The business has only two functions: Marketing and Innovation. While Innovations are touching the new skies every now and then, the most challenging task for startups today is creating a robust Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy and programs.
Did you know that over 75% of new products/innovations fail in the market due to poor GTM strategy and execution?
While running a GTM program is not rocket science, one needs to have an understanding of how GTM works. After all, a strategy is just a blueprint for effective execution.
And here are the things a business must know...
1. What are you taking to market? Product-Market fit
You may be taking a product or service to market. Is this product well-defined? Have you tested the product-market fit with a pre-launch offer?
Being clear about what the product is and whether potential customers like it are keys to a go-to-market success. Many businesses fail to perform this pre-GTM check and suffer later.
Know this: The seeds of failure are sown long before you hit upon it.
The steps to do a pre-GTM program is simple. Pick a small market that is representative of your overall market. Define your target buyer personas. Subscribe to a GTM / MarTech platform. Run a multi-channel reach-out program, and make a pre-launch offer.
The best approach would be not to get excited to sell more at this juncture, but to focus on the way the buyers respond to your offer, and be razor focused to collect first-hand feedback from initial adopters.
2. Are you listening unconditionally?
The pre-launch offers will throw a set of data at you to analyze. If all sounds good, brilliant. If something is not okay, it is not going to be easy to accept the reality it shows. Many startup owners or product managers go berserk when they see the data that proves them wrong.
Listening unconditionally is what will keep you in the game. Your customers have no reason to throw dirt at you.
Develop the mindset to look at the pre-launch data, pragmatically. Identify what the Voice of the Customer (VOC) means. What needs to be changed in the product so as to win the customer's confidence? Be willing to change.
The best is to go back to the drawing board and make those changes before you take the next steps.
3. How to make an impactful product launch?
A good launch is a half-battle won. To deliver an impactful launch, you need to know what a product launch means. Many startups think a launch means shooting out an advertisement, or conduct a press conference, or conducting an event.
While all this is a means to an end, it is not an end by itself. Ads and events are just a way to launch and not launch itself.
Launching a product means informing the potential audience, that you have arrived. You need to tell them clearly that your brand or product is now ready, it is available in the nearby store or online, the ways to get it, and the sheer need why they should rush to get one.
To develop a perfect launch plan, ask these basic questions to yourself.
Who is my audience? Customers, Partners, Investors, and/or others.
What is the nature of their business?
What are their pain points? or What are their pleasure points?
Where can I reach them?
What story would they love to hear?
Remember when your customer audience is a high-flying executive, you may reach them effectively in an airport or on a golf course. Unless you make it very compelling they may not show up to your launch event or have time to see your advertisement and respond.
Do not blindly follow what others do. If your audience is not on Facebook, then Facebook is not a channel for you. Period. Answer the above questions and do your launch aptly.
4. Do you know what it takes to scale?
"We have got ten thousand downloads, on day one!" If you proclaim this, is it time to celebrate? Wait. The important question to ask before the celebration is: Do you know ways to ensure you get ten thousand downloads, every day? And how to increase it to 100k or a million downloads, to grow?
What took you here, won't take you there! Scale is a factor of replicable & repeatable business. You need to identify one.
Identify the scale elements. To quote an example: an always-on campaign that is giving consistent results, and with additional budgets can increase the outcomes.
Identify the replicable business model. To quote an example: customers are willing to pay monthly subscriptions to your product, and you are able to consistently add new customers every month.
When an automated always-on campaign (scale element) backs your product sales and renewals every month (replicable model), then you are poised to scale up.
5. Get, keep and reap customers, while you sleep.
Your customers are spread across the globe. They are working and looking for your product, anytime, from anywhere. Always-on GTM programs are critical for any business to thrive, in such business environments.
Always-on, Availability, and Automation are the 3A mantra to your GTM success!
Some examples of always-on GTM programs:
New customer acquisition campaign. Automate.
Customer renewal campaign. Automate.
Upsell/cross-sell campaign. Automate.
Referral campaign. Automate.
Wherever your potential customers touch you, an always-on program should engage them, convert them, assist them, and delight them.
Creating a perfect GTM program may be a walk in the park or complicated depending on the area of your business. But a perfect GTM strategy created once may be a game changer for your startup or enterprise.
There are two ways you can accomplish this task.
“Walk the mine blindfolded, or walk with us”.