You have already finished a comprehensive business plan and obtained funding. Now you are ready to launch your product or service and hope to make a profit. Creating another comprehensive “plan” is probably not on your mind. However, you should consider whether having a go-to-market strategy is needed.
A go-to-market strategy is nothing more than an action plan on how you will bring your product or service to market. Many consider it an extension of their original business plan. It is a more detailed approach on how you plan to attract customers and maximize profits.
Each go-to-market strategy varies depending on the product or service you are launching, but here are some of the most common fundamentals:
Total available market. Also referred to as “total available revenue,” “total addressable market,” or “TAM” for short, total available market is the overall possible market share available for a specific product or service. Realizing that you will not obtain 100 percent market share, you still need to know the total potential in order to calculate what percentage you want to target and convert into customers.
Value proposition. If you are unfamiliar with what a value proposition is, it is time to learn. Even outside of a go-to-market strategy, your value proposition is one of the most important statements your business must make. A value proposition is basically the answer to an age old question: “Why should I buy from you?” Your value proposition is what sets you apart from the competition and makes you unique. Without a well-defined value proposition, it will be difficult for you to sway that percentage of market share you are looking to grab.
Customer acquisition. Customer acquisition is the glue that holds the go-to-market plan together; a customer acquisition plan details who you plan to go after and how you plan to acquire them. It should be broken down into smaller segments of groups you want to target. For instance, you can create a group for customers you want the most and are likely to buy, a group for people who are unlikely or unable to make a purchase, and a group for everyone in between. You will need to integrate a detailed market strategy for each group you want to target.
Sales and distribution. Once you start making sales, what happens next? You need to have your sales and distribution channels worked out in advance. If you are shipping a product, are you doing the packaging or using a fulfillment service? If someone calls to inquire about a product, who fields the call? These are some of the many questions you need to answer as part of your go-to-market strategy.
Tracking and measuring. Once you put your plan into place, you must track and measure the progress. This fundamental cannot be stressed enough. There is nothing wrong with pivoting your strategy, but you need to know if you need to, why you are doing it, and if it’s worth doing monetarily. Without tracking your progress and measuring fundamentals, you will have no way to know if you are succeeding at taking market share or throwing money down the drain.
Final Word on Go-To-Market Fundamentals
Many businesses don’t know what a go-to-market strategy is, let alone how to apply it. The fact is most small businesses may not even need to develop an in-depth strategy in order to bring their product or service to market. However, it is important to understand the various components of a go-to-market strategy as it can help with all aspects of a product launch.