A go-to market plan needs to articulate the solution that’s on offer, its price, what’s unique about that solution and how you position that difference, who your target, the channels you will use to reach the market, and the tactics you will use to take that offer to the market through that channel. As I’ve been doing recently, I went looking for five sources of a great go to market strategy example. Truth, I only found three good ones, so after I’ve given you the conclusions, I’ll give you two more align.me go-to market strategy examples.
The first article we came across is from Business Victoria, that’s a state government inside Australia. Frankly, it’s extremely basic and should be avoided. Let me explain why, this talks about not the four P’s, but the seven P’s, and look, I just hate acronyms that dumb down the language. They force you to describe something intelligent and useful, using baby talk. Also, specifically, the original four P’s, and their extended seven P’s and silent Q, whatever language you end up adopting, confuse strategy and tactics. In fact, the author on this occasion has explicitly confused strategy and tactics because they claim to use tactics to carry out strategy, however, the examples they use are not tactics, they are strategies. It’s horrible, avoid it, and skip it.
Next one is from The Cult Branding Company. They give an example from Southwest Airlines, which is great. It’s a too often used example, but at least they give us a go-to market strategy example, but frankly this article looks like it’s been written for SEO, not for humans, and simply attempts to create traffic rather than offer value. Again, I love that Southwest Airlines have been used, but if we look at the actual example of Southwestern Airlines, it’s actually not about the go-to market. It’s certainly about their business model and about their unique offering, but none of how they actually took that to market or who the market was. Again, not a great example.
Go to Forbes, often a good site for such articles and is potentially worth a read. Good list of headings for the elements that you need to include in your go-to market strategy, but today we’re looking for a go to market strategy example, not a template. In fairness, this article never set out to be an example. It is set out to be what it is, it’s a template. They’ve done what they’ve promised, but not what we’re looking for, so I’m not going to recommend you spend too much time on that one.
Finally, Chron, thanks guys for this one for small businesses, love it. They talk about examples of strategies, gorilla marketing, positioning, cause marketing, sports marketing. However, cause marketing and sports marketing are not strategies. They’re what you’d call use cases, you are a sports company or you are a cause – they’re not strategies. With the greatest of respect, it doesn’t offer what they promised and it doesn’t offer what we needed.
Now, with the final article, I have to inform you – it is one of my own articles and seems slightly self-serving. But, how we research these articles is we find the four highest ranking articles on the expression that we’re looking for, even if they’re great or terrible. Unsurprisingly, Forbes often makes it in there, Marketing Profs is another great source and often in there as well. But we also look for the article that was the most shared according to BuzzSumo, and in this case, that was one of mine.
I mention that just to fess up a little bit because we didn’t just put this one in here for self-serving reasons. It was actually the most shared of all the articles according to BuzzSumo on the topic that we’re looking for and in fact gives us what we want, just as the title suggests, Go to Market Examples, and there are three. The three examples are Apple, looking at their early market strategy, SAP, looking at their extension strategy, so they were the gorilla in a mature market and how did they extend it, and the third example is Ingress, in a mature market where they were not the gorilla, and they were they had to exit with dignity, and they did. There are three great go to market strategies in there. I will include the link to this article in the show notes, you can check it out if you want.
I drew on that article from the work of Geoffrey Moore, of whom I’m number one fan boy. I use Geoffrey Moore’s work always to understand what the general strategy should be for a market and did for this particular show. Now, certainly there are three examples there and that is what I wanted to find for today’s show. As I’m about to argue in a moment, though, I think I can do you a greater service by giving you a couple more go-to market strategy examples, which I’ll do shortly. Firstly, I want to respect the content that was presented, then I’ll argue what I think a go to market strategy should contain. Let’s now review what they said.
A good go to market strategy details the solution that’s on offer, its price, what’s unique about it, who you target, and the channels that you use to reach each of those markets. Personally, I think it needs a lot more than that. For one, we need to take it to tactics as well, otherwise it’s big on market and very short on ‘go to’. A go-to market strategy is supposed to be about how you take a product to market, so you need to explain the tactics you used to reach that market. The other thing missing from that is I’m very big on understanding the problem that your market has, which will lead them to buying from you or buying at all, so what problem are you trying to solve, and from that – who has it, and how do you solve it? You’re turning the strategy inside-out making it buyer-centric, and in particular by understanding what problem they have that you can solve uncommonly well. Those are two big shifts that I’d like to see.
Even if we make both of those shifts, that’s re-arguing what’s in a go-to market strategy and today’s show is supposed to be about go-to market strategy example or examples. I’ve given you three and they were from Geoffrey Moore’s work. I’m going to give you another two examples of a go-to market strategy and they’re both from align.me. One of them is successful, one of them yet to be launched, so we don’t know whether it’s going to be successful, but I think they’re both worth understanding to really comprehend go-to market strategy.
Let’s first clarify slightly what we need to have in a go-to market strategy, example or not. Firstly, the problem that you’re solving for the market. Then the solution that you’re going to offer to solve their problem, its price, what’s unique about it, and how you position that difference, who you target, the channels that you use to reach that market, and the tactics that you’ll use to take that offer to market.
The first one is funnel camp to enterprise. The problem is – sales and marketing engine is under-performing and what we offered to solve that problem is a three day go-to market planning workshop for B2B businesses. To whom we solve that – sales and marketing leaders or the CEO, in particularly in companies, let’s say, under $100 million in revenue in B2B enterprises globally. Through whom – a network of 70 accredited consultants. Tactics – broad positioning support from headquarters, that’s us, and individual go to market plans from each consultant.
Now, I hinted earlier that one of the examples was not successful and I would say that that particular go to market strategy wasn’t. Why? Going back to what I said about Geoffrey Moore where he taught us in the early market, you probably need to be going directly. Truth is, for go-to market planning that is still a relatively early market and at align.me, we had no problems selling funnel camps. We sold about 400 or 500 of them. The market’s there, the product’s there. Fantastic, but not through a channel. We were spectacularly unsuccessful selling through a channel.
Let me give you another example of our next product that we think respects where the market’s at a little bit better. Funnel plan, which to explain, funnel plan is the tool we use in a funnel camp, but it’s not a funnel camp. Funnel camp’s a workshop, funnel plan is a tool we use in that workshop. Funnel plan to the DIY market. Problem is the same, sales and marketing engine is under-performing. What are we offering to solve their problem? A self-serve go to market planning and optimization platform for B2B. Also though, we’re going to build an early adopter group from our network and learn everything that we can about what they think of their problem and what they think needs to be in the solution that’s not already.
We have a solution in mind, clearly, but we’re going to tweak it based on what we learn from that early adopter group. We’ve got that group, they exist as now 250 companies around the world who have fessed up and said, “I’d actually like to be in that group and help you show the product”. Thank you to those members of the fast funnel club as we called it. To whom, sales and marketing leaders, still, and practitioners, so we’re dropping down a level and we’re dropping the CEOs of the larger businesses in B2B businesses of all sizes. This could be a small business, but it could equally be a division of a huge business. Because sales and marketing planning is a very fragmented, devolved function inside businesses, big companies like ATNT would build thousands of go-to market plans every year. The ‘to whom’ is including practitioners and it’s now dropping the CEO because CEOs don’t tend to want to buy tools, they want to buy outcomes.
Through whom? It’s a self-serve web-based SaaS platform, software as a service for those not in the know, so it’s basically self-serve. It’s an online only, self-serve only, web platform. Tactics – so after the first early adopters from our own network have been obtained, we’re going to go inbound only. Broader tactics will include positioning through paid search ads and SEO. In other words, somebody’s looking for planning or plan, they find us. Establish interest with a free, unlimited-time version of the tool, so you can get a free version of the tool for as long as you want and we’ll position that as a simple templating tool. Build your go to market plan, answer all the right questions, there you go, it’s free.
Now, we’ll trouble those who take that tool about their lack of traction by ongoing nurture emails and they’ll feature benchmarks about how other companies are performing. Plus, you’ll give them product teasers, so whenever they log into the free version, they’ll be able to do all the things already promised, but they’ll be able to see what more could look like, but won’t be able to access it. That’s made to be a little frustrating, so the combination of emails about tactics that they should be trying together with the ability to make those more granular changes, is how we’ll trouble the buyers.
We’ll help them work out what they need and we’ll establish that need as data driven guidance and deeper planning. We’ll do that again through the nurture emails. Our offer will be a weekly bundled machine learning guidance with no lock in. What does that mean in English? We’ll use our deep data from thousands of plans to help them make their plan better than the others using machine learning. No lock in contract, the option of consulting of course, and we’ll gain preference by using testimonial videos once they’re subscribed.
There are other plans for funnel plan as a tool, but I’ll let you get on with your day and leave it at those two examples of go-to market strategy. I mentioned briefly fast funnel club, and fast funnel club is the name that we gave to those 250 companies that came on board as early adopters that we’re going to work very closely with to reshape the product around what they think is needed in the market for them, and we’ll use that to launch later this year.
Fast funnel club is now closed. That was a particular group who jumped on board early. The new product, funnel plan, is not yet launched, but plans to be around April 2016 – if I’ve piqued your interest, go to funnelplan.com and put your name down. The very least we can do is let you know when it’s out. Obviously it costs you nothing to put your name down. We promised our funnel club group a two month window of access before releasing it to the general market, so we’ll honour that. But get your name down, and I hope you enjoy funnel plan.