Say you’ve got a solid business plan, with a pretty firmly established base of loyal customers. In this dream world, you sell cool stickers that unicorns can put on their horns (we said it was a dream world). Recently, your R&D team has established that not only do your unicorn clients want stickers, they also want cute little knit horn covers for winter.
You have the product finalized. You announce it to the world! And now you sit back and let marketing take its course. Right?
Having a general plan is great, but to make the most sales, you must have a go-to-market strategy for every single product (unicorn-adjacent or not) you put out into the world.
What is a Go-to-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a step-by-step plan for how a company will launch a specific new product or service, and gain a competitive edge over competition.
It involves identifying your target audience, keeping an eye on competitors, and crafting compelling messaging to distribute through appropriate channels.
It can feel like a lot to plan out and execute. But it’s worthwhile. Read on for our top eight tips for creating a successful GTM strategy for any product — unicorn accessories included.
Identify your market and ideal customer.
What problem does your product solve? Who is experiencing this problem and is willing to pay for a solution? These are the questions you should be asking to identify your market and ideal customer.
To create a successful campaign, you have to know who you’ll be marketing to. Map out specific buyer personas to identify the types of people who will be interested in your product. Write down their pain points, how your product would bring value to them, and the message you’ll craft specifically for them. You can also identify potential gatekeepers, so you can learn how to speak to their pain points as well.
Test your messaging on a small scale first.
A successful GTM strategy is data-driven. This is why you’ll want to test the messaging you’ve developed for your buyer personas on a small scale before approaching the masses.
Think about where your ideal audience is (i.e. social media, linkedin, Google ads) and then begin to advertise on those channels. Note which channels and industries you get the most interaction from. Also note which types of messaging get the most clicks. Now use this information to optimize your advertisements.
Map out a buyer’s journey.
Map out your buyer's journey to determine the steps you will need to take to sell your product.
Generally it goes something like this:
The buyer becomes aware they have a problem.
The buyer does research, and makes a short list of potential solutions.
The buyer talks to sales teams, and ultimately makes a decision.
Meet the buyer where they are in each of these stages. Attract the buyer through attention-grabbing ads, engage them in communications with your sales team, and delight them with great customer service. Creating a specific map of processes will make sales quick and easy.
Pick an advertising strategy.
Choosing one or more of the four most common sales strategies will help you know what steps to take to close deals:
The self-service model is when a customer purchases an item on their own.
The inside sales business model is when a customer is nurtured by a sales rep.
The field sales business model is when a full service sales team makes large, enterprise sales.
The channel model is when an outside agency makes sales for you.
Consider your business size, budget, and product pricing to decide which model is right for you.
Fill your pipeline.
Now it’s time to start creating awareness of your brand, and demand for your product. Demand generation can be done in a number of ways.
Social media posts, free content, and paid ads can generate interest organically, and lead customers straight to you. You can also reach out to leads directly. Warm and personalized emails or calls to leads who have shared their information with you can be a great introduction to your brand.
After you stir up initial interest, potential customers can then be led to further engagement through educational materials, blog posts, and more in-depth conversations with sales reps.
Inbound marketing is a popular technique used to develop a base of long term, returning customers who really connect to your brand. Rather than bombarding leads with generic ads, you create quality content that allows customers to come to you.
Free, informative content is a pathway to building trust and a sense of community with your customers. Blog posts and educational materials can also be shared on social media, and drive traffic to your website through internal linking.
Gather data and optimize your efforts.
Never stop optimizing your strategy. Make sure you are tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) to see what you are doing well, and which areas could use some improvement. Tracking how many sales opportunities reps can convert to sales will tell you how well your strategy is working.
Also, be sure to track the amount of time between when a customer expresses initial interest to when they make a purchase, and then work to compress this lag. Are there certain places where leads get stuck or drop off? How can you remove these obstacles for qualified leads, and make sure unqualified leads are let go as early as possible?
Don’t neglect your current customers.
It typically costs more to gain a new customer than to do business with an existing one. Through inbound marketing, you can build a base of loyal, returning customers. And once you have this base, strategize ways to tap into it.
Renewals, cross-selling, and upselling are all great ways to gain revenue. And if a customer is already impressed with your product and service, they are likely to continue doing business with you.
Overwhelmed? You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Developing a GTM strategy takes time and effort. Working with an experienced marketing agency can give you a leg up on competitors. Vye is a full-service growth agency that uses inbound marketing to help you gain lifelong, happy customers. We can help you develop your plan, easily track KPIs, and even create eye-grabbing content.