The main goals of every business is to grow, increase revenue and to remain in business for a long period.
However, revenue growth can be challenging when competition becomes fierce and companies struggle to gain market share. For businesses to fairly compete with their competitors, they need a workable strategy that serves as a guide and roadmap to success. This leads us to the concept of "Go to Market Strategy."
A go to market strategy is a framework or strategic plan designed by a company in launching a product or introducing a service to the public. A go-to-market strategy outlines planned actions and tactics that guide management’s decisions and ensures that companies adhere to their implementation and marketing plan for successful business growth.
Go-to-market strategies go beyond the launch of a new product; they can be adopted when initiating a service offering, or rebranding existing products, services, or consumer goods. It also involves the introduction of your consulting service to an entirely new industry. Consequently, such a strategy should be sophisticated and comprehensive. However, it should also be flexible to accommodate changes and updates in line with industry trends or newly emerged company goals.
It is crucial to have a well documented and detailed go to market strategy for two main reasons:
- It should clearly define your purpose. It should have a well-articulated answer to “why are we launching this service?” It should also define your target market and distribution channel. That is, to whom do you want to sell your services and how do you intend to reach them.
- Such a strategy should help you become innovative and creative. You should identify possible challenges your customers and target customers may face and articulate possible solutions to help them have a better experience.
All that Matters in Go to Market Strategy
In designing your go-to-market strategy, you need to conduct extensive market research. This is necessary because your go-to-market strategy should contain a lot of vital information about your business and your services in terms of benefits and features. Here are some of the information you should provide in your go-to-market strategy includes:
- Product definition: After developing your product and services, it is essential that you define the problem you are solving and how it is expected to add value to your clients’ businesses. A better approach to this is to understand your clients’ business needs. You can evaluate the industry they play in to identify industry-wide challenges or company-specific issues. After then, think of possible services that can play a role in addressing these issues. Identify possible solutions and communicate these viable solutions to your clients in your go-to-market strategy. Let them know you can help them tackle their business issues and boost overall business performance.
- Target Market: Aside from a product and service definition, your go-to market strategy should also include the description of your target market. Questions around who to sell to, who to approach, should be clearly expressed. As a result, understanding your target market is an essential part of formulating a go-to market strategy. Buyer information including their mode of business operations, industry, business model, preferences, among others should be captured.
Also, you should have a strategy around how to reach them. In a case where you intend to capture a particular market segment of the industry, you should define the customer group, what they need, how to meet their needs, and the channels needed to reach them.
- Distribution channels: Now that you have defined your customer segment, you need to understand the best approach to reaching them. Buyers prefer different marketing techniques. Some customers are more interested in physical interaction and personal conviction. Meanwhile, others are more comfortable with digital marketing.
To understand the approach to adopt, you should consider factors such as the nature of your business and services rendered, and the market size (small customer segment who prefer physical interaction or larger size). Other issues to consider include the complexity of your tech solutions (can your customers understand the services or they need guidance from your marketing and sales teams and sales reps). For B2B businesses like yours, a direct marketing campaign works better than mass marketing activities.
- Competition: Industries have several players, and they undoubtedly compete for survival. A key survival technique is to understand how your competitor operates and their survival strategies. This helps you to develop a counter-strategy and better approach to handle the competition. As a result, it is important for you as a business to understudy your competitors, and this should be reflected in your strategy. When your competitors launch a new market plan that can negatively affect your business, you should be able to reflect such changes in your go-to-market.
In essence, your go-to-market should mirror industry realities and new market trends. You can also take a proactive stance by anticipating your competitors’ next move and how to tackle such steps.
Having a good understanding of the points mentioned above helps you develop an effective go-to-market strategy that captures a wide range of necessary details. However, your go-to-market strategy should be concise but should be well-detailed. As mentioned earlier, it should also be flexible enough to accommodate market changes.
Steps to Developing a Go to Market Strategy
Below is a step by step guide on how to develop a go-to-market strategy:
- Target market: In defining your strategy, it is recommended that you start with defining your target market. This is because an effective business strategy starts with understanding your target market. Key considerations in choosing or selecting your target market include client base, location of the clients, among others. This helps you craft the right solutions to their business challenges.
As a tech consulting firm, you need to define the target segment that ties with your service because the efficacy of your strategy depends largely on how you understand your target market. As an organization, you need to know those that want your tech solutions and those that need them. You should also identify which of the market segment offers you the largest profit, that is which of the market will give the highest profitability.
A good approach in identifying the most profitable market is by analyzing the market features such as barriers to entry, market size, and competition, etc. By comparing the features in one market against the other market, you can identify the market that can generate higher profit for you (mature markets with less competition are more profitable).
To make your analysis, you can integrate the Five Porter’s Forces into your market research. Under this framework, the key factors to consider include the bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, the barrier to entry/exit, rivalry and competition, and the threat of substitute products or services.
- Target Customer Base: In developing your go-to market, knowing and understanding your customer is crucial. When defining who your target customers are, you should try to get insights and relevant information about them in order to make informed decisions.
Common methods you can use in getting information about your potential customers include opinion polls, surveys, interviews, and extensive research in the field. You can also explore feedback provided by your existing clients; this serves as an important resource to understand their expectations and business needs. Your focus should be on key information such as the impact of your tech solutions on their business, why will they prefer your service to that of your competitor, how will your service help them achieve their business goals? You can adopt the use of data analytics tools to evaluate your findings.
The next step is to know how to reach your identified target clients. You should also monitor relevant content around the social media platforms and digital channels they visit more often, their preferred mode of communication, their motivations, among others. After gathering all this information, organize the data into different customer profiles that are a true depiction of your audience or target market.
- Brand Positioning: Having a brand position involves creating an image for your brand and defining how you want your customers to view your business. It is essentially the deliberate act of shaping their perception of your business. For instance, do you want to be perceived as a premium brand with expensive pricing or an affordable brand, do you want them to see you as a better option relative to your competitors?
To get a feel of your customer’s perception of your business relative to your competitors, you should assess your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. This helps you in evaluating your position in the market relative to your competitors. Your market position will most likely influence your customers’ perception of your business. Aside from evaluating your market position, you can consider running an objective appraisal of your tech solutions and services to establish if they are in line with your clients’ needs.
- Define your unique value proposition: Developing a unique value proposition is an integral part of having a go-to-market strategy. It positions you as a business that understands its services. It also projects the benefits that your services offer. A unique value proposition entails defining what makes you stand out and distinct from your competitors. The first step to stating your value proposition is to identify the solutions you offer that your competitors cannot offer.
After identifying the uniqueness of your services in terms of benefits and features, you will then consolidate them all in a statement. This statement should articulate the solutions you offer, how it addresses your customers’ needs, and the problem it intends to solve.
In essence, your audience or target market should be able to have a clear answer to why they should pick you over any other player in the industry. You can check for samples of the company’s unique value proposition online to have a broader understanding of how to craft your statement.
- Competitive Analysis: In your industry, identifying and understanding the competitors is another important step to take. This helps you to have a bolder footprint and stronger brand recognition in the industry. You can take a cue from your understanding of the target market and the definition of your unique value proposition.
The first thing to do is to study the marketing approach of your competitors. You should be able to answer questions around how they reach out to customers, what are they doing differently, how are they gaining market share, do they have a stronger brand presence? The goal is not to copy their strategy, you are expected to come up with better tactics that can put you ahead of the competitors.
Another notable point is that your competitors may change their marketing strategy in response to your move. Hence, you need to remain innovative and be at the top of your game to remain relevant.
- Pricing Strategy: Articulating the pricing strategy to employ is the next step to take in developing a go-to-market strategy. This aspect of the go-to-market strategy is quite sensitive because service pricing communicates several messages to your client.
For instance, when you charge a lower consulting fee, current customers may perceive you as an inexpert or someone with lesser industry knowledge. Your pricing strategy should be in line with your marketing strategy. In a case where you are trying to increase your market share capabilities, lowering your service fee is your best option.
On the contrary, you can raise your service fee when you intend to attract premium clients which will most likely not result in a higher market share.
Having a list of incredible consulting services or tech solutions does not guarantee the success of the business or its sustainability. Business survival depends largely on having a working go-to-market strategy that oversees the successful launch of your services. The guide and framework discussed above will help you develop a robust go-to-market strategy that can transform your business and reinforce your brand presence. Hence, it is recommended that you go through it thoroughly and follow the step guide closely.
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