24th of March, 2020

3 Ways to Massively Improve Any Digital Go To Market Strategy Plan

What do the Great Wall of China, the Pantheon in Rome, and the Great Pyramid of Giza have in common? For starters, they’re still here and in relatively good shape. To a certain degree we can attribute the fact that they’re still standing to luck; through the ages, many other historical landmarks have been destroyed by war or natural disasters. However, credit be given where credit is due: all three are sturdy and tough buildings that have been built on strong foundations, able to withstand immense forces over a long period of time.

As a CEO, COO, CMO or CSO it is your job to secure the company’s long-term commercial viability and business growth. You are both the architect and the builder of the structure, if you will, and that means you must start by laying strong foundations to support your growing organisation. If you’re building on the wrong grounds, the structure will crumble. If you’re using the wrong materials, the structure will crumble. If you’re using the wrong workers, the structure will crumble. If you’re using the wrong techniques, the structure will crumble. Conversely, if you’re using the wrong blueprints or the wrong tools, the structure will probably not crumble because it will never be finished in the first place. 

canva-image-6In other words, many things can go wrong. The exact same principles apply to designing a tough and sturdy digital go to market strategy plan to enable, support and drive sustainable business growth.

So, what should growth-minded business leaders do to solidify and effectively plan out their new digital go to market strategy?

1. Validate your product-market fit

Irrespective of what you’re trying to accomplish, whether that’s launching a new product, starting up a new company, or rekindling an existing sales organisation, this basic rule of psychology applies to all: humans as a species are much more likely and willing to pay for a pain to be removed, rather than for a gain to be acquired. 

Since all of your buyers will be humans (at least for the foreseeable future) your product must solve a problem worth paying for, and the market must tell you that is in fact the case. Several important questions to ask yourselves could be:

  • What specific professional or personal problem(s) are we solving for?
  • How do we know that is a legitimate and valid problem?
  • Who is impacted most and most frequently by this problem?
  • What s the size of our total addressable market?

2. Conduct rigorous competitive analysis

Whereas companies should always work from their strengths, analysing the competition is an important facet of a sound and sturdy digital go to market strategy plan. Digital masters in particular, know they must understand who their 5-10 most important direct competitors are and where they’re leaving gaps waiting to be filled. 

Since a large part of the war for customers is being fought online, it is key to understand how your competitors' online presence is comparing to your own online presence:

  • How do our online channels compare to the competition? 
  • How are they doing in terms of social presence, SEO, online advertising, and a helpful marketing content strategy? 
  • From the customers’ perspective, what is our competition better at than us? 
  • What are the most impactful strategic online improvements and quick wins for us?

Comparing online channels is the easy part. It’s also key to understand how your organisation is competing with your top competitors’ offering. Whereas this is a bit more complicated, we always recommend getting started with what your team probably is able to figure out:

  • What specific market segments and buyer personas are we really competing for?
  • What products/services are either different from, similar to, or better than our products/services?
  • Where do they sit on the pricing spectrum and how aggressive are they with discounting or locking in longer contracts?
  • What do their sales strategy, sales process, sales team size and sales tactics look like?
  • Where have we identified gaps in the competitive landscape and what can we do to monetise that hole in the market?
  • What are our most valuable differentiating factors, and how can we use those to drive even more value for our customers?

Ultimately, the companies that manage to differentiate themselves best from the competition will turn out to be winners. They will be able to set higher prices, they will be able to pick the best customers, generate more profits, invest more money back into marketing and product development, and fly past the losers that wallow in self-pity while drowning in a sea of sameness. 

3. Design an effective, simple and pleasant buying process

Companies are nothing more than a group of people trying to distribute products or services to other people in exchange for money. As it governs the hand-off between their money and your offering, the buying process plays a rather significant role in how your company will be perceived by your customers. If you pour truck loads of money into marketing, only to chase prospects away with a horrible buying experience, you might as well... well, rethink your life, really.

Personally, I find it highly annoying when retail store sales reps breathe down my neck when I’m merely browsing. It’s probably my introversion playing up. Anyway, just recently, I was looking for a winter coat with all the intention of the world to spend a couple of bucks to buy myself something nice and warm. In this particular store, the sales reps are almost hounding store visitors. I know they’re instructed to do so, and I don’t blame them for doing their job, but I just had to leave the premises – obviously without buying a winter coat. 

On the other hand, when I enter a store and I do require some assistance while there’s nobody to be seen, I will also leave and not buy anything just because I feel they don’t deserve my money anymore. So, whereas I did find myself in two different stages of the purchasing process, I was actually in some sort of purchasing process nonetheless, and the company missed out on some easy sales.

The same happens in your organisation. I can guarantee you that much. The question is to what extent, and how much you care. If you do care about not losing leads and prospects who are willing to at least consider your solution, you must spend time on removing friction from your buying process. 

  • Where will our customers be able to buy from us? In a webshop, through our sales team, or in a physical store? To what extent does that point of sale really make sense for our customers?
  • How would our customers prefer to buy from us? How much personal TLC do they need? How important are pre-purchase education, demonstrations, super swift transactions, or perhaps even robotic experiences for our buyers?
  • How can we make the buying process simpler and more pleasant? Where are we wasting time, asking double questions, missing information or lacking understanding? How can we remove that friction to provide a more pleasant experience for our customers?

As the architects and builders of your own organisations, you cannot and should not ignore the importance of laying the right foundations. Like American singer David Allan Coe once said:

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it is the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. “

As your partners in digital transformation, we can help build that foundation together with you. Do you want to know more about designing a go to market strategy plan that works? Check out our consultancy services.

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