Updated: Jun 22, 2020
A lot of product-driven companies build the product and take it to the market. In the majority of the cases, 'build and wait' so that 'customer will come' approach prevails. In the era of tough competition, eight out of ten startups survive and grow. Day by day competition is increasing and mistakes in strategies cost a lot. After working in big companies and in Tech startups, I realized that there is a common thread of mistakes in our GTM ( Go To Market) plan. I am making a list of common mistakes made by all of us. There are more one can add to the list. Every business context is different and the strategic approach may vary.
1) Do not wait for the customers to come. You should be on their 'Top of the Mind'.
Yes. You heard it right. In the era of subscription, unless you reach out to the customers and make them use your product, you will not be on the top of the customer's mind. It is not about freebies, it is all about ensuring that customers experience the value of your solution.
The best example I can give is Canva. Canva is giving many of its features free of cost and a majority of the content creators use Canva. There are hundreds of platforms like Canva but Canva allows the content creators to use the platform for free and the good part is that you can really get good value out of it for free of cost. The question here is whether can you make it possible that your customers experience the platform?
Let us imagine, that you are an EdTech company and you work with schools and colleges. Instead of reaching out to the educational institutes, can you onboard them and offer some basic services? This helps you to reach out to a large number of the audience (your probable customers) and you can figure out who is genuinely interested in your product. In this EdTech example, let u say that you are offering the online courses and you can give free access to a portion of content free of cost.
You can figure out the conversion ration and engagement. Probably you can go to management to buy in bulk and can easily convince the management with the engagement statistics.
From a customer point of view, they can play around with your product and come back to you for purchase if they find value for them. Another advantage is that you will always be on their top of the mind and engagement and trust will be more in this scenario.
2) The business model has to evolve
If we see the history of Grammarly, they had started with selling the solution to the Universities and Educational Institutions and the business model was a B2B2C model. In 20202, their business model is B2C and Grammarly expanded beyond Educational Institutions to capture a huge market.
I used to work in a skill development company and when we started the business model was charging the students for skill development training. After a span of two years, the real sustainable model evolved was a subsidized fee ( a small portion of the actual training fee) for the students and our revenue came from the companies who wanted to hire them.
In the same way, you have to really figure out your business model and the business model has to evolve over time. You have to wait.
3) Content is the key. You should garner intent-based searches.
Defining Customer persona, mapping customer journey, and building content to attract and engage the customer are the key in today's business. If you are not in the top ten searches of your audience, you will miss the bus.
If SEO and SEM are foreign words for you, you may have to struggle to get the customers.
4) Personalize marketing
There are tons of tools available in the market wherein you can personalize the marketing efforts. A specific value proposition for a specific customer can help you to engage the customer and offer more value. It is a win-win situation. The design of the email, content, value communication can be customized and it is better to start with engagement.