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Go-To-Market Revolution for Start-Ups



Introduction:

The revenue growth is the single biggest driver of corporate profit and shareholder value. A growing business empowers employees, attracts top talent and helps fund expansion, transformation, and more growth.


In the recent year's company have been focused on efficiency but have reached the point of diminishing returns. Companies can curb this outcome through the creation of products and functions leading to short-term revenue growth and long-term profits.


This is the direct result of the ‘Go-to-market revolution’ which is the new wave of technological and customer-driven change that is transforming the commercial capabilities of companies all over the world. The revolution is driven by three tides of changes namely:


Customer Pathways - The ways customers learn and communicate about products and services on the path toward a purchase,


Advanced Data Analytics - tools for sales and pricing teams, marketers and researchers, global and emerging markets- competition with unfamiliar rivals for consumers.


The Go-to-market, therefore, offers a multitude of fresh opportunities for new businesses, and start-ups to attract and engage customers and drive their growth and profitability.


This transformation retools a company’s commercial functions such as sales, marketing, pricing, and branding and customer insight. Start-ups can quickly climb up the market ladder by understanding and implementing various strategies with respect to go-to-market revolution.


Marketing:

Millennial expect a two-way mutual relationship with companies and brands. They attain it through peer reviews, social media postings, blogs and other online and offline platforms. These also directly influence the purchase decision of others and even in a way define the very identity of a brand.


As a start-up company, it is important to market your products effectively to garner attention. Following are a few ways in which a new product’s reach could be well-established:

  • Reach: Companies must use the full array of available media platforms, mobile devices to reach customers and build brand awareness as cost-effectively as possible. For eg; for starters, a well-maintained and frequently updated website would be required.

  • Relevance: Companies must see to it that their products are relevant to the current generation of customers. Products must be appealing and influential.

  • Reputation: Companies must strive to maintain genuine reputations for their products that are in-line with the traits, personalities, values, and causes that are important for the millennials.

  • Relations: Companies need to maintain a two-way relationship with the customers through real-time feedbacks, reviews and on-time response for queries.

  • Referral: Through frequent engagements with platforms like twitter, facebook a company can leverage the millennials support and references to their products.

Research says that a high percentage of investment in marketing could be reduced if the process is optimized and the company focuses on the best products and customers that are relevant. As a company in the initial stages, a start-up needs to prioritize its tasks and customers, research the market and spend the money only on high-return investments. Following are some strategies that could be followed to practice smart marketing:

  • Allocate spending based on strategic potential and commercial response to get a higher return on investment.

  • Set clear, discrete and measurable commercial objectives

  • Focus on customers that matter.

  • Spend above the minimum threshold but not beyond the point of diminishing returns.

  • Balance message complexity, reach and frequency of marketing and product purchase cycles.

  • Improve analytical competence

  • Practice process integration

  • Measure and optimize commercial investments through database and information technology

In recent times, the focus of various MNC’s spending has been on rapidly developing nations due to the huge potential opportunities. But the success does come with huge risks. Developing markets are often difficult platforms for companies due to lack of accurate data on the point-of-sale transaction and sales volumes, poor quality of market research, opaque cost-accounting practices among marketers etc. In order to optimize returns and reduce risks, the following steps are widely suggested:

  • Build a team of ROMI experts who can lead a change in marketing effectiveness in developing economies.

  • Management needs to work with the available resources and then suggest changes.

  • Develop a common currency approach across all brands and markets to measure marketing performance, set strategy and allocate spending.

  • Map the road ahead by accessing the company’s current marketing capabilities.

  • Use standardized toolbox of analytics

  • Strive to have a consistent brand identity and a better consumer experience.

  • Anchor the above efforts throughout the organization in the governance, decision rights, and organizational structure.


Branding:

Branding is both an art and a science that is rooted in data-driven insight and discipline. Conventional linear framework with which most of the companies manage brand engagement no longer holds good due to the ever-increasing demand for two-way interactions, increase in the touch point sand channels.

As a start-up company, the brand transformation should be approached through the understanding of the brand benefit ladder, which describes how each product benefits layer to support one another in delivering the brand experience to customers. This can be followed through the below few steps:

  • Identification of brand choice drivers

  • Selection of the target market spaces based on the level of opportunities.

  • Identification of brand benefits needed to win.

  • Develop brand execution strategy and playbook.

Brand advocacy has a greater impact on sales than any other source of information be it a negative buzz or positive buzz. Despite its importance companies have struggled to measure it in the marketplace, demonstrate its top-line impact, and develop tactics that improve word-f-mouth. Brand advocacy helps companies identify pockets of outperformance, helps reveal what turns consumers into brand advocates, identifies overlooked sources of influences and hence helps in driving growth. BAI (Brand advocacy Index) is the metrics used to measure advocacy with great precision and this data helps a company to make fact-based decisions as they identify and prioritize critical areas of brand strategy and customer experience.


Sales:

Sales-force is evolving and has become a requirement for survival. Through investments in analytics, advanced data many companies have been increasing their revenue, understanding customer pathways and measure ROI to optimize their sales force. For companies new to the market, having good sales is one of the basic requirements to attract more customers.

It is important to measure the overall effectiveness of the sales just by looking at the gross profit per sale after subtracting all selling costs. It is important to rethink the sales process and optimize it to make the even high-performing sales force more productive. By examining each component of sales and its improvement levels more closely, a proper strategy could be implemented to improve sales effectiveness.

  • Focusing on markets and customer with the highest value and targeting the end user based on the data.

  • Deploy sales resources to opportunities with the biggest payback.

  • Increase face-time with key customers to improve customer experience, sales productivity through both face-to-face meetings and through digital media.

  • Make customer interactions more productive through greater upfront research and planning.

  • Evaluate sales coaching and management, software tools, training programs, support manuals and find the actual delivery value to make informed decisions on which ones are most effective.

For short term-solutions to improve revenues, sales activation is the most cost-effective approach. Following are the basic steps:

  • Target the most promising customers based on existing sales data.

  • Develop focused offering for each target segment.

  • Rigorously execute and track results.

Through better identification and management of leads, working with intermediaries, and improving customer contact, sales activation can be enhanced while in action.


Pricing:

Pricing is the language of business and it is important to optimize the pricing scheme by anticipating the right customers with the right offer at right time to motivate them to respond. Companies need to improve the pricing model by leveraging tactical levels that offer quick policies, strategic changes in price levels involving moving prices on key items up or down and a fundamental reshaping of pricing schemes to creatively think its overall pricing structure.

Companies also need to improve the pricing platform by analyzing the company’s roles and responsibilities, market intelligence, business processes, human resources, information technology and incentives and compensations.


Consumer and customer insight:

In today’s world a deep understanding of customer behaviors, attitudes and needs are essential to building a strong brand name in the market. Companies in their nascent stage shall focus on understanding the customer needs and therefore, change their strategies, product characteristics to match the consumer’s expectations. Big data and analytic tools are capable of segmenting, analyzing and reaching customers. Companies need to invest in these technologies from the initial stage itself to attain maximum profit. Companies need to often interact with customers through online promotions, polls etc. to find their expectations. Even after the product selling companies need to collect feedback to better understand any inefficiencies.


Globalization:

In today's world, it is the rapidly developing countries that have become the engines of global growth. In some countries, growth has begun to slow while the trade landscape remains fragmented and customer expectations have risen. In order to achieve the next wave of growth, companies need to transform their go-to-market activities from the fundamental level by focusing on areas that matter.

  • Companies need to understand customer expectations, needs and meet them accordingly through rapid dynamic decisions.

  • Use digital and mobile services to analyze markets to identify otherwise hidden local opportunities.

  • Use of geo-analytical tools to create compelling offers for small customer segments.

  • Manage channels to dominate in developed markets.


In the end, for a company to succeed the executive leader should be capable and committed to guiding and supporting the company’s transformation across all three tides of change that drive the Go-to-market revolution. Especially for companies in their nascent stage, go-to-market revolution is ideal to quickly gain momentum in the market and even sometimes overtake big giants.


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