Business, Go-To-Market, Marketing, Product Marketing, Start-up, Start-up

6 Questions to ask before you go to market

go to market

Creating a go-to-market (GTM) campaign can at times be a confusing process, as it will demand that you follow some clear and well-defined steps along the crafting process. There are many ways to bring those steps together and it may not matter how you do it at the end. I always like to put the customers at the center of everything that I do. Your customers will decide if they like the offering that you put in front of them and determine its success. From there, you look at the product, its features and benefits and match that with the audience. Based on this you now create packaging and pricing that is attractive to your identified customers.

Now that you know who you want to sell what at which price, you can start thinking about the messaging, the preferred channels, and finally start mapping out the steps and timelines.

Before you get there, however, here are some key points you’ll want to think about while creating your GTM

 Who Do You Try to Sell to?

In-depth knowledge of your desired customers is crucial to finding them, being able to talk to them in the right language, and telling them a compelling story that they will want to listen to and will help them decide to buy your product or sign-up for your services.

 What is the Objective for Your GTM?

Unlike with the strategy, the objective here looks very specifically at the immediate purpose of your campaign. You should know what you want to achieve with it. What do you want the customer to do? There are multiple possible answers to this question, which is why you need to clarify what it is that you want to happen and in which order.

When looking at a campaign for software, do you want people to read more about the software, test it, buy it, or sign a licensing? If you are a photographer, you may want people to hire your services or buy your pictures in addition to hiring you. If you are a consulter, you want your clients to give you a project to consult on and maybe extend a contract where you lead them through the execution. Each of those scenarios and the target audiences featured in them need to be addressed appropriately with a message that speaks to their needs.

If your objective is a quick and direct sell, make sure that your product can be sold easily without too many explanations. Also, is your audience the type of customer that would buy a product or service like yours immediately? Do they need help understanding the benefits of the product a bit more? Are they won over with a trial for 30, 60, or 90 days? How receptive are they to additional communications that would allow you to provide them with more product information and support even before the sale? Is that something they would tolerate or expect, or is it something they are fully opposed to? Knowing the steps your target audience would go through during their research and decision-making phase is important. Only then will they end up purchasing a product like yours.

 How Does Your Customer Learn about Products / Services?

Everyone has a different way of learning about a product or service, before they sign up for it. For my wife, as an example, it is very important that she finds multiple sources that have recommendations about something like a new store, restaurant, or even an online course she wants to take. The more reviews she can find, the better. Others might be a bit more explorative and prefer to learn about something first hand. These customers might be perfect for a trial period or to be channeled to a retail location that is close to them.

Knowing how your customers do their research before the purchase is an element for you when crafting your message, but also when setting up an infrastructure that provides the details searched for.

 Where Do You Reach Your Customers?

This is a bit of a laden question again, because it looks for the physical location, as well as the medium they use to receive and search for (product) information, suggestions, and reviews and in what state of mind they are open to thinking and talking about your product. You need to have at least a good initial idea of this when starting to draft your go-to-market plan. Also, as these are important tidbits of customer intelligence, expect to update these constantly.

 What is Your Winning Message?

You have gathered intelligence about your target audience. Now you have to bring it together and translate it into appealing messaging. As described earlier, you now bring together your product know-how and customer insights. Combining those will give you the guidance you need to create the right message to achieve your objectives. Create few, but very strong key selling propositions (KSPs) that you can use across your channels and that speak to the majority of your desired target audience. Start with three winning messages that tell your audience why testing, licensing, or buying your product is in their best interest.

Do You Have a Plan?

No? Well, you need one. In fact, you need several plans. For one, there is your overall project plan that covers all the details of the entire campaign. This will give you and your team the overview of everything that needs to be done, as well as an overview of timelines and dependencies between certain items.

Your communications plan defines your messages, channels used, and organizes this specific part of your activities. A good communications plan also organizes how you message to the various segments and the order in which you do that, e.g. start with a global message that is viable for all segments and then start focusing on the individual segments.

Then you have your editorial, which helps you plan and later implement when a particular message is published and through what channel. This is the most operational of all the plans you need to create.

Finally, there are more organizational plans, like an escalation plan, that help you keep a cool head and do the right things when you get bad feedback or have adverse events.

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The next step will be hiring the right customer success leaders and managers.

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About Maurice

Maurice Hofmann is a serial entrepreneur, marketing and digital marketing specialist, who is known for his innovative drive as well as his ability to lead cross functional teams to achieve the highest level of success. In his 20 year spanning career, he has experienced all aspects of marketing, working in various global roles spreading across TV production, Army ‘Psychological Operations, as an owner of a Brand Experience agency or as a leader of marketing departments for several software companies, start-ups and as a M

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