What is a Go To Market Plan?
A Go To Market Plan is a focused plan for the product you plan to launch and will include an action plan detailing how you plan to take your product or a company in a specific direction.
Its useful for planning the launch of a new product or entering a new channel or market and should utilise both internal and external resources including your sales force and distribution channels. It will also provide an opportunity to develop your value proposition, build a unique customer experience and find ways to be competitive in your market.
Why do you need a Go To Market Plan?
- Because preparing this plan is likely to reduce the time it takes to go to market.
- It will also help lower the cost that may be associated with a failed launch.
- It will also help deliver the best experience for your customers and increase the likelihood of success.
- This will help ensure that you are following the right route to market maximising the effectiveness of often limited resources.
Market Research Questions
Before launching a new product or entering a new market here are a few questions you might want to ask.
- How big is the market for your product in volume and value?
- Will customers buy it and how much will they be willing to pay?
- Is the market price sensitive for example is it classed as commodity or premium, niche or mass?
- Who are the key competitors and what are their key attributes and pricing
- Which channels currently sell your product or could sell it?
- How is your product different from in market competitors?
- What unique needs are met by your product and what market gap does it fill?
- What is the value proposition of your product for example premium, mass or budget?
- Will it be of benefit to the target retailers?
- Will it enhance their category value, cash or percentage margin or increase consumer traffic?
- Is there a realistic market opportunity for your brand, if so, what market share you can reasonably expect to win?
Defining The Best Product Strategy
To arrive at a clear actionable product strategy, it’s important that your Go To Market Plan includes an understanding of the following:
- The key benefits that differentiate your product from the competition and add value to the market?
- Who the target consumers are, socio-economic profile, age, sex, demographic.
- What price will consumers be willing to pay
- How will you communicate with consumers for example traditional media, social media (Facebook, influencers, bloggers etc.)
- What is the best way to promote your product – special offers, sampling, trade events
The Right Channel Strategy
In some cases, it may be more appropriate for you Go To Market Plan to target a specific channel.
This could be for a wide variety of reasons. These include where your target customers are shopping, the scale and cost of serving that channel and how effectively target customers can be reached. It can also be useful to assess your competitor’s presence in different channels, this may point to an opportunity.
As part of your channel strategy you should consider these points:
- What are the primary channels for your product, for example grocery, pharmacy, drug, health food, food service.
- The best channels to establish your product in and build a foundation that will form a platform for further growth.
- Is it worth considering a retailer exclusive?
- How will you drive channel performance?
- What are the best ways to support and educate your customers for example advocates in store, or by building direct to consumer relationships?
- The best way to deliver training and sales support to retail partners?
Go To Market Strategy
When launching a new product or entering a channel for the first time its important to consider your product from a retailer & consumer perspective.
For example, your value proposition and positioning statement should set you apart from the competition. This will be a key point for retailers who are always looking for products that add value to the category concerned.
It can also be helpful to develop customer personas because these can help identify your target customers and where they shop. These should include things like demographics, their values, opinions, interests, attitudes and lifestyles. Consider this in the context of possible usage opportunities and occasions.
An interesting and engaging brand story is a valuable component of any marketing strategy because it helps connect with your target customer.
Prepare an external marketing program that identifies how will you reach customers. This will include a variety of social media activities, trade events, sponsorship, sampling and retailer promotions.
Evaluating Your Go To Market Plan
- Defining your plan KPI’s will provide quantifiable measures. These can be used to evaluate the performance of the business against its strategic objectives.
- Make sure your KPI’s are S.M.A.R.T. (simple, measurable, actionable and time-bound).
- Review your KPIs and metrics regularly. This will help ensure they remain relevant and focused on the important parts of the business that need tracking.
- Communicate your KPI’s and processes to ensure that all internal teams along with relevant external ones are aligned.
Prepare a focused actionable plan for the product you are launching. Research your market including value, pricing, customers, channels, differentiators as this will help formulate a product strategy.
Determine the best channels and the most effective strategy for that channel. This will help in the creation of a marketing strategy that maximises the benefits your product offers. Finally, continually evaluate, test and learn.
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