Go-To-Market Strategy: The Plan for Creating Customers
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” – Peter Drucker
If I could hang a sign in the office of every business leader, this is what it would say. To me, renowned business management expert Peter Drucker’s statement could not be more clear – if you don’t have a customer, you don’t have a business. And since the role of marketing is to understand and reach the customer, it’s naturally “the distinguishing, unique function” of business. The problem lies with the definition of marketing.
The term marketing has become synonymous with advertising, publicity, and communications. But those elements are part of just one of marketing’s four pillars: product, price, place, and promotion. These pillars are referred to as the “marketing mix” and businesses need to focus on all four of them to create a satisfied, loyal customer.
Marketers are responsible for tracking the market, including industry trends, competitor moves, and shifting customer demands. They use these insights to define market opportunities and propose unique solutions to capitalize on them. These solutions form the product or service offering.
The amount of money a customer will spend for a product or service reflects the value they believe it represents. Marketers establish optimal pricing for products or services by combining their deep knowledge of customer perceptions and competitor offerings with their understanding of corporate financial goals.
Within the marketing mix, place refers to the distribution channel established to deliver the product or service to the customer. Savvy marketers work to optimize distribution channels by incentivizing channel partners and helping them identify and reach targeted customers.
Finally, when the product, price, and place pillars have been established, it’s time for marketers to tackle promotion. They begin by defining the organization’s unique value proposition and key messaging statements. These messages are delivered to prospective customers through tactics such as advertising, publicity, communications activities.
Ultimately, marketers have responsibility for the go-to-market strategy – the plan of an organization to deliver its unique value proposition to customers and achieve competitive advantage. They understand the relationships among the pillars and ensure that entire marketing mix is optimized. Without a comprehensive go-to-market strategy, a business is much less likely to achieve its purpose – to create a customer.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build a winning go-to-market strategy for your company, contact Kendra Consulting to start the conversation today.