What’s a “Go-to-Customer” Plan?

Since the dawn of modern B2B marketing, those entrusted to create “go-to-market” plans typically spent eons analyzing markets and posed some obvious questions:

  • What market(s) should we pursue?
  • Why should we pursue these markets?
  • How do our key markets differ from each other?
  • What revenue and share results can we expect from these markets?
  • Which tactics best help us reach these markets?
  • What must we create or leverage to penetrate these markets?
  • How and when should we roll-out campaigns in each market?

While these “market-centric” questions helped hone strategies into segments, there was a dirty little secret in the dark underbelly of traditional “go-to-market” thinking:

Without precise information and analytics on specific prospects within a particular market, traditional “go-to-market” plans were (and are), at best, merely generic approaches to the least common denominator within a particular segment.

From markets to segments

Yup…as marketers we fooled ourselves into thinking that a go-to-market plan with market segmentation would be sufficiently granular. But granular they’re not. It’s a misnomer. By segmenting, all we have is an easy-to-follow, generic playbook in which every answer to the above questions applies generally to every company within a particular segment. We focus on the segment to the detriment of a specific company within the segment, and our “go-to-market” plan reflects this leaning.

From segments to personas

To address this lowest common denominator dilemma, many marketers have turned to buyer personas, a worthwhile though still incomplete exercise. We spend a great deal of time trying to understand various personas, ostensibly so we can be better prepared to engage with different types of “buyers” in ways most likely to generate positive reactions and, ultimately, sales. While the persona trend is encouraging, most buyer persona work creates a more granular but still generic communications platform, not a precise one from which to engage.

From personas to precision

Precision is beyond personas. It’s the ultimate goal of any marketer and certainly any sales exec worth a darn. Whereas personas are generic models in which marketing and selling conversations can be framed, precision-infused content spawned by engines like DecisionLink (www.decisionlink.com) can turn ho-hum conversations into, customer-precise meaningful ones.

Don’t just build a single “go-to-market” plan segmented appropriately with granular personas to aid conversations.

In the same amount of time, build hundreds or even thousands of “go-to-customer” plans packed with customer-precise information – the ultimate in sales relevancy.

andrewdod@me.com

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