11 Go-to-Market Mistakes to Avoid in 2022
January 14, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
According to SBA estimates, 627,000 new businesses open each year. And every year, roughly around 30,000 products are launched into the consumer market. However, about 90% of all startups fail. In fact, 10% of all startups fail within the first year. And these stats don’t vary by industry. It’s the same across the board.
You wanna know startups fail?
Well, while there are a number of reasons, the number one reason why startups fail is due to lack of market research. Statistically, 42% of all startups fail because of misreading market demands.
This is why proper market research and planning are imperative to a successful product launch.
Launching a new product can be a daunting task. Whether you’re launching an app or a full-fledged software-as-a-service (SaaS), product launches require proper strategy so they can be introduced to the right people at the right time.
A lot of marketers, including us, consider launching a tech product to be a bit trickier than launching a physical product. Considering that the worth of the tech industry is expected to reach $5 trillion by the end of 2021 and immense competition, getting your tech product noticed among the many others is not easy.
It might sound repetitive by now but planning and research are key.
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a systematic plan for launching new products or tapping into new markets. A well-thought GTM strategy will help you launch your tech product to the right people, with relevant messaging, at the right time.
But of course, no one is perfect. Businesses make go-to-market mistakes all the time.
To help you successfully launch your product without facing any hurdles, we’ll talk about 11 go-to-marketing mistakes to avoid.
Let’s get started.
11 Go-to-market (GTM) Mistakes Product Companies Make
1. Not defining the target market
Given how competitive the global economy has gotten, no business can afford to target everyone.
When targeting, most businesses make the mistake of saying that they target “everyone interested in their services.” Other businesses say they target homeowners or small-business owners. As you can probably tell already, these targets are too broad and general.
Your products will not appeal to everyone and that’s a fact. This is why targeted marketing is so important. You need to clearly define exactly who your target market is. This is why creating a buyer persona and an ideal buyer profile is crucial.
Download the Buyer Persona Template ➜
Buyer personas represent your ideal customer base and are essential for prospecting and lead-generation stages. Research and analyze the types of potential customers and how your products will help solve their problems.
Narrow down your focus with the help of variables like demographic, psychographic, geographical, etc. Consulting agencies to discover your target market is usually the approach a lot of startups prefer, but an in-house marketing team can align in a better manner with your product vision.
2. Not creating absolute product messaging and value proposition
Absolute product messaging is the message your product is conveying to your target customers. In marketing, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that you can follow. Messaging varies from business to business.
If you’re not creating an absolute product messaging, then you will:
- Make your audience feel unappreciated
- Increase your customer churn
- Not be able to make your product stand out from the crowd
- Not be able to increase product sales
- Not be able to build a connection with your customer
Focusing on value propositions is also very important to ensure your prospects turn into paying customers.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of confusing value propositions with slogans or catchphrases. A value proposition highlights the benefits of your product or service. With a value proposition, you’re essentially telling a customer why they should buy it and how your product is different from other products in the market.
Each value proposition must be unique. It should effectively communicate the unique aspects of your company to your target customers.
In order to zero in on product-centric messaging that best connects with the problem your product solves, you’ll need to create a value matrix.
List the challenges faced by each buyer persona and how your product solves these challenges. Identify what’s different about your solution when compared to other products in the market.
Head over to our product positioning and messaging service page today if you’re interested in working with an expert for your product marketing.
3. Not outlining a distribution model
So, you have a product that you know your potential customers will love, but how do you plan on delivering your product to your customers?
A distribution model basically allows you to figure out how you’ll communicate with your clients to sell your products or services. Unfortunately, following the wrong strategy can drastically impact your business and will require you to reassess missed opportunities to make your business survive in the super-competitive landscape.
The sales distribution model is what allows businesses to sell products and services to its target clients.
Not outlining a proper distribution model will not:
- Get the attention of your clients.
- Let customers see the value that your product or service offers.
- Establish trust with your potential clients.
- Convert prospects into buying customers.
- Ensure that your products get delivered to your customers.
Before you can sell your products, you’ll need to invest a considerable amount of time researching the needs of your customers. For example, some clients look for personalized services. Others just want to get their order on time, they’re not bothered by anything else. Some might want to learn about your products before placing an order.
Using both the value matrix and buyer personas, define the funnel your sales team will use to move potential customers through.
4. Not selecting a pricing strategy
Most businesses set their product prices without putting much thought into it. This mistake can cause businesses to lose revenue right from the beginning. Even Fortune 500 companies don’t invest too much time into product pricing. In fact, statistically speaking, most businesses only spend around 10 hours a year thinking about product prices.
When deciding a price of a product, most businesses simply take into account the value of a single product, factor in the profit they’ll make per unit sold to come up with a price strategy.
However, a pricing strategy is much more than just that. A solid pricing strategy will help you solidify your market position by building trust and also allow you to meet your business goals.
A flawed pricing strategy is the one that:
- Doesn’t accurately highlight the real value of your products.
- Create uncertainty in the minds of your customers when purchasing.
- Targets the wrong audience for your products.
Therefore, decide on an appropriate pricing strategy for each customer group that best fits your needs, market, and business model. After all, it is the first thing that can either push a customer towards your product or push them away.
5. Not determining a product demand generation approach
The demand generation approach basically helps B2B businesses create awareness and interest amongst their target customers. It’ll help marketing teams build a demand for your product and services throughout your buyer’s journey.
If you make the mistake of not determining a product demand generation strategy, your sales and marketing will not be on the same page. You’ll also waste your marketing budget, reduce lead quality, and will not be able to hit your targets.
Therefore, you must decide on whether you want to use inbound or outbound marketing efforts to increase conversions. Inbound sales personalize the sales process to the needs and desires of the buyer.
An optimal way to do so is through content marketing based on your value matrix and the stages of the buyer’s journey. On the other hand, an outbound strategy focuses on those who have not yet already expressed interest in your product.
6. Not setting a customer retention plan
While bringing new customers will make shareholders and CEOs happy, retaining old customers is a much more profitable approach. Acquiring a new customer can cost x5 more than retaining an existing one. This is why US businesses spend around $50 billion yearly on loyalty programs to retain existing customers.
Making the mistake of not setting up a customer retention plan will impact your business in many ways. For example:
- It will increase the cost of customer acquisition.
- You won’t be able to make your brand stand out from the crowd.
- You won’t be able to earn any word of mouth via referrals.
- You won’t be able to positively influence customer repurchasing behavior.
- You won’t be able to improve your brand image.
- You will not be able to build loyal brand advocates.
- You’ll face difficulty upselling or cross-selling.
- You won’t be able to better communicate with your customers.
Nurturing existing customers can help you gain new customers without spending a fortune on marketing. Customer retention strategies contribute significantly towards the sustainable growth of any business.
Therefore, you must use marketing techniques like upselling and loyalty programs to incentivize repeat business and build long-term customer relationships.
7. Raising investment too soon based on false indicators
While raising funds for your business can be a great accomplishment, it can prove to be devastating if you’re blindly ignoring false indicators. Like everything in this world, too much of anything is a bad thing.
While it may sound absurd, there are downsides to raising too much investment too quickly. For example, too much money can prevent you from running your business sustainably
Sure, when starting any business, you need investment, but too much of it too early can prevent you from seeing the long-term success of your business. Especially if you haven’t done proper market and competitive research.
With too much investment, you’ll quickly start wasting funds. And in the tech industry where talent acquisition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’ll quickly run out of money to spend.
A lot of startup founders find themselves struggling with this issue. Most entrepreneurs fail to foresee how far their funds will take them. When this happens, business owners resort to raising more money at a significantly low valuation that pushes them into a downward spiral.
Therefore, while you raise funds, make sure to keep your spending frugal. Try not to splurge unnecessarily. For instance, don’t go out and purchase an office location right away. The more money you save, the less time you’ll have to spend running after investors.
8. Hiring a Magician Sales Manager (Hire a true experienced hands-on GTM manager)
Marketing is all about strategy. You can’t just magically expect to drive results overnight. You need proper planning and execution to gain a sizeable market share.
To be completely honest with you, there are a lot of professionals in the marketing industry that would flaunt their skills and make promises that they can’t deliver. Don’t make the mistake of hiring an ostentatious marketing manager for your business.
An inexperienced GTM manager will not be able to:
- Take ownership of your company’s go-to-market strategies.
- Develop relationships with your sales team.
- Develop go-to-market plans, processes, timelines, launches, promotions, and more.
- Consistently run competitor analysis.
- Develop market research.
- Provide actionable solutions.
- Identify risks to your business and develop response plans.
- Gather and share business intelligence with relevant teams.
- Identify trends to ensure successful product launches.
- Effectively communicate with clients.
- Resolve technical issues and come up with solution plans.
Therefore, it is crucial to hire an experienced GTM manager that can play a key part in your company’s growth strategy.
9. Not using product-centric messaging
The difference between a product perceived as excellent rather than good by customers is a direct result of product messaging and positioning. Your marketing positioning should focus on the most significant pain points to respond directly to those concerns leading with the value, not just features.
And by the value of your product, we mean less about the tactical solution it can achieve and more about the tactical solution in terms of goal attainment. This helps you understand how your product differs from that of your competitors too.
Once you’ve settled on your product’s core value, demonstrate what it looks like in real life. Reviews, companies you work with, ratings, and case studies are great examples of strong reasons to develop trust for why your product is the best way to solve a problem.
Based on what you learn from this step, you can determine what type of customer or business will gain similar value and benefit from your product.
Find out how your product can help your personas and, most importantly, who will be making the purchasing decision? Identifying your end-user will help you figure out the way to convince them to make the purchase.
As you learn more about your potential customers, you’ll be able to refine your ideal customer profile (ICP) based on the ones that have the most success with your product.
This takes us to the next mistake on our list…
10. Not narrowing down audiences
While many people believe you have to reach as many people as possible, tech product marketing is most effective when it is targeted.
There are tons of examples of product launch campaigns that fail because companies fail to understand their target demographic. As a result, they lost both loyal customers and the target demographic they sought to reach. Understanding who you are communicating with will help you understand how to communicate with them, which impacts potential customers’ buying decisions.
It’s impossible to build a product that solves every pain point and pleases every customer. But be aware of getting stuck in the “something for everyone” trap. Instead, identify those most excited and ready to solve their pain points with a product like yours. As you collect data, you’ll start to recognize patterns of pain points. The more the product addresses the most severe of these patterns, the more likely the customers are to act on that discomfort and make a purchase.
To get there, focus on one persona. Create a customer canvas that includes variables like:
- Pain points
- Purchasing power
Use the data to assess who will be the first target persona.
11. Not following a structured approach for acquiring new customers
As product marketing becomes more expensive, customers are becoming less trustworthy of brands. While customer acquisition may sound as simple as its name, the process is less of a side quest and more of a hero’s journey. The goal is to create a systematic, sustainable approach that can evolve with new trends and changes.
According to the State of Product Marketing report, 56% of product marketers are measured on how much new revenue they generate.
Customer acquisition strategies target consumers who have become aware of your product and are considering buying it. There are free strategies, paid strategies, inbound and outbound strategies, and the sky’s the limit. But for maximum impact and longevity, even the strongest strategies need optimization.
- Invest in a sustainable, long-term strategy.
- Ensure a flexible approach that responds to market trends.
- Tailor your approach to a narrowed-down target market.
Marketing a tech product is only half the battle
Marketing a tech product often feels like do-or-die, but with a solid go-to-market strategy avoiding the mistakes we just outlined, you should be able to play chess while the competition is playing checkers.
At Chasm, our team of experts can help you avoid go-to-market mistakes to help your product perform better. Check out our product marketing services find out how you can take benefit from our expertise.