Coming up with a go to market strategy can help you edge out competitors in a competitive niche. You’ll want to brainstorm a go to market plan that helps you determine your unique value proposition to entice customers to buy your products and services. In this article, we’ll share the go to market meaning, benefits of having a go to market strategy, a few examples, and tips on how to develop a go to market strategy in 2021.
What Is A Go To Market Strategy?
A go to market strategy is a business plan to carve out a competitive advantage over competitors to offer customers the best products and services in a niche market.
Benefits of Having A Go To Market Strategy
There are numerous benefits to having a go to market plan. Here are a few:
1. Go to Market Quickly
You can go to market fast when you’ve got the right plan in place. When you’ve defined all your audiences, competitors, and figured out your unique value proposition, you’re likely ahead of competitors who rused their launch without a second thought. You don’t need to spend months coming up with your go to market plan, but you need to spend at least a couple days thinking about what your strategy is going to be. Once you know what you’re doing, it’s so much easier to move fast.
2. Improve Chances for Success
People who don’t plan tend to fail. Like mentioned above, you don’t need to spend months planning things out. However, if you spend some time organizing your thoughts on who to target and what your marketing plan will look like, you’ll be more likely to succeed. Trying to figure things out after you’ve launched is a recipe for failure. If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t go anywhere. By creating a one page go to market template, you’ll be well on your way to achieving business success.
3. Launch a Winning Product
Having a go to market strategy in place can help you launch a successful product. By doing the upfront and necessary research associated with your target market, competitor products, and so forth, you give yourself the best chance possible of creating a product that people want. Without this level of detail and attention to your product, you’re likely to create something that doesn’t resonate with people.
Go To Market Examples
There are many go to market examples, here are a few:
When Facebook launched back in 2005, it’s go to market strategy was to focus on getting the social platform going at every university and college. The niche audience allowed it to grow substantially. So, when it became public to everyone in 2006, there was already an existing, large user base using the product.
2. Target Canada
Target Canada is an example of a failed go to market strategy. When they launched their brand in the country, they decided to acquire failed businesses and place their store in the same spot. With the same branded color. They expanded too quickly launching over 120 stores in about a year. They quickly realized that customers weren’t resonating with the brand. Likely because the low American prices were turned into high Canadian prices. As a result, Target Canada shuttered all stores in less than a few years.
When Amazon launched, it originally started as a bookstore instead of the general store it is today. By focusing on a category by category expansion, it built a strong and loyal following to allow it to become the mega giant online store it is today. By allowing other sellers to sell their products on the platform, they’re able to scale their product collection at a rate that most online stores can’t compete with.
How To Develop A Go To Market Strategy
1. Determine your unique value proposition
While developing a go to market strategy, you’ll first want to determine your unique value proposition. New competitors are popping up everyday. You’ll need to know exactly how you’ll differentiate yourself from them. Your unique value proposition should be something that isn’t easy to copy – something only you can provide. Take for instance Facebook’s ad technology, the tech is proprietary and the best in the world. Competitors and the average person don’t know how it works giving Facebook an advantage over others. Your unique value proposition might be a patented product that you created yourself. It could also be what separates you from tradition. Take Uber, for example, it beat out taxi drivers by simplifying how easy and safe it is to get a ride while offering better pricing. To disrupt an industry, your unique value proposition will need to offer something that no other industry has ever offered.
2. Figure out your niche
Your niche is the subsect of the industry that your business is in. For example, if your industry is fashion, your niche may be women’s fashion, maternity wear, men’s fashion, children’s fashion, formalwear, or even swimwear. There are many more possible niches too. Many people want to start a general business to be like Amazon. But even Amazon started out with a niche. Amazon originally started as a bookstore. It strived to be the biggest bookstore in the world. After it began dominating the book niche, it decided to expand it’s market by including toys to capitalize on holiday sales. From there, Amazon kept dominating other industries to become the biggest online store in the world. So, when picking a niche, don’t be afraid of being pigeonholed. Keep your business name general enough that you’re not defined to a single niche, though. It’s totally possible to expand your business in any direction. But you’ve got to start somewhere. So pick a popular niche that’s underserved, and slowly expand into other markets as your go to market strategy.
3. Narrow down your target audience
Before you go to market, you need to have a defined target audience. You might even use this time to create buyer personas for your target market. Are you able to describe the type of person that would buy from your store. Knowing your target audience will allow you to create a buyer persona which will allow you to only add products to your website that the audience of your website would buy. This is particularly helpful in the ecommerce space. While you might go after new target audiences through business expansion, you’ll simply create more buyer personas instead of eliminating the ones you have. So, who is your target audience? What stores do they shop at? How old are they? What’s their gender? Where do they live? What’s their annual household income? These are all things to think about when creating your go to market strategy.
4. Come up with a list of competitors
Are you able to list out all of your competitors? Some niches have 2-5 big ones and thousands of smaller ones. Take a look at around 10 of them. Determine what their unique selling propositions are. Figure out what their advantages are. How much website traffic do they get? Do they have social media followers? What are their best-selling products? Are there any features their products have that yours lack? Use all this research to help you create a better product than everyone else on the market. You’ll also want to determine their go to market strategy. How do they promote their businesses online? Are there markets you can go after that they’re currently neglecting? This competitor research shouldn’t be your holy grail. After all, you want to be better than competitors but you still want to offer customers exactly what they’re looking for. Serve your customers and you’ll be rewarded. So while doing competitor research is important, remember that it’s only one tiny step in your go to market strategy.
5. Create a product that fills in the gaps
How does your product exceed expectations? By creating a product that fills in the gaps, you’ll create a well-rounded item that people fall in love with. You can do this kind of research by reading negative reviews from competitors. You can also do this by surveying your audience and asking them what they want. But remember, people sometimes don’t know what they want until you offer it to them and they realize it’s what they’ve needed all along. Ultimately, if you’re going to invest in being a business, you need to commit to building an epic product that the market needs. Otherwise, the market will let you know that they aren’t interested by not buying your product.
6. Find marketing opportunities
An effective go to market strategy will focus on finding marketing opportunities. This means that if all your competitors do direct ads, you’ll go after organic traffic. If your competitor creates photo graphics, you’ll invest in video. Ultimately, your marketing strategy should be on owning the types of marketing that your competitors aren’t doing. You might be thinking, “but they achieved success that way so it’s proven.” True, but the tactics that got them to where they are are already outdated. You’re not starting from the same starting line as them. First off, if a competitor has been in a space for almost ten years, their ad costs were once low when they first entered. Ad prices alone could cost more than they bring in. That’s why if you invest in areas that they’re not in yet, you can scale up to their level in two or maybe three years. You just need to slide through the cracks of where they haven’t invested in yet.
7. Determine your marketing channels
As you plan to go to market, consider what marketing channels you’ll promote your business on. Will your business be active on social media? Which platforms can you fully invest in to start? What type of ads will you be running: search-based or impulse buy? Have you thought about how you’ll be collecting email addresses? Maybe it’s time to consider the long-term play by doubling down on SEO and content marketing. You can also consider a viral marketing campaign to get some word of mouth marketing happening. Like mentioned earlier, you’ll likely want to consider filling in the gaps of your competitors to own marketing channels that are underserved to maximize your sales growth.
8. Pick the right product price
Choosing the right price is harder than just writing down a number and hoping for the best. You’ll want to ensure that your pricing aligns with your competitors. Most new businesses focus on undercutting themselves. Some entrepreneurs say that they want to be the most affordable option on the market. However, the low price strategy often ends with the failure of the business. You can compete on a lot of things but price isn’t one of them. So, never, ever, ever try to be the cheapest competitor on the market. If your goal is to be on the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll need to ensure that you’re offering something no one else can – on the level that it’s proprietary though. So that means offering something no one else could offer if they tried. For the most part, you’ll likely try to be in the same price range as competitors to keep a level playing field and to earn the most profit possible.
9. Improve lead to conversion rate
As you start executing your go to market strategy, you’ll want to make tweaks to your plan to maximize sales. Taking a look at your lead to conversion rate will help you figure out how you can improve. If your business runs on a subscription model, you might notice a high churn rate. You’ll want to make changes to your business model to help keep people on using your products and services on an ongoing basis. As you look through data, aim to find areas to improve your sales funnel, landing page copy, and other tweaks to help you improve your conversion rate. By focusing on improvements early on in your business, you prevent any big profit losses down the road.
10. Lower acquisition costs
In the early stages of your go to market plan, you’ll likely notice that you have high acquisition costs. This is common for new businesses who start marketing to cold audiences. In these cases, you’ll want to try some marketing strategies that help keep costs low– or at minimum warm cold leads better. For many businesses, content marketing and SEO can help improve your brand awareness and ease people into your funnel. As your business’ blog and website traffic grows, you can then invest in retargeting ads which have a lower acquisition cost and tend to convert more visitors. Focusing on free marketing strategies, such as SEO, social media marketing, or content marketing is a great way to build a big brand long-term while keeping your costs as low as possible.
Your go to market plan will help you launch your business successfully. Coming up with a go to market strategy that includes coming up with a unique value proposition, studying competitors, and filling in the product and marketing gaps that your competitors missed helps set you up for long-term success. Focusing on free marketing strategies, such as content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing can help you build a brand for the long-term. Using some of the go to market examples in this article, you can work to create your own go to market template to launch your new business in 2021.