We live in a world where there is a product for every niche. As a founder, if you manage to create a niche product that people are willing to pay for, you are set. But with tens and hundreds of startups being built every day, it is easy to say that, "if you build a great product, they will come to you” is not going to work anymore.
You need a solid marketing plan for your new product to reach customers and let them know that you can solve their problems. In this article, we will explore the different marketing strategies you can use today to grow your startup.
What is a go-to-market plan?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a blueprint that will help your customers reach your product. Before creating a marketing plan for your new product, you must take account of the pricing, distribution channels, your unique selling proposition (USP), etc. With this information, you can launch new products, add an existing product into a new market, or relaunch your product or brand.
A solid marketing plan will help you conduct effective market research, reach potential customers, develop a lead generation plan, and finally bring revenue.
So let’s create a marketing plan for your new product, together.
1. Conduct market research
The first thing you need to know before you start marketing is the level of demand in the market for it. You just need a basic idea of the
The approximate number of people looking for a solution
How much are they willing to pay for it?
What are the other problems they are facing related to this?
Is the problem seasonal?
What is the market trend for this type of product?
There are 2 ways to do this. For starters, you can use a few online tools to give you an idea of the need.
Some examples include,
Google trends - Keywords tell you everything. Google Trends is great for identifying the keywords that people are searching for. If the popularity is high, there is a problem in the space you’re trying to solve.
Alternatively, you can use the Google keyword planner.
Facebook audience insights - Facebook Audience Insights has all the information you need on the people using Facebook. Using this tool, you can find your potential audience size and learn a lot about them.
This tool gives you insights on the following:
Demographics - See age and gender breakdowns, education levels, job titles, and more.
Find out what people like - Learn about their interests and hobbies.
Learn about lifestyles - Find the types of people interested in your business.
The second way to do market research is to reach out to your potential users on social media and seek their opinion on your product. You can schedule a call with them to better understand their pulse. Don’t reach out to CEOs unless you have created something for them. For example, if you’ve created a marketing tool, reach out to marketers. They are your users.
2. Analyze your competitors
How do you know if your product will succeed or fail? Look at the existing competition. Competitor research can give you information on the potential audience demographics, market size, market trends, and possible revenue.
There are three things to do while analyzing your competitors:
Analyze their marketing strategy - Look at the type of content they are writing, problems they are solving, and the type of businesses (SMBs, SMEs, or enterprises) they are targeting.
Analyze reviews - Go to sites like G2, and search for your competitors' pages. Read through the product reviews to understand what your audience is thinking about the product, what they like, or don't. If your product can do better at something than your competition, note it down.
Test the product yourself - Sometimes, the most mediocre products can solve the most complex problems. Before you build a lot of features into your product, test out your competitors. You will be able to better understand the reviews you read before.
3. Determine your USP
Now that you’ve learned about the market and the competitors, it’s time to think about the value you will provide to the users. To find your USP, start assessing the benefits a user will get when they use your product as opposed to the others.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourselves:
What problems does my product solve?
What makes it different than the competition?
How can you make it more personal?
Determining your USP is a necessary step to communicate them in your core marketing messages. Every marketing/sales collateral you produce, every channel that you use for marketing, should have a unified message about your brand and product. This helps you to gain the trust of your users and make them easily connect with you.
4. Set realistic goals
Why do you want to market your product? Is it to bring more site visits? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Are you looking to increase the leads inflow?
Determining the end goal of your marketing plan is an important step before you start promotions. Do not try to achieve everything with a single marketing plan. Choose one goal and put your entire focus on that. These are called SMART goals - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Let’s say you have a goal to increase the site visits of your homepage. This doesn’t have any clarity as to when do you want to achieve it, by what percent, or what number are you expecting to reach.
Instead, you can be a little specific, like, I want to increase website visits to 1000/month within 12 months. Now, this is SMART.
5. Develop marketing collaterals
Now that you’ve set specific goals to achieve, the next step is to decide on the channels that will help you achieve the goal. For example, let’s take the previous example to reach 1000 visits/month within 12 months. How do you do that?
If you want to achieve this organically, then you would start writing articles for SEO reach. So SEO is your channel, and the article you write is your marketing collateral.
Use Google keyword planner to analyze keywords that your audience is searching for. This can help you create collaterals to address the specific problem. For example, for a keyword such as “automated AI copywriting”, you can do the following based on the channel and the respective collateral:
A thread on how to use your tool to write amazing copy
Social media - Linkedin
Create a carousel post explaining the business benefits of using AI to write copy.
6. Create a marketing plan for your new product
With the collaterals, offerings, and channels ready, it’s now time to create the marketing plan for your product. Using the information gathered from steps 1, 2, 3, and 4, you will have to decide how to position your product where people can see them.
If you’re selling a Saas product, then start guest posting on popular tech sites, run ads on Google search, or even create a site where people can stay updated on the latest news in your industry. Once you decide on the strategies, you can build a roadmap for each activity and implement them one by one.
7. Set a budget
Every marketing move is tied up to revenue. Big companies spend millions of dollars in marketing every year. Yet, most of them won’t see a return on investment (ROI) for years. I’m not asking you to spend millions, but it’s important to decide on a budget for your marketing plan and your expected ROI.
Set realistic financial goals before you start marketing. Begin by understanding what financial reserves you have, the monthly bills going into the company, etc., and then decide on a monthly budget that will not affect the business functions.
8. Track progress and success
You’ve built the product, set financial goals, finished your marketing plans within the projected period. Now what?
It’s time to track the goals that you set previously. The post-marketing analysis is a crucial process to understand how your marketing activities are tied up to your revenue. Based on the goals you set, monitor the page visits, conversions, bounce rates, and other metrics.
Find links between two different metrics such as page visits and sales. It is essential to gather user information, if possible, to retarget them after a certain time.
9. Scale the winners and drop the losers
Creating a solid marketing plan for a new product is essential to improve your brand recall and revenue. Sometimes not every channel will produce the best results. Some succeed, some fail. So it’s important to focus on the ones that generate the maximum return on effort.
But by losers, I don’t mean the ones that generate the least revenue. It’s always good to have a few channels that organically bring in results without much effort. Keep in mind that you must apply the right marketing plans and optimize them to match the market trend.
10. Sell it before you build it
Yes, you heard it right. Marketing your product starts weeks before you build it. As a founder, it is important to create your distribution channels before you launch your product. You can do this by building authority on your domain before you touch your IDE. Create and share valuable content on social media platforms where your audience is seen more. This will help you build trust and an organic following with hundreds of people. And imagine what will happen when you ask for help? At least 10% of the audience will be interested in helping you out.
Remember, marketing is a never-ending process. So keep testing and find the right combination of tools, techniques, and channels that work for your brand and double down on that.
Good luck with your new product marketing plan!