There is one common factor to the most successful startups, scale-ups and enterprises launching a new product. A go-to-market strategy well prepared for growth.
Do you remember when Slack released their product to market back in 2013? Media headlines were filled saying “Flickr Cofounders Launch Slack, An Email Killer?” In combination with other factors, this led to incredible growth and was a result of a go-to-market strategy.
Based on our experience, this 7-step go-to-market guide will help you plan your route to success.
What is a go-to-market strategy?
A go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy) is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach their target audience and achieve a competitive advantage in a new market.
7 steps of a successful go-to-market strategy
Let’s assume you have solved the questions about financing, which is often a part of GTM strategy. Once that is completed, you should always consider following:
Are you in a hurry? Here is the list of 7 steps for a successful go-to-market strategy. If you have more time, I go into each one in detail below as well.
- Identify your persona(s)
- Define value matrix
- Create a story that will help position your company
- Specify your buyer’s journey
- Implement “Build-Measure-Learn” flow
- Distribute your budget well throughout the funnel
- Plan your customer retention
Would you add anything to the list? I’ll be happy to see it in the comment.
Are you still here? Cool! Go grab a cup of coffee or tea, get comfortable, and let’s dig deeper!
1. Identify your persona(s)
Firstly, you want to know who your product is intended for. One of the most effective tactics is to create a buyer persona, semi-fictional representation of your customer. There are a lot of resources on the internet telling you to define their demographics, interests and stuff. But don’t trust them.
We always recommend focusing on your consumers’ issues, goals and fears. You can also consider the constraints that prevent them from buying your product and the things they have already tried to solve the issue you’re trying to fix.
In the video below you find more on the topic of how to define your target audience.
2. Define value matrix
A value matrix is a breakdown of personas and their business problems combined with the value of your product in solving them. It helps you set the messaging in order to hit the pain point of your audience and offer the right solution. So, what issues or goals of your buyer persona will you address? How does your product help in relation to them?
3. Create a story that will help position your company
In the introduction, I mentioned the Slack GTM strategy. Their idea was to position themselves as the simple, integrated, team communication alternative to confusing emails threads. And so, the story of “the email killer” was born.
Now, what is the one thing you want your audience to remember about you? You don’t need to be super creative, it’s just about having consistency when talking about the product or company. Therefore, make sure your story is as authentic as possible and just share it consistently throughout communication channels.
Watch this video to find more about your company’s storytelling.
4. Specify your buyer’s journey
Choose the framework of your marketing/sales funnel to move your client from the very first view of your content right to becoming a customer.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose. Most of the businesses are using the so-called AIDA or STDC framework, we mostly work with a little adjusted ToFu/MoFu/BoFu, where:
- ToFu (Top of the Funnel) – here we want to talk about the pain points of our customer’s persona to increase visibility and awareness. Basically, in the ToFu we pour the audience into the funnel and win their attention.
- MoFu (Middle of the Funnel) – in MoFu we generate leads and nurture them with valuable content on a long-term basis. No pressure, no pushy sales, just added value. You want to be helpful, not annoying. If we talk about the pain-points in ToFu, here we want to talk about the solution, serving case studies, long-form videos or webinars to name a few. The most important thing here is to engage them.
- BoFu (Bottom of the Funnel) – Once your future customers are ready to buy (you find out basically by seeing them coming to your sales page 😊), it’s time to give them a sales offer. Thus, in BoFu we talk about the product, how and why to purchase. The goal in this part of the funnel is to sell.
5. Implement “Build-Measure-Learn” flow
When testing a new product you want to start from the Bottom of the Funnel to generate a little number of customers to know what motivates them to try your product. Using these learnings you can gradually build the whole funnel bottom-up.
This approach is based on the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop pioneered by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup”. By the way, if you are this far in the article and have not read the book, then you should definitely change that right now.
6. Distribute your budget well throughout the funnel
How to distribute the budget correctly? There is no answer that is satisfying and true. Actually, the only true answer is “it depends”. However, there is some advice you could follow.
Unlike the previous step, when talking about budget you want to use most of it on the ToFu stage to attract your target audience’s attention. You simply want to pour as many people from your target group to the funnel as possible. So, the initial budget distribution could look like this (ToFu:MoFu:BoFu) 👉 60:30:10.
7. Plan your customer retention
Even though the most important part of growth is acquisition, it’s also very important to keep your customers once you win them. How do you ensure they won’t leave? Serve them valuable content to improve their experience with your product, solve their issues, make them feel special. They have to feel like they are receiving special care. Or special prices for complementary products… Everyone loves a discount!
To summarise, if you want to grow successfully the scalable way, you should always have a growth plan. However, as the president Eisenhower said “planning is everything. The plan is nothing”. That said, plan your growth but never underestimate the value of unscalable activities and adaptation to the current market conditions. Experiment continuously and challenge the plan all the time. And if you want us to be your partner to help scale your growth across the universe, here’s what you should do.