Scenario one: A start-up after two years:
A few days back, I got a call from an old friend and he referred me to a business lead where I can go a pitch key service; go to market strategy for small and medium business owners. I met the prospect (the owner of a software company with 30+ employees) who has introduced a software solution two years back for discrete manufacturers. The product is solving a particular problem for design engineers. He has asked me to create a few marketing collaterals such as videos, blog posts, whitepaper, newsletter and a few more items randomly without any background or plan in place.
Surprisingly, during the first meeting itself, while discussing to prepare the content calendar & content types, we jointly found they don’t have not any written marketing plan, some goals to achieve, a set of objectives or any measures that can measure the growth. In-fact they have not done product positioning, key value proposition or competitive analysis. I was explaining about the need of Go to market strategy for small and medium business owners like him. Well, he said, we don’t have team in place to prepare for all this, let’s go ahead with content work. I agreed with him and move ahead.
The fact is when you start a venture, the key focus on the product development rather than a structured way of product or services marketing. However, some markets are very much matured so as kill your growth in a short span of time. This is one of the main reasons than majority of the start-ups don’t continue after a few years
Scenario two: A start-up all set to launch.
There is another case, where someone recently started her own business (vertical garden business) and really want to launch her vertical or terrace garden products in the market. She has everything set and she keeps saying her product is great! But how do we actually launch it or showcase it to your target audience? How we will present it as a great product. Buyers are not aware of these kinds of gardens. Without strategic marketing planning, you are going to spend a lot of time moving around in circles, without any result.
Here also, we found, her passion works. However, market may not understand her passion. Market needs to know 101 technical questions, and why should they buy from this company?
What do small organizations do?
If you have internal team, start preparing Go To market documentation, if not outsource it to team who can do Go to market strategy for small and medium business. Once you start working on the Go to market strategy for small and medium, that will define the path of your product marketing, sales, delivery and even, different versions of the product. This is the basis on which your entire product launch and its product life cycle.
You can either make it or break it. Before getting into sales and marketing or digital marketing and advertising, you need to build a blueprint of how you foresee your products movement from the start till the end. It is like a ‘Mahout’ who guides his herd of Elephants on their path and also has a contingency plan, in case of an emergency.
All other factors are simply accessories to success, although planning quite imperative ones indeed!
How can you launch your product effectively and economically with a GTM strategy?
It is important to lay down the ground rules where your market actually lies. For example, if you try to launch an air-conditioner in Kashmir, you would really not attract any clients for obvious reasons. However, the same air-conditioner, if launched down South or in the West, may have a lot of takers, provided you have something that is different from the others.
You need to identify, before launching a new product, what is your target audience. It can be divided based on demographics, gender, age, profession, etc. It is important for you to include this as a major agenda in your GTM strategy before launching a new product.
What is the competitive landscape for your product? You need to do a deep-dive before even thinking of launching a product, or before you begin thinking about one. Competition is fierce and the fight for the fittest makes it even more difficult to enter an existing market. You need to
- Identify the distributors.
- Pricing factor (low to high).
- Is your product mid-range?
- What is your success rate? It need not be 100% all the time, but an average of 60% to 70% is also a good achievement.
Launching a product is only half the battle, however, you need to identify the ongoing priorities after the product is launched. Your development team and marketing teams are working together in tandem to ensure that your product is getting the necessary traction or are they now moving on to another product development?
This is a question that needs to be answered.
Once you have a solid Go to market strategy for small and medium is laid out, other factors like marketing, content planning, etc. fall into place. Putting in an effort to create a meaningful Go-To Market strategy or framework will help you to grow your company in a more meaningful way. So, start your business, focus on Go-To-Market planning and strategy with clear goals and objectives, then execute for results.