Archives for posts with tag: Go to market

It’s easy to get hung up on a go to market plan. Sometimes it can feel a bit daunting: all that research, data analysis and projections to do. Yes, a full go-to-market plan can be a big undertaking depending on the stakes, but the essence of a solid go-to-market plan is being able to answer 6 questions.

Who? Who are you selling to? Which customer segment? Which individual buyer types are you appealing to within your target customer?

Why? Why should they care? What can you do for them and why should they come to you rather than elsewhere?

What? What’s your offering? What’s the make-up of your product, service and accompanying services?

Where? Where will you reach them? Where do they go for their information? The web, via partners, consultants?

How? How will you reach them? Email, advertising, promotion, PR, events, calls, meetings?

When? What’s the timeframe for preparation, execution, review, adjustment?

You can probably see that this kind of 6-question framework doesn’t simply work for go-to-market projects. You can apply it to almost anything you need to do, in order to cover the key bases and get a quick-fire direction that you can build on.

 

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The role of marketing is to generate demand for a product or service, and positively influence the chances of a sale or a satisfactory exchange. The role of production or operations is to have it ready so that when a sale happens you can deliver.

Stand and deliver, as the highwaymen and a certain 80’s pop band used to say.

This is not as easy as it sounds. It’s helpful to know your sales cycle, the length of time between when you start creating the demand and the customer wants to buy. Sometimes the sales cycle is miniscule, like in ecommerce, so you need to be ready to deliver on the upsurge in demand. Otherwise, goodwill wanes proportionally to the amount of time you have to wait after you’ve placed your order.

Last year I ordered a rather nice brand-name top from a website I’ve used for a couple of years. They used to send me a daily email with their offers. They complete on value and totally wing the service and delivery side. I ordered the top the 3rd week of February and it arrived the second week of May. I don’t know why it took so long; the possible reasons are many. Once I got the top I unsubscribed and they get no more business from me.

In the business to business world, it’s also helpful to know how long it will take you to build your product or service, and also how long it will take for your people to be able to deliver and support the product or service. If you’re lucky, you can do some of these two things in parallel and save a bit of go to market time.

 

Taking a new product to market, whether it’s the sole product of a start-up, or it’s a new product or offshoot from an established business, is a fascinating area, and one which I’ve been involved in and advised on for a while.

There are typically three phases that a company goes through in its go-to-market journey towards a repeatable, scalable business: problem-solution fit; product-market fit; scale. All of them are customer-verifiable.

1) Problem-solution fit

In this phases of the new product go-to-market journey, you have a solution that a customer acknowledges – by parting with money – solves a problem for them. Hardly rocket science. It might just be one customer, and that one customer might be helping finance your development of a product that you hope you can sell to others. The trade-off is between customising the solution to the customer’s requirements and developing a solution that will still do the job for your target segment.

2) Product-market fit

In this phase, you have developed and sold your product to the point where there is a fit between your product and the market. Again, we’re not splitting the atom here. Your customers acknowledge that they need your product and they would be in trouble if for some reason your product was unavailable to them.No-one buys a nice to have, they buy what they must have, and you’ve demonstrated that a good number of customers need what you have.

3) Scale

The third phase of new product go-to-market is when you’re adding sales at an acceptable rate and at an acceptable cost of acquisition. There are various different ways of doing this, such as using channel partners, optimising internal resources, getting better at implementing and servicing the business, and so on. As the business is growing it is achieving greater economies of scale. It is multiplying revenues at a progressively smaller incremental cost. It is scaling the business.

Plenty of companies are perfectly happy providing solutions to problems for a very small number of customers, perhaps for ever. A smaller number graduates to a product which has product-market fit. A smaller number still manages to genuinely scale the business.