MAY 11, 2023
15 min read
As a product manager responsible for the launch of a product, service, or business, I recognize the vital role of a well-crafted go to market strategy. A solid plan is essential to avoid the pitfalls of a chaotic journey, akin to driving in the dark without headlights, where challenges and delays abound.
Effective planning involves not only the product, story, or team behind it but also the approach to promoting it and the target audience. Indeed, the greatness of your product will not matter if it fails to reach the right audience.
If you lack familiarity with go-to-market strategies and how to develop one, fret not. In this article I will walk you through the process from conception to launch. You can expect to gain expert insights and practical tips to help you create a robust go-to market strategy that aligns with your sales methodology and maximizes your chances of success.
What is a Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a comprehensive framework that outlines the process of selling your products or services. It enables you to identify the necessary steps to generate revenue from your concept and guides you through the process of bringing your product to market.
This strategy is crucial for a successful launch, as it helps you create awareness and generate interest in your offering among potential customers. This is especially important when introducing a new product or service to the market where there is no pre-existing customer loyalty or established reasons to buy.
A go-to-market strategy is designed to create enthusiasm and drive demand for your product, ultimately resulting in revenue. However, many companies make the mistake of assuming that a great product alone is sufficient for success, failing to consider their target audience, competitors, and ability to scale effectively.
The outcome of this shortsighted approach is often disappointment, heartbreak, and wasted time and resources. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a sound go-to-market strategy that takes all relevant factors into account, maximizing your chances of success.
When do you need a GTM strategy?
You definitely need a well-crafted go-to-market strategy when introducing a new product or service. Such a strategy encompasses various scenarios, including:
- launching a new product in an existing market,
- bringing an existing product to a new market,
- testing a new product in a new market.
Even established companies must develop a go-to-market strategy when embarking on a new product launch or market expansion, as market forces and competition can shift rapidly. Success with a similar product launch in the past doesn’t guarantee the same outcome, underscoring the need for a customized go-to-market strategy for each new venture.
Crafting a Go-to-Market Strategy for Fintech: 10 Steps
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
To ensure a successful go-to-Market (GTM) launch, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience. This involves asking yourself three important questions:
- Who is in need of your product enough to be willing to pay for a solution?
- What specific pain points do your customers experience that your product can effectively address?
- What is the price point that your audience is willing to pay to overcome their challenges?
It’s also important to consider potential customers who may be interested in your product but are not yet ready to make a purchase. These prospects are typically further along in the buying process than immediate buyers but still require additional convincing. This information can help in developing marketing campaigns that target these prospects.
There are two primary ways of defining a business’ target market: creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) or developing buyer personas. By creating a detailed and accurate picture of your target audience, you can better tailor your marketing and sales strategies to reach and engage with them effectively.
Step 2: Research Your Competitors
When it comes to launching a successful product, evaluating your competition is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked! After all, if you don’t know your competition, how can you distinguish your product from others on the market? But don’t panic; I have some advice to make this procedure go more smoothly for you.
First things first, you need to choose just a handful of competitors to represent your competitive landscape. Avoid becoming weighed down with a lengthy list! This could be simple for people who are developing a brand new product, but it might be challenging for those who are trying to break into a crowded industry.
To evaluate your competition effectively, it’s essential to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer.
- What gaps in their offering can you identify?
- What could be done to make their solution better?
When you have a list of your competitors, it’s time to dig in and carry out a thorough competitive analysis.
- Who are they?
- What do they do well?
- Where are the opportunities for improvement?
- What sets them apart from you?
- What puts you ahead of the pack?
The method you will use can be formal or informal, but the objective is to gather insightful data that will help you distinguish your product and develop a winning go-to-market plan. So let’s start analyzing, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to dive deep.
Step 3: Clarify Your Value Proposition
If you’re embarking on a new product journey, it’s crucial to clarify what you want to achieve with this venture. It’s no secret that new products require a significant investment of time, resources, and money, with no guarantee of success. Therefore, it’s essential to take a step back and ask yourself some vital questions before diving in headfirst:
- Why do you want to launch this product, and what do you hope to accomplish?
- Have your customers expressed interest in updated versions of your current products?
- Is your aim to enhance the quality of your existing offerings?
- Do you plan to offer a more cost-effective solution to your customers?
- Are you gearing up for direct competition with a rival product?
It’s crucial to differentiate yourself from competitors by showcasing your unique value proposition. However, it’s essential to ensure that your value proposition is grounded in reality and resonates with your target audience. By understanding the value that your company offers and aligning it with your audience’s needs, you can create a compelling sales plan and optimize your supply chain to generate more revenue.
Moreover, you can conduct a deeper value chain analysis that assists your company in identifying the most effective tactics within the existing market, not just for your target customers. Suppose you intend to introduce novel financial management software.
Then, using the results of your value chain analysis, you could decide how precisely to target your potential customers and how much to charge for your product. By spotting the gaps in the market, you can utilize price and quality to narrow down the ideal market segment.
Step 4: Decide on Messaging
The next step in creating a successful product is determining how to effectively communicate its value to your customers. This involves tailoring a different message for each buyer persona, addressing their unique needs, values, and frustrations.
For instance, imagine you are launching a new fintech product, such as a financial management app. You might have several personas:
- young adults who are new to investing and saving;
- experienced investors who want to track their investments and analyze market trends;
- small business owners who need to manage their finances and cash flow;
- retirees who want to maintain their wealth in their golden years.
Each persona has specific needs and pain points that your product can address, so it’s important to craft messaging that resonates with them.
By identifying the specific needs and pain points of each persona, you can create messaging that speaks directly to them and addresses their unique challenges. This tailored approach will help you communicate the value of your product more effectively and increase the likelihood of a successful launch.
Step 5: Define Your Pricing Strategy
Determining the right price for your product is crucial to its success. Setting the price too high or too low could result in low sales or decreased profits. If you have a better grasp of your target demographic and the value your product offers, you can have a better idea of the price clients may be willing to pay.
When creating a pricing strategy, consider the following questions:
- What are the production costs of your product or service?
- What price do you need to set to ensure a profit?
- How much do your competitors charge for a similar product or service?
- What is your target market’s price range for your product?
- Will you offer a subscription or transactional pricing model?
To ensure your pricing strategy is successful, it’s vital to consider not only your business objectives and customers’ demands but also the values you uphold. Your pricing should reflect these values and be in line with them, rather than working against them. By aligning your pricing strategy with your values, you can create a consistent brand identity and foster customer loyalty.
Step 6: Plan Out Your Customer Journey
Once you have a clear understanding of your customer journey personas and messaging, the next step is to map the buyer’s journey. This journey refers to the path that a customer takes from realizing their problem, considering your product as a solution, and finally making the decision to purchase it. It is a crucial part of content marketing since it enables you to choose the kind of content that will be most successful at each step of the buyer’s journey.
Typically, the customer journey is represented as a funnel divided into three stages:
- Top of the funnel: During this stage, customers are aware of the problem they need to solve and are researching potential solutions. They may not be familiar with your product yet, so your aim is to grab their attention and make them consider it as an option.
- Middle of the funnel: At this stage, customers are evaluating your product against other available options. Your goal is to persuade them that your product is the best solution for their problem.
- Bottom of the funnel: During this stage, customers are making the final decision on whether to purchase your product or not. Your objective is to convince them to commit to your product.
Remember, each stage of the buyer’s journey presents its own challenges, but a well-crafted content marketing strategy that takes into account your buyer personas and messaging will make it easier for you to reach and convert potential customers.
Step 7: Choose your marketing channels
Choosing the right acquisition channel for your startup is crucial to its success. The selection of a channel should depend on the purpose of your campaign and the stage of your company’s formation.
If you’re not familiar with the market, it’s recommended to direct 70% of your communication towards awareness and 30% towards conversions. However, as companies gain more support, the focus shifts to conversions.
To choose the right channel, follow this checklist:
- Define your company’s goal and the results you want to achieve, whether it’s tactical sales, loyalty, or strategic recognition.
- Validate channels according to your campaign goals. If the main goal is to build recognition, choose channels with a large reach. If the focus is on tactical conversions, direct communication channels, search, or microblogging may be more effective.
- Set clear KPIs and a budget. Keep in mind that campaigns have a cumulative effect, so if you don’t see results right away, define checkpoints when you change your settings. Typically, a period of two weeks is indicative.
- Analyze previous campaigns and channels. For subsequent launches, the goal is to reduce the cost per click, per customer, and per reach. Based on previous experience, an optimization of 10–20% is achievable.
- Remember that channels work best in synergy. Experiment with different combinations of channels to find the unique mix that delivers results for your company.
By following these steps, you can confidently choose the right acquisition channel for your startup and drive growth.
To determine the best channels for your campaign, it’s important to understand which channels are best suited to achieve your specific goals. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right channels based on different types of campaigns:
- Virality: This channel is ideal for campaigns that require a broad appeal for your product. Viral campaigns can be highly effective at spreading the word about your product, but they also require careful planning and execution to ensure that your message resonates with your target audience.
- Network Effects: Similar to virality, this channel requires broad appeal and a mechanism that increases the value of each network participant. Network effects can be highly effective at driving growth, but they require significant investment in infrastructure and ongoing maintenance to ensure that your network remains strong.
- SEO/Paid Ads: These channels are best for campaigns that require targeted exposure to a specific audience. SEO requires careful keyword research and optimization to rank highly in search results, while paid ads require careful targeting and ad copy to be effective.
- M&A: This channel is best suited for companies that are already well-established and looking to scale rapidly. M&A can be highly effective at driving growth, but it also requires significant investment in due diligence and integration to ensure that the acquisition is successful.
- Sales: This channel is ideal for campaigns that require high potential revenue per client. Sales can be highly effective at driving growth, but it requires careful planning and execution to ensure that your sales team is effective at closing deals.
- Business Development/Partnerships: Similar to sales, this channel is best suited for campaigns that require high-value relationships with strategic partners. Business development and partnerships can be highly effective at driving growth, but they are limited by the number of partnerships and their rate of growth.
Remember that each channel can only scale to the market’s demand. Once you have a well-established system, the seven channels listed above require minimal effort to continue scaling. By understanding your campaign goals and choosing the right channels to achieve them, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are effective and efficient.
A kind reminder: Remember that your competitors’ actions shouldn’t dictate your own. Just copying their tactics will only result in you following in their footsteps. Instead, use a competitor audit to strengthen your strategy, not simply mimic theirs.
Step 8: Create Compelling Content
If you want to increase your chances of turning leads into loyal customers, inbound leads are the way to go. These are the people who have already done their homework, understand the benefits of your product or service, and are itching to make a purchase.
But how do you reach them? That’s where content marketing comes in. With content marketing, you create targeted content that meets your audience where they are in the sales funnel. By using the right keywords and ranking high on search engines, you make it easy for them to find you and learn about what you have to offer.
But content marketing isn’t just about promoting your business. It’s about providing value to your audience. By addressing their concerns and offering solutions in an engaging way, you establish yourself as an authority in your industry. And when you create content that people find valuable, they’re more likely to share it with others, giving you even more exposure.
So, what’s the secret to creating content that converts? It’s all about EDUCATING your audience. By creating content that teaches your target audience about the problems your business solves, you build trust and credibility. And when they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll turn to you as the solution provider they can count on.
Step 9: Set Metrics and Monitor Performance
Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the cornerstone of your business’s success, and it all starts with setting clear goals. The goals you set will help you identify the metrics you need to track and measure your progress.
As you put your GTM strategy into action, it’s essential to keep track of your metrics and make any necessary adjustments along the way. For instance, if you find that your customer acquisition cost is higher than your product’s price, it’s time to re-strategize to achieve a better customer acquisition cost.
Several metrics are commonly used to measure the success of a GTM strategy:
- Cost per lead (CPL): measures the cost of acquiring each lead. This is an important metric to track, especially for businesses with long sales cycles, as it helps to identify where potential customers are coming from and which channels are most effective in generating leads.
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): measures how much it costs to acquire each new customer. This metric is important because it allows businesses to determine the profitability of their marketing and sales efforts.
- Return on marketing investment (ROMI): measures the return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts. This metric takes into account both the cost of marketing and the revenue generated by those efforts.
- ROI: measures the return on investment of overall business operations, including marketing and sales efforts.
- Cost per dollar of sales expenses: measures the efficiency of your sales team. This metric is important because it allows businesses to determine the cost-effectiveness of their sales team and identify areas for improvement.
- Closing/conversion rate: measures the percentage of leads that convert into paying customers. This is a crucial metric for businesses to track, as it directly affects their revenue and profitability.
- Tracking the length of your sales cycle is also important, as it helps you understand how long it takes to close deals and make improvements.
Step 10: Support New Clients
Customer service is often overlooked by sales, despite being the number one reason why customers leave. In fact, according to Gartner research, 44% of customers feel anxious about their purchase decision after making one. Therefore, loyalty programs, immediate support, and even chatbots are still essential.
Fortunately, providing excellent customer support can be straightforward if it is already ingrained in your company’s culture. All you need is the right technology to handle customer inquiries and a reliable return, exchange, and refund policy.
By putting these strategies into practice, you can make sure that your clients remain happy and loyal to your business.
Examples of Successful Go-to-Market Strategies in Fintech
Let’s examine two widely used and successful marketing tactics and strategies in fintech:
Strategy 1: Gamification
Gamification entails applying game principles and design elements in non-gaming environments. In marketing, there are several ways to do this, including holding contests and giving prizes, rewarding points for referrals and completed purchases or transactions, and creating quizzes, puzzles, and visual games to make “boring” content more interesting and shareable.
Gamification is primarily employed in pre-launch campaigns to generate buzz, awareness, and new users in fintech.
Monzo, one of the most successful retail challenger banks in the UK, introduced a waiting list and a referral program for the launch of their banking app. When users downloaded the app, they joined a waiting list, and the only way to move down the queue was to refer a friend to the product. Waiting lists are particularly successful because they tap into people’s competitive nature, thirst for exclusivity, and curiosity.
Strategy 2: Partnership Marketing
Partnership marketing involves collaborating with a third party, a business, or a brand associated with a segment of the market you’re interested in selling to. This includes various tactical sub-categories such as affiliations, licensing, co-branding, sponsorships, product placements, joint ventures, content sharing, etc.
In fintech, businesses use partnerships and joint marketing strategies to test the market and validate product concepts.
The UK payments startup YoYo Wallet conducted a pilot project with Imperial College in London before launching their product to the mass market to test their concept model and identify consumers’ key needs.
The US bitcoin leader, Ripple, employed partnership marketing techniques to reach and acquire new customers. By integrating new products into existing ones, they marketed them as add-ons. Ripple focused their marketing efforts on collaborating with established finance and banking players, as their settlement and cryptocurrency solutions provided an ideal complementary offering to existing banking and payment services.
Consequently, they secured partnerships with some of the world’s largest financial and technology organizations, including the US finance giant American Express.
If you have the expertise or the right marketing team to take on the task, the next best move would be to craft your go-to-market strategy and carry out its execution to amplify your expansion. Experiment with different channels and identify which ones yield the most favorable outcomes.
However, if this seems like a responsibility you would like to entrust to someone else, consider collaborating with DashDevs. We specialize in taking on the laborious aspects of marketing on your behalf.
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