Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Benefits of Pricing Your Product for Value

By David Ronald

Are concerns about pricing keeping you awake at night?

If so, it’s understandable—price your product too low and you leave money on the table; price it too high and you can say goodbye to sales that could have made your year.

SaaS companies have relied on subscription-based pricing for more than a decade. Subscriptions are a popular way to sell SaaS solutions because transactions are relatively uncomplicated. Customers can budget for the purchase, and SaaS providers can forecast revenue with a high degree of precision.

However, today’s customers are tired of “shelfware”—they don’t want to waste money on seats that go unused or pay upfront for solutions that may suffer from poor adoption. Usage is variable by nature, challenging to predict, and represents an unknown value-to-cost ratio.

Customers prefer to pay for exactly what they use.

A great product married with an easy-to-understand consumption-based pricing model can pack a powerful one-two punch for your business.

Benefits of Usage-Based Pricing

Companies that use consumption-based pricing are experiencing 38% faster revenue growth over their subscription-based peers based on research from OpenView.

Usage-based pricing not only provides business benefits, but it also helps improve your customers’ experiences: 

  • It better correlates product usage with pricing and eliminates the risk of “black box” pricing associated with other approaches.It shifts cost control to your customers, providing them with maximum flexibility.
  • It provides a low entry price point and allows customers to experience the full product regardless of company size.
  • It improves customer retention since it does not require customer to cancel their plans during periods of lower usage.

Consumption-based pricing compels SaaS providers to better understand customers’ behavior and usage patterns. Through metering, you benefit from a continuous flow of data that illuminates each customer’s behavior in real time.

Transitioning to Usage-Based Pricing

Although there is a huge potential upside when you move to consumption-based pricing it doesn’t mean the shift will be straightforward.

Pricing equates to two things for customers: 

  • Buyers must be confident that your pricing aligns with the perceived value they expect you to deliver.
  • Buyers should believe that the value you will deliver is better than the status quo and what your competitors are delivering.

As you prepare to implement a consumption-based pricing model, focus on these five areas to minimize stress and help ensure success: 

  • Pick a value metric that communicates your solutions’ benefits for customers (more on this below).
  • Transform your sales process and compensation structure by aligning your sales team’s comp plan to the way customers derive value from your solution.
  • Rethink your revenue playbooks to account for the variable nature of consumption and the challenges associated with forecasting revenue.
  • Assist your customers in predicting and optimizing spend through consumption transparency, picking the right payment structure, and manage overage scenarios.
  • Leverage data by unifying it in a central repository so you can deliver in a holistic view that provides insights into consumption and your financials on a daily basis.

Let's look now at the first item on the list above.

Picking a Value Metric

One of the biggest challenges is determining how to price your product. A well-priced solution benefits both SaaS providers and customers. It transforms providers into advocates for value, and value is about more than price—it’s about the success of customers. 

The purpose of a value metric is to communicate your product’s value to customers. It demonstrates an understanding as to why customers pay you for your service. Here are three factors to keep in mind when choosing your value metric: 

  • It should be easy for buyers to understand immediately—your value metrics should not be complicated or incomprehensible.
  • It should align with your solution’s perceived value.
  • It should scale and grow in correlation with your buyer’s use.

What value metric is best for your business?

You can begin by recognizing the challenges and use cases that your buyers are trying to solve. Think about how your solution functions in order to solve a problem, and then consider the outcomes your customers track. Here are some examples:
 

Type of Organization

Value Metric

Internet marketing platform

Number of marketing contacts

Monitoring and analytics tools

Amount of data ingested

Authentication services

Number of external active users

Communication platform

Number of SMS messages

Cloud computing service provider

Amount of data stored

Security network

Pricing per feature

Task automation service

Number of tasks

It is important to ensure that it aligns with your delivery costs and will scale and grow with your customers whatever value metric you select—and the only way to uncover this ideal provider-and-customer alignment is through testing. 

This means that you should put your value metric out in the wild and see how it performs with real customers.   

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be patient—a data-driven approach requires implementing, testing, and iterating different ideas. 

It takes time and honing to ensure your value metric aligns with your underlying technology and resonates with your customers.

 

The Possibilities are Priceless

No one will tell you that adopting or shifting to a consumption-based pricing model is easy. However, it’s the right move if it aligns with your company’s overall product strategy and delivers stronger value to customers.

Startups may find it less complicated to adopt a consumption model because everything is greenfield. A try-before-you-buy approach may make it easier to attract customers, but don’t forget that you will chase revenue for a period of time until usage starts to grow consistently. 

Expectations must be set for a longer ramp-up time, and you must have enough funding and investor buy-in to support this strategy.

For mature companies, the process requires plans for handling current accounts and bookings and understanding what a hybrid model looks like. The benefits are that you have time to hone your consumption model to suit your business and can transition sales and finance teams to this new way of operating over time.

Remember that everything starts and ends with data. All data must be accessible from a centralized location and shared securely without friction or integration headaches. Today, that means you must build solutions on a cloud data platform if you want to support growth and enable pricing models that protect margins and drive new revenue.

The end result is delivering more value to your current customers, attracting new customers, and opening up new revenue opportunities—all of which are truly worth the effort.

Thanks for reading.

Let us know what you think of this blog post? Did we omit anything?

And keep an eye open for future blog posts on pricing for your business.

Although I'd like to take full credit for all the ideas presented in this blog post, it's the culmination of ideas from a variety of people and sources—the most significant of these is a paper by the smart people at Snowflake called “Consumption-Based Pricing Playbook", 2022 – it’s a terrific white paper and well worth a read!

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

3 Ingredients of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

By David Ronald

Content marketing increases demand for what you are selling and should be a key component of your business strategy.

What is content marketing? Content marketing alters the way you sell—it shifts the focus from hyping your products to adding value to prospects’ decision making. Content marketing is about creating relevant, informative and unbiased content that attracts buyers and converts them to loyal customers.

Do you want to make content marketing work for you? If so, here are the three ingredients of a successful content marketing strategy.

1. Help, Don’t Sell

It’s a harsh truth that nobody is interested in you and your business—they are interested in themselves and their own problems. The starting point for your content, therefore, should be “how can we help our customers?” not “how can we sell to our customers?”

Share your expertise freely and be generous with what you know. A good starting point for creating helpful content is to begin with the questions your customers ask you. Answer those questions with your content. Blog about it, make videos about it. The format isn’t the most important thing; it’s the intention that matters more. Use what you know to create exactly the kind of content you know your customers crave.

You can’t separate content marketing from social media, they’re inextricably linked. Social media is one way you share your content – your blogs, your guides, your videos, but your social media updates are content in their own right too. Make them helpful, human and tone done the hype. Share other people’s content, if you know it will help your customers. Share it even if you think it’s too good, and you wish you’d created it yourself. Share it even if it’s so fantastic it hurts.

The biggest thing content marketing can do for you is to build trust in you and your business. Having your customers’ best interests at heart at every stage of the content process—from the subject you choose to write about, to the way you behave online—is the way to build trust, so keep this secret mantra in mind.

(Click here to read our white paper on content marketing: http://bit.ly/1GHDSxB.)

2. Know your content sweet spot

In my experience the number one place where people go wrong with content marketing is by failing to map their content sweet spot—which lies at the intersection between content which helps your customers and the content which will help you grow your business. 

There will be an infinite number of things your customers are looking for online. On the one hand you could share videos of cats doing funny stuff and gain hundreds of social media followers, but it won’t win you any business. 

On the other hand you could talk exclusively about your business and its sales messages and probably nobody will listen. The content sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Not cats, not self-interested sales promotion. 

The best type of content marketing increases demand for what you are selling. So, focus on talking about applications of your product, instead of focusing on how it works. 

Wistia, a video hosting services company, is a good example of a B2B vendor doing great content marketing—the company has created a series of educational videos that teach viewers how to be better video marketers—each short lesson is a microcosm of some concept within video storytelling, including bulleted lists for easier retention of the subject matter.

By producing videos like these, Wistia has shifted from pitching its products to delivering content that makes its prospects more informed before they buy. And like all good content marketing, these videos are helping Wistia to increase its addressable market—someone not necessarily thinking about creating corporate videos may be excited by this content and embark on a journey that ends up with her signing up for a subscription.

3. Good content marketing is good business

People rarely write letters of complaint these days. 

Instead, they leap onto X (formerly Twitter) and expect you to sort it out. So content marketing isn’t something you can leave to the marketing organization, the whole team has to share the mission. These days, it’s as much a part of customer service as it is a front end marketing issue. 

You need to be a good business—one that acts in the best interests of its customers—through and through. If you’re doing content marketing well, you’ll be creating content and sharing it on social media platforms. 

Being a successful content marketer doesn’t mean creating the shiniest , glossiest, most amazing content and pouring it into the world and waiting for the results. It means using that content to help customers, and start the conversations that develop into long-term relationships. 

A big part of content marketing success is down to what you do with the content once you’ve created it—how you build content creation, distribution, and relationship building into your business model.

Thanks for reading. 

Let us a comment if you found this information helpful.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Will Improve Marketing ROI

By David Ronald

Marketing is going through a profound transformation.

A recent BCG report indicates that 70% of CMOs have already integrated generative AI into their practices, with an additional 19% currently in the testing phase. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already having a transformational impact, and this will only increase in the coming months and years.

This is both exciting and unsettling!

The Benefits Are Almost Limitless

When it comes to better marketing campaigns, increased productivity, and accelerated growth, the potential benefits of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are seemingly limitless—and valuable use cases for every stage of the marketing cycle are already available today.


Here are five use cases for AI and ML that can have a positive impact on marketing:

  1. Segmentation—Identifying and grouping audiences to tailor campaigns and power faster and attain actionable audience insights.
  2. Personalization—Elevating marketing and advertising impact with better Customer 360 perspectives.
  3. Lead Scoring—Ranking prospects by value and sales-readiness, and power automation to streamline lead scoring and improve productivity.
  4. Forecasting—Predicting the sales pipeline with greater accuracy and optimizing current pipeline in near-real time.
  5. Attribution—Measuring the impact of different campaign touchpoints more accurately.

I'll look at each of these in more depth:

1. Segmentation

Segmentation is crucial for helping marketers identify and categorize groups of accounts and people within a broader target audience and then tailor campaigns to each segment’s interests and behaviors. 

Segmentation is foundational to personalization (which is the topic of the next section) since it provides modern marketing departments with an accurate picture of their customer base and equips them to deliver tailor-made messages to various audiences.

Here are some of the advantages that can be derived from using AI/ML for segmentation:

  • Speed—Segmentation is exponentially faster when implemented with AI/ML than manual segmentation, because an AI can peer through virtually limitless data points nearly instantly.
  • Precision—Marketing teams can analyze a much higher volume of data to segment more precisely segmentation with AI/ML and deep analytics.
  • Increased revenue—An AI can boost an organization’s profitability by enabling marketers to identify and target their most valuable customers with the most pertinent marketing messages.

Segmentation can also increase customer loyalty and satisfaction by surfacing segment-specific opportunities or risks that can be addressed more granularly. 

AI/ML segmentation can, therefore, help organizations optimize profitably by not only precisely identify the segments that are at risk of churn, but also automate corrective measures.

2. Personalization

Marketers need to deliver personalized campaigns aligned to an increasingly diverse customer base. To do this requires understanding their customers holistically.

One of the proven ways to do this is by achieving a Customer 360 perspective. This requires aggregating and unifying customer interaction touch points from the full breadth of their enterprise data—encompassing online transactions, social media posts, forum comments, in-store engagements, third-party interactions, customer support and more. 

Marketers now have exciting new ways to personalize customer touch points and create new, hyper-personalized experiences, including the ability to do the following:

  • Generate large volumes of creative content, including images, videos and innovative, immersive 3D experiences, for brand advertising and other marketing channel content.
  • Micro-target campaign tactics based on individual customer behavior as well as persona and purchase history. 
  • Personalize outreach via chatbots, virtual assistants, dynamic content and personalized ads and recommendations.
  • Identify “next best action” sales opportunities that are tailored to a particular customer’s needs, at a particular moment in time and on a particular channel.

Marketers to run personalized campaigns more precisely than ever before by applying AI/ML to their data.

3. Lead Scoring

With data from multiple sources, marketers can help build a more objective view of each lead, uncover fresh customer insights and gain a better overall understanding of targets. 

Lead scoring can, however, be time consuming and prone to error, since many methodologies still require manual inputs. 

Scores can be inaccurate due to several issues, all of which revolve around data—ingesting large quantities of data from multiple sources can be particularly challenging and data from different sources often lives in different applications and data repositories, so it isn’t readily available for analysis.

Given these challenges and the ever-growing volume of data involved, ML-powered automation has become critical for lead scoring. With machine learning, marketers can deliver an automated system that learns over time and updates automatically using a constant input of data from multiple sources.

4. Forecasting

Company growth is tied directly to an organization’s ability to maximize its sales pipeline with efficiency. But how do organizations see what’s around the corner and plan resourcing needs to be ready to capitalize on pipeline opportunities with speed and accuracy?

The answer is robust and precise sales pipeline forecasting, and AI/ML makes accurate and objective pipeline forecasting a reality. 

An end-to-end machine learning model can be fully customized to incorporate all relevant organizational and customer data, produce near real-time pipeline predictions, and be accessible to all business teams for better organizational alignment. 

5. Attribution

Marketing attribution allows marketers to track which campaigns and touchpoints customers interact with prior to closing an opportunity. 

Without being able to attribute results to campaign tactics, marketers are operating in the dark, spending time and money creating content or running ads or campaigns without understanding which tactics are driving the best results.

That said, accurate marketing attribution is one of the most difficult use cases in marketing, particularly in an era where customers engage with companies through multiple devices, channels and mediums.

Fortunately, data-driven attribution models powered by AI/ML offer increasingly promising options that create flexibility in their many cutting-edge attribution algorithms. 

Unlike common attribution models that are difficult to scale and often produce inaccurate or simplistic results for certain campaigns or channels, data-driven models allow marketers to experiment with a variety of ML algorithms that produce more accurate results about conversion rates at each touchpoint.

There Are Risks

Up to this point I've focused only on the positive aspects of AI/ML. 

No matter how compelling the potential business advantages are, the unprecedented rate of evolution of AI/ML requires that it be handled with great care—marketers must remain vigilant to mitigate the risks of infringing intellectual property, violating data privacy standards and losing sight of foundational security needs.

Buyer trust isn’t just an everyday issue to manage—it’s a foundational pillar of a modern, data-driven marketing strategy, and even a single AI “hallucination” gone uncaught could have crippling reputational and business impact. 

The risks are significant…but so are the rewards.

Thanks for reading.

Although I'd like to take full credit for all the ideas presented in this blog post, it's the culmination of ideas from a variety of people and sources—the most significant of these is a paper by the smart people at Snowflake called "5 Ways AI and Machine Learning Accelerate B2B Marketing ROI". It's well worth a read.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

3 Ways for a Small Business to Become More Creative

 By Sharon Lee

Have you ever wished you could be more creative?

Modern culture often labels creativity as a gift, something we are born with. Yes, there’s some truth in that. In my opinion, though, every single one of us can become more creative. You simply require the right stimuli, tools and environment. Creativity is a skill to be learned, practiced, and developed, just like any other. Juggling takes practice, as does surfing, coding, and driving a car. Creativity is no different. The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow.

So, how can we be more creative? Here are three suggestions:

1. Stretching the Vision

Letting your mind wander outside the box, can help fuel your creativity, especially when you’ve already invested a lot of time and energy on a project—daydreaming for as little as 12 minutes was shown to improve creative thinking in a study published in the Journal of Psychological Science.

Alternatively, if you feel too busy to daydream, consider interspersing tasks that demand more creativity with less mentally-intensive ones, as this has been shown to be beneficial too.

And, if you still feel guilty about visualizing during the work day, consider that studies have shown that visualizing so improves working memory (the kind of memory that enables us to think about multiple things at once) so you will be more proficient at multi-tasking.

2. Test Yourself

Many of us take the path of “least mental resistance” when forced to solve a problem, according to research by the Institute of Education Sciences. In other words, we resort to solutions that have worked in the past.

In contrast, we are often at our most creative when facing limitations—one of the most famous examples of this was Dr. Seuss producing Green Eggs & Ham after being challenged by his editor to produce an entire book in fewer than 50 different words.

Try restricting your work in some way and you may see the benefits of your brain coming up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve set.

3. Build a Playful Environment

Consider keeping toys such as Play-Doh, Lego and origami paper at your desk—building something physically with your hands, as opposed to typing on a keyboard, can give you just the creative jolt you need.

Be open to reading books, viewing artworks and watching movies that are surreal, even absurd, as these can help boost pattern recognition and problem solving. A study at the University of Southern California, Santa Barbara showed that participants were more creative after reading Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll because surreal/absurd art puts the mind in “overdrive” for a short period while it tries to understand what is seeing.

Lastly, don’t overlook the relationship between your creativity and your emotions. I know that I’m the most innovative after a rest. An open and positive mood are the best place for me to be creative in  and more importantly, being influenced by other designs and looking at what other people are doing makes me want to create something more original. Reflect on what type of moods works for you and, when you find yourself feeling that way, focus that energy on creating something extraordinary. 

Thanks for reading. 

I'd love to know what you think of this article - leave me a comment with your thoughts or suggestions.

 

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How to Create the Go-To-Market Strategy for Your Product

By David Ronald

First, the bad news. 

Around 95% of new products launched every year fail, according to Harvard Business School

What does failure mean in this context? Well, in simple terms, it means that the revenues derived from the new product failed to have any positive impact on a company’s revenues.

Now, the good news.  

Proactively defining your go-to-market strategy ahead of the introduction of a new product significantly increases the probability of its success once launched. 

Why You Need A GTM Strategy

A go-to-market strategy (GTM) anticipate the challenges of a competitive market by thoroughly identifying the target audiences, articulating the product’s value proposition, describing a marketing plan, and providing a strategy for its sales channels. 

 

Some of the most common benefits of compiling an effective GTM strategy include:

  • Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace, the target market, and your product’s place in it.
  • Defining and rroubleshooting product positioning and messaging before going to market. 
  • Keeping marketing costs down by identifying promotional channels with the highest return on investment.
  • Concretely defining the logistics of distribution and sales channels before launch to ensure maximum market impact.

In addition to helping you launch a product successfully, compiling an effective GTM strategy can benefit your business in several ways, including:

  • Understanding the market—compiling a GTM strategy involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace, the target market, your competitors, your competitors, and your proposed product’s place in it. With more insight into customers and the market conditions, your organization will have more tools to thrive in all areas of business, from product launches to introducing a new brand identity to the world.
  • Reducing costs—with a solid GTM strategy, you can keep marketing costs down by identifying promotional channels with the highest return on investment (ROI) and developing marketing messaging and content that will resonate with your target market.
  • Reducing time to market—GTM strategies also help you launch products more quickly in the following ways:
  • Prioritizing tasks that are essential for a product to enter the market.
  • Troubleshooting product positioning and messaging before going to market.
  • Concretely defining the logistics of distribution and sales channels before launch to ensure maximum market impact.

Depending on the kind of product you are launching, you might consider the minimum viable product approach: making sure the product has enough features to attract early adopters, validating the product, and learning what product updates or improvements could improve customer experience.

Your GTM strategy, when skillfully executed, can increase your organization’s growth potential. With access to new niche markets, organized market data, and an efficient process for launching products, you can seize growth opportunities more easily than without a predefined and clearly-articulated strategy.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan vs. GTM Strategy

People sometimes use the terms marketing strategy, marketing plan, and go-to-market strategy interchangeably and, although there is overlap and similarity, they are not the same thing.

  • Marketing Strategy—a long-term strategy (often many years in the future) that outlines a business’s overall marketing objectives.
  • Marketing Plan—an action plan outlining the concrete steps required to undertake a marketing campaign.
  • Go-to-market Strategy—a strategic outline of the considerations and steps required to bring a new product to the marketplace successfully.

While GTM strategy can include a marketing plan and be directed by a marketing strategy, neither a marketing plan nor a marketing strategy includes a concrete GTM strategy!

Creating Your GTM strategy

A go-to-market strategy compiles several other strategies and marketing methods to ensure a product enters the market with the best possible chance of success. To help you better understand what goes into compiling a GTM strategy, the following guide includes key elements you should develop throughout the process.

1. Identify Your Target Market

The customer is the centerpiece of any marketing strategy.  

As a result, whether you are bringing a new product to market or refreshing an existing one, it is imperative that you first research and identify the target market that will be most interested in purchasing it. 

A target market is a group of individuals who have a shared set of features, such as demographic or psychographic similarities. The process of identifying the shared similarities between groups is called segmentation and involves researching the kinds of individuals or organizations that would be most likely to purchase your product. 

As you identify your target market, answer these questions:

  • Is your product being sold to everyday consumers (B2C) or to other businesses (B2B)?
  • Will you use demographic, psychographic, or other types of segmentation to define your target market?
  • What are the pain points of your target market? What problem are you solving with your product?

Repeat this exercise if you are addressing more than one target market. 

2. Describe Your Value Proposition

A product’s value proposition is the benefit it provides customers and the problems it solves. In other words, your product’s value proposition articulates why the target market should purchase the product. 

The value proposition that you identify should be as much about the target market you are selling to as the product itself. For example, while some products position themselves as a cheaper alternative to another product, others position themselves as the solution to a particular problem that currently has no market solution. 

The exact value proposition that your product or service will provide is dependent on what it is and who its target market is. To define your product's value proposition, answer the following:

  • What pain points does your product remedy?
  • How does your product stand out from your competitors?
  • What unique features or experience does your product or service provide potential customers? 

Ideally, your value proposition delivers a significant (ideally 10x) improvement compared to the solution your customers are using at present. If not, it may be challenging for your sales team to persuade your prospects to switch from your competitor to you.

3. Define Your Pricing Strategy

Price is an important factor for any product. You don’t want to sell a product for too much or too little. If you do, you’ll risk either not moving enough product or eating too much into your profit margin. 

Now that you have an understanding of your target market and the value that your product offers, you have a better understanding of what price a consumer might be willing to pay for your product. 

As you consider your pricing strategy, some questions you might ask yourself include:

  • How much does it cost to manufacture your product?
  • What price do you need to meet in order to make a profit?
  • How much do your competitors charge for a similar product or service?
  • What is your target marketing willing to pay for your product?
  • Will you use a subscription or transactional model?

A good price is one that fits your business objectives, matches your customer profile, and makes you competitive in the marketplace. (Keep an eye open for a future blog post on pricing strategy.)

4. Craft Your Promotion Strategy

Your promotion strategy is your action plan to promote your product to your target customers. Here, you should craft a marketing plan that outlines the exact steps you will take to reach your customer base. 

The techniques you use to promote your product will depend entirely on the product or service you are selling. For instance, while one business might use a sales team to pitch their product to other businesses, another might instead focus on social media marketing to raise brand awareness and draw in potential customers organically. 

As you craft your promotion strategy, some questions to consider include:

  • What is the best channel to reach your target audience? Online or offline?
  • Does your customer respond better to outbound marketing methods, such as phone calls or radio advertisements, or inbound marketing efforts like SEO?
  • Where does your target audience spend most of their time? What marketing channels penetrate that space?
  • What marketing methods can you realistically implement now considering your current budget?

This is your opportunity to be stand out from your competition by being bold and innovative!  I’ve heard this described as a “Broadway Show” It’s an apt metaphor.

5. Build Your Sales and Distribution Ecosystem

Sales channels are where buyers can purchase your product, while distribution channels are the ways that your product actually gets to your customer. 

Often, sales channels and distribution channels can be the same, such as when a consumer buys directly from a manufacturer. In other instances, distribution channels can be much more complex, such as when a producer sells to a wholesaler, who in turn sells to a retailer who then finally sells their product to a consumer. 

Some points to consider when choosing sales and distribution channels include:

  • What is the nature of your product and does it have any specific sales and distribution requirements?
  • What are the manufacturing needs of your product and how does that impact its sale and distribution?
  • Where does your target market shop or buy products?
  • How can you make the sale of your product as seamless as possible? 

Whether you decide to sell your product in-person or online, directly to a consumer or to a wholesaler, or some other variation, depends on the unique needs of your product. Whatever you pick, the buyer’s journey should be as seamless as possible to reduce friction and increase sales.

6. Identify Metrics and Track Performance

The success of your go-to-market strategy is completely dependent on the goals that you set. In setting these goals, you are also identifying the metrics you will use to measure your success.

For example, if it turns out that you are paying more to acquire customers than they are paying for your product, then you will need to adjust your strategy to reach a better customer acquisition cost. 

Some common metrics for measuring the success of a go-to-market strategy include:

  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC).
  • Cost per dollar of sales expense.
  • Closing/ conversion rate.
  • Length of the sales cycle.

As your GTM strategy goes from idea to reality, it is important to keep track of your metrics and to make any necessary adjustments as you go along.  

Get Market Ready

An effective GTM strategy is at the core of every successful business. 

Your target audience likely has tens or even hundreds of competing offerings to choose from, and by planning your GTM strategy and tracking each relevant program through an analytics dashboard, you can keep a constant pulse on your strategy's effectiveness and pivot towards more effective programs. 

This can make the difference between being one of the 95% of new products that fail every year and the 5% that succeed. 

Thanks for reading.

 If you found this article helpful be sure to read our blog post on product launch planning.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Empower your Sales Team with Training, Tools, and Insights

 By David Ronald

Always Be Closing was the mantra repeated menacingly by Alex Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross. And, although real life sales environments require much more sophistication, every company needs its reps to be closing deals.


The success of your business maps directly to the proficiency of your sales team. In this blog post I will explain how sales enablement can increase the performance of your reps by providing them with the training, tools and metrics they need to win.
  • First, training. Many companies fail to invest the time, energy and expertise needed to acclimate new hires adequately, resulting in missed quotas and high turnover. Don’t fall into this trap. A formal on boarding plan minimizes the time before a new hire begins contributing to the bottom line and enhances the long-term productivity of sales reps. It can also increase the probability of sales staff staying longer with your company.
  • Next, marketing tools. Since large companies may have a dozen people or more involved in a buying decision, create content that will resonate with your audience. Avoid the mistake, for example, of talking “speeds and feeds” to someone in finance, or profit and loss to someone in engineering. Identify your key buying personas, understand their business issues and create content relevant to each one.
  • Last, but not least, insights. Data help you understand what’s working, and what’s not working. Ask your sales and marketing teams a series of questions and use this information to make adjustments. Repeat these questions at least twice a year, and act on insights they yield.

(Click here to read our white paper on sales enablement: http://bit.ly/1Lbl1z7.)

Every selling opportunity counts, especially for a new business, and, although it is incumbent on your sales team to be “tip of the spear”, everyone in your organization should be able to articulate your value proposition. After all, potentially anyone could find themselves in the seat on an aircraft next to the gatekeeper at your biggest target account. Open up your new hire product training (described above) to everyone in your company, and encourage all your staff to participate in it.

Selling is a challenging role and requires a special type of personality, one who thrives in competitive situations. One of the marketing’s responsibilities is to empower reps with the training, tool and metrics they need to win. I have witnessed first-hand the power of sales and marketing teams working together synergistically and, in those circumstances, the closers were fully entitled to their coffee!

Thanks for reading.

What do you think of this post - did we omit anything?

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

What Types of Branding Are Best For Your Business?

By Sharon Lee 

A strong brand gives you an edge over your competitors. 

Branding is not only about getting your prospects to select you over your competition, it’s also about getting your prospects to see you as the best provider of a solution to their problem. 

A strong brand is invaluable when you battle for customers every day. It's important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your buyers.


Branding includes a name, logo, a strong theme that affects the website, ads, social media, signage, label, packaging, or the brand identity program of a seller and the services or products. 

The objectives that good branding will achieve include:

  • Building your credibility.
  • Emotionally connecting your target buyers with your product or service.
  • Motivating your prospects to buy.
  • Establishing user loyalty.

Your brand is the sum total of many aspects of your business.

Building Brand Equity

The effectiveness of branding doesn't just happen before the purchase, it's about the life of the brand and the long-term experience it provides to buyers.

  • Did the product or service perform as expected?
  • Was the quality as good as promised or better?
  • How was the customer service experience?

You can go a long way to creating a loyal customer if you can get positive answers to these questions.

And it’s important to realize that good branding not only creates loyal customers, but also loyal employees. It helps employees understand the purpose of the organization or the business—a strong brand gives your team something to believe in, something to stand behind.

If you are effective in creating a good brand, it will live within the hearts and minds of your customers and employees.

Good Design is Good Business

To build a successful brand you must understand the needs and wants of your prospects and customers.

This can be achieved by integrating your brand strategy through your company at every point of public contact—think of branding as the expression of who you are as a company or organization and what you offer. 

Start by answering the following statements:

  • What is my brand’s intention?
  • Does my brand reflect the company's objective?
  • How does my brand (look and feel and content) engage with my customers?
  • Does my brand create a need that it needs to be shared by others?
  • Does my brand bring likability to my customers?

Good design is an essential component of effective branding. Good design creates freshness, attraction, monetization and it compels action. Without good design your brand will lack cohesion, power and sustainability.

Your color palette, imagery/iconography, typography, brand consistency, brand tonality, messaging, are some of the key design considerations that span all buyer touchpoints.

Specific design considerations include:

Your brand is the sum total of your buyers’ experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

Types of Branding

When creating your brand it is important to think about what type of branding you plan on utilizing. Online branding and offline branding refer to different strategies and channels used to build and promote a brand's identity and reputation.

Let’s look at the differences between them so that you know how best to use each one effectively for your company.

1. Online branding

  • Online branding refers to the activities and efforts carried out on the internet to establish and promote a brand's image.
  • It involves creating and maintaining a strong online presence through various digital platforms such as websites, social media, online advertisements, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Online branding allows for direct interaction with the target audience through online platforms, enabling real-time engagement and feedback.
  • It provides the opportunity to reach a wider audience globally and target specific demographics through targeted online advertising.
  • Online branding focuses on building brand awareness, enhancing brand loyalty, and driving online sales and conversions.

2. Offline branding

  • Offline branding refers to the traditional marketing activities conducted outside of the online space to establish and promote a brand's image.
  • It includes offline advertising methods such as print ads, billboards, television and radio commercials, brochures, flyers, packaging, and direct mail campaigns.
  • Offline branding often relies on physical presence and traditional marketing channels to reach and engage with the target audience.
  • Offline branding strategies are typically location-specific and can be effective in reaching local communities.
  • Offline branding aims to build brand recognition and credibility through traditional marketing channels and in-person experiences.

Online branding, in essence, focuses on leveraging digital platforms and strategies to build and promote a brand's identity, while offline branding relies on traditional marketing channels and physical presence to establish and promote a brand's image.

Both online and offline branding strategies can complement each other and contribute to a comprehensive brand-building approach. Most established companies thrive to maintain the two types in equilibrium because they understand the importance of reaching different target audiences.

Conclusion

A brand can be viewed as both strategic and tactical.

Your brand serves as a guide to understanding the purpose of business objectives—it enables you to align a marketing plan with those objectives and fulfill the overarching strategy.

Defining and developing a brand takes expertise, care, and effort…but it will provide abundant benefits when done correctly.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end.

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