“If you form a strategy without research, your brand will barely float, and at the speed, industries move at today’s brands sink fast”- Ryan Holmes.
This quote is justified. If one is investing his hard-earned money in something without researching, it would be a substantial loss. For any business, the primary step that needs to be taken is research. Research about the product or service your business is launched, what is the market requirement, is there any competitor of the same service, if yes then how would be your product be better from them, and most important step is a marketing strategy. Imagine you have a great product, excellent research, pitch line, but no marketing strategy would make all your efforts sink. So having a brilliant marketing strategy is so so important for your product as all your money depends on it. For example, two brands provide online education classes, Udemy and Byjus. Udemy was launched in 2009, whereas Byjus started in 2011. Both provide e-learning services, but today Byjus is more well known than Udemy. Byjus has collaborated with many other brands like Disney, Aakash, and many more companies.
Don’t you wonder how? It’s all because of the marketing strategy adopted by Byjus that made it popular among the people through which today it has greater ROI.
In this time of the pandemic, when everything is kept shut down because of the virus spread, companies around the world had to change their marketing strategy. Let’s check how the Go-to-Market strategy changed in this pandemic.
Before moving directly to the changed strategy of GTM firstly, we need to discern what Go-to-Market strategy is? Go to Market is a plan or channel strategizing the promotional paths for the business to get connected with its targeted audience after the service production is done. This is an essential part of any business to make their way in the marketplace. The marketing strategy is a plan of action that a business uses the internal and external resources to bamboozle the product value to gain a competitive advantage in the market over its competitors.
The purpose of a GTM strategy is to align all the stakeholders and establish a timeline ensuring that each stakeholder meets the defined milestones and outcomes, inventing the successful attainment market path. Advantages of GTM strategies are:
- Defined plan and direction for the stakeholders.
- Products and services market time reduction.
- Increasing the probability of a successful product or service launch.
- Saving the extra costs generated by a failed product or service launch.
- Amplifying the capability to react to changes and customers’ expectations.
- Management improvement for challenges
- Growth path establishment
- Ensuring to create an effective customer experience.
- Guaranteed regulatory compliance.
Fundamental Constituents of GTM Strategy
- Market Definition- It identifies the clear and specific markets or group of people who would be the buyers of the service or products but does not exclude the larger targeted prospects to match the income and profit objectives of the product or service. A clear and prioritized target should be set if multiple markets are considered.
- Customer- This needs to be very crystal clear even before the development of the service. In-depth research is required to be gathered to define the market and used to increase specificity and determine the target audience for the product or service. The company develops a GTM strategy that improves the customers’ acquisition process focusing on identifying the real buyers. Many companies do customer segmentation dividing their customer base into groups of individuals who are specifically similar in a relevant marketing manner, such as age, gender, interests and spending habits, and so on. A persona of the consumers should be discovered so that company can get to the selling and market funnel reaching these various segmented customers.
- Distribution Model- Deciding the facts or medium reach the targeted audience for the products or service. Indirect channels become the vendor’s product go-to-market plan often involving the extra steps between the manufacturer and the customer.
- Product messaging and positioning- This component includes the defined Unique selling points of the services and how beneficial it is from similar products.
- Price- This is the final component and should support the position value and market position of the products or service instead of considering the manufacturing cost or product or service development cost.
The Covid-19 has grappled not just one state or nation but the entire world. As a result, this digital shift of the companies for everything has been a very drastic change. This outbreak of the virus has sped up are the digital movement of the world and has given power to many online industries. From education to office meetings, groceries buying, virtual art exhibitions, online talk shows, and much more stuff. Before Covid, who have thought of being this much digitally involved in our daily routines abruptly. As Oscar Wilde said-“Expect the unexpected” totally justifying the current scenario.
Due to the covid the outbreak, companies had to shift their marketing strategy to be in the market. Some of the suggestions that have been used to compete are –
- Focusing on the customers you already have-
Loyalty is royalty. Due to coronavirus, many people were struggling with financial issues due to which finding new consumers is stressful, focusing on your old customer is the best option. Bringing new marketing offers for the old customers would make them stick with you. In this pandemic, many companies opted for membership ad campaigns to make them stick with you. Tactics like- cashback, free deliveries, sales, etc are used by the companies for their elite customers.
For example- Bigbasket, a grocery delivery app has launched a membership offer for its loyal customers providing them services like daily deliveries charging free shipping for them. This was a very good tactic used by the company when there was a shortage of stuff in the market.
- Digital Shift-
The travel restrictions during lockdown have not left any option for both buyers and sellers to shift to the digital platforms to get to their desired targets and services. The CEO of 123 Internet Group Mr. Scott Jones, in an interview with Forbes, a global media company told there was a spike in website creation or updates by the companies. Companies started focusing on social media campaigns on home-based workers focusing more on e-commerce trends and channels. Companies have started shifting their taglines of the product revolving around coronavirus precautions. Many companies started posting content related to the COVID-19. So this is one of the trendiest marketing strategies used by the industries.
- Investment in Social media ads-
Being at home and having nothing to do, people started using social media to stay connected with each other, using this as an opportunity. Ads on Facebook, Instagram, have been more likely to be seen generating more revenue of investment. On PPC- Payper click ads in many industries have skyrocketed the ROI. Making online shopping a new normal, the companies made their way to be in the memory of their audiences. Helping the companies, even Facebook reduced its cost per thousand impressions on ads supporting companies having no big marketing budget to experiment with. During the pandemic, advertising messages have turned out to be the most effective if seen consistently and repeatedly.
- Exclusive deals and offers-
After lockdown when companies are allowed to reopen, making people interested in coming back to your way is to attract them by offering exclusive sales promotions or deals. Advertising offers on social media platforms and promotional emails are the best way. This type of offer will not only bring back your old customers but the new one will also get excited about your offers. This type of offer are especially for the industries like gym, spas, theatres, restaurants, travels hotels which have been affected hard by a coronavirus.
- Overhaul the communication strategy-
The covid has given time to rectify the communication strategy and create content that is more relevant for the customers. After covid, the situation has changed even the priorities of the buyers have also changed so it is better to overhaul the communication strategies.
To understand the new ideologies of the customers is to survey by sending out emails with various questions about their current priorities, pain points, and expectations. People don’t like too long answers the survey so making it mcq or rating scale keeping the questions open-ended may discover a few golden nuggets of information about your customers.
Using ads, emails, videos, webinars, and podcasts episodes will help in making new strategies of current priorities of the customers in mind.
- Focusing on a few paid advertising channels-
In this economic destruction time, it’s better to focus on the few paid advertising channels instead of investing in all channels such as Facebook, Instagrams, google ads, Linkedin ads, Twitter ads. One needs to figure out the platforms used to hang out most by your targeted audience and focus most of your PPC efforts on those channels.
Some examples of changed go to market strategies post covid –
- Walmart and Aldi, the retailers have special operating hours to facilitate at-risk populations.
- KFC, Wendy’s, Dominos, and many more food chains have assured their customers about the fact that anything they order is prepared and handled highly in a controlled environment to erase the possibilities of viral contamination.
- Free or discounted services have been offered by many gas stations, transportation services, and Starbucks through which the companies keep connecting with the customers and letting them know about the presence of their companies in the market.
The Covid 19 outbreak is the most unlikely situation which has affected the whole world, but we are left with nothing but to have hope and will to overcome this situation. Surely we will tackle this virus and our business losses as well.