Differentiate or Die: How SMEs can use GTM successfully to Conquer the Market? (Part I)


This is the first part of a two-part series on ‘Go to Market’ Strategy.

When someone starts a company (be it product or services but more so in a product startup) they will be so enamored by the technical details and the features of the product that sometimes they lose sight that someone actually has to know about it in the first place and then they have to shell out dough to actually buy it. General rule among techies who start a startup is that you build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door step. In an ideal world this might be true but in the real world this is far from truth. Today we are spoilt with choice and you take any product and there are 1000s of choices if not hundreds and be it in anything and when such a choice exists it becomes even more critical to let know people what are you are trying to sell and why your product is better and different than the competing ones. Then again due to constraint in the budget and the resources, you find a smart way to letting people know about your product. You will let know only those who might be interested in buying your product and you let them know in only those places where that section of people go. You are now talking about marketing and you are now talking about how to slice and dice the market and how to position your product so that people will notice your product, feel has value and finally might buy it. This was of slicing and dicing the market is what I call GTM strategy or “go to market” strategy which I feel is very critical as much as the product and its technical capabilities are, if not more and if not less.Peter Drucker who is considered the father of marketing said which I quote here: “The purpose of a business is to create a customer. Business has only two basic functions: Marketing and Innovation – they produce results and all the rest are costs.”

As people who know market say that it is not the best product that wins but the best perceptions tend to be winners. Hence marketing is very critical and since we all belong to that startups or SMEs with limited budget and limited reach, we should always create a very clear GTM strategy (slice, dice the market and attack a narrow segment to start with) as we all know there is a unforgiving world out there and it is very tough to survive there.

Remember another thing. In the written history of mankind of 3500 years or so, wars have been waged throughout and only in a handful of such wars, a better weapon was responsible for the victory and in most cases it has always been the strategy. Our marketing is no different than any wars waged winning or losing has pretty much the same dynamics here too. Which brings to another point of mine which is, don’t always assume that a better product wins but it is the better strategy that wins. Please don’t take me wrong. Neither am I diminishing the engineering activity (I myself am from an Engineering background) nor enhancing the importance of marketing. It is always an advantage to be able to offer your customers "a better mousetrap." However, it is also very true that all other things being equal, a product that offers equal value in the customer's eyes will win if you can better communicate its value and uniqueness.

Remember when I say strategy it is really a strategy and not doing something cheaper or faster. Making it cheaper means you are running the same race faster but choosing a strategy to run a different race because it’s one you set yourself to win. If you just live by the price, remember you die by the price and hence a strategy to make run a different race is very critical.

Author profile:

Currently the CEO of i7 Networks, Nextgen Bandwidth Analytics Company, Manjunath M Gowda’s expertise includes setting up, managing & running software companies (business) in India. Being a successful entrepreneur, he is extremely good in creating Go to market (GTM) strategies, segmentation, competitive analysis, strategic placing and monetizing ideas.T! manju_s7 Linkedin: manjunath.gowda

W!: i7networks.in   Blog: http://i7networks.blogspot.in



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