nature of the new value proposition and how much of a breakthrough is being launched, the target market can be defined in various ways. It could, for example, target completely new customer segments, or existing ones with new emphases.
Ultimately, it’s about the product and what benefits it provides the customer, as well as the characteristics of each target market segment. The hard part is to find out where the best fit is between the market and the product.
Next, the focus should be on the value proposition itself, and how it will benefit the intended users. It’s extremely important to think about the whole solution of the value proposition. Are the end-users supposed to buy the whole solution or part of it?
Without delivering a whole solution, end-users will require unimpeded access to other parts as well, before buying into the value proposition. In other words, partnerships are needed to form a network which can deliver the whole solution. This can be partners who provide after-sale service and support, installation, value added services, etc.
Once realising appropriate target segments and what value proposition to launch, it’s time to find ways of how to connect the two. Sometimes, good options may seem limited but there are many different channel strategies available. This can be through direct channels such as e-commerce or personal selling. As well, through indirect channels such as retailers (both online and offline), distributors, reps, etc.
The more indirect the channel is, the more distant the organisation is from its end-user. This can be problematic because the organisation risks losing touch with customers and their needs. Rather, they should consider how to strengthen the trust, and build a close relationship, if possible.
The final area to be covered, as a part of the go-to-market strategy, is the matter of promotion. The promotion planning should be based on similar characteristics that make up the target market.
So, where to promote the value proposition, in order to effectively cater to the target market? The focus should be on reaching decision makers with PR activities, word of mouth, social media, advertisements, etc.
When All Is Said and Done
Organisations (or individuals) should put emphasis on making a quality, realistic, rational, and fairly simple go-to-market strategy. As well, they should preferably, have the “right” team to execute on it.
Having this will hopefully be enough to get the necessary funding and start generating a cash flow. But usually, it doesn’t work out as planned, so make some adjustments and try again!