Assuming you have your overall business strategy in place, your go-to-market strategy should be relatively simple to formulate.
With any marketing strategy there should be 2 strands:
- The ‘quick wins’
- The long game
The quick wins
I hate this term because it sounds so cheap and dirty, and yet achieving it still requires time and effort.
Within most organisations, marketing lacks credibility, often thought of the department where people simple colour in and order crap with your logo printed on. In reality, marketing is the most important business function because it enables your business strategy.
Therefore, to start building its credibility and gaining some support within your business you need to prove that it works – i.e. ‘quick wins’.
Before you start piecing your go-to-market strategy together, think about tactics that you can deploy today in order to build some initial pipeline and give yourself the breathing space to start putting your long-term plan in place.
- Upselling to current customers.
- Ask customers for recommendations.
- Re-visit cold prospects and warm them up with a call/email/letter.
- Leveraging your personal social networks with an offer or personal email.
- Try targeted advertising through social platforms that drive to a dedicated landing page.
- PR campaign to promote a new product/service.
The long game
With your quick wins in place, you now have the time to start thinking about the longer-term strategy that’s going to support the organisation in achieving its overall business goals…
And this is where you start.
Question: what does the business need to achieve?
This is usually a revenue figure, which you can work back. For example:
If your revenue figure is £1m, and your average deal size is £100k, you need 10 clients.
If you analyse your past sales pipeline you can calculate your conversion rates to know how many prospects and leads you need in order to secure 10 clients. For example:
- If your conversion rate is 5 sales-qualified leads (SQLs) to 1 client, you’ll need 50 SQLs.
- If 1 SQL required you to have 10 marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), you’ll need 500 MQLs to secure 10 clients.
- And if you need to attract 20 leads per MQL, it means your marketing department needs to generate 10,000 leads.
Unless you’re a new start-up, you should have the data available to identify what your best lead generators are. This is where you should focus the majority of your efforts to replicate your success – but because you’re looking to grow, you’ll need to do more.
So for example, if events seem to generate the most leads, think about how you can amplify the impact:
- Run a PR campaign in the run-up to promote your presence and what you’ll be showcasing.
- Publish a series of blogs talking about the products/services on show at the event.
- Book meetings with clients/prospects.
- Host a hospitality event for clients/prospects one night.
- Secure a speaking slot either at the event, or in promotional podcasts in the run up.
Whatever your best lead generators are, the objective should be to make them into a wider campaign to improve their return.
It’s always good to try new things. So while you’re focusing the majority of your time, money and effort on the ‘knowns’, come up with some new tactics to trial where you don’t know the outcome. With these ‘unknowns’, the likelihood is that they’ll fail – but that’s ok, because occasionally something will work and deliver an incredible return.
These unknowns are so much fun because they’re where you allow all your creativity to come out. Here anything is possible; you don’t have to wonder ‘what if…?’ because you can just do it.
Unknown things that I’ve tried in my business include:
- Turning up unannounced at a prospect’s door with a box of cupcakes and an elevator pitch.
- Handwriting personal letters.
- Posting tea and biscuits.
- Scheduling Tweets.
- Posting invitations for afternoon tea.
- Asking current clients for introductions.
- Attending conferences and handing out business cards to exhibitors.
- Writing a mini book.
- Hosting a lunch-time event at a co-working space.
As you can see, some are ‘normal’, others are a bit stranger and some are miles out of my comfort zone. Some worked, some didn’t. But the important thing is that I tried something new and set the measures for success, so I could replicate the things that worked for me.
Need some help?
Before you get started it might help to take a look at this useful template I’ve created, based on over 10 years’ experience creating go-to-market strategies for start-ups and small businesses.