In every developer’s life, there comes a magical moment in time—when your product is finally released. While there is a lot that goes into building the product, when it comes to release time, it’s not quite as simple as throwing your product out there and waiting to see what happens—you need a creative, well-considered go-to-market plan, one that will help your product find the right audience, and attract their interest. Like many of the other business topics we’ve discussed here, this is another one that's better decided upfront. In order to get the most bang for your buck, and to really get the word out, you'll want to get started as soon as possible.
Ask yourself this: How do I get the most out of the resources I have available? The key to a good go-to-market plan is creativity. Even if you have funding and a big staff, you’re going to want to make every last dollar and hour count.
Read on to learn more about creating your go-to-market plan, including the best ways to leverage your network, and how to be smart about connecting with potential customers.
Get to Know Your Customers
The first step to selling your product is figuring out who your customers are—and making sure you have a product that they want. This might seem obvious, but it’s always a good reminder that even the best go-to-market plan isn’t going to help sell something that isn’t what your customers asked for or doesn’t solve the right problems. Market validation is a great way to test your product idea, and you can read more about it here.
Decide What You’re Going to Say
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of creating a solid value prop—a single sentence that helps communicate what you do, for whom, and why. Once you have that nailed down, you can create your actual messaging.
The goal of your messaging is to inspire and attract. It needs to speak to the actual benefits of your product or your app, both the tangible and the emotional benefits while eliciting excitement.
It’s also important to think about where your messaging will be used, and tailor accordingly. You might have one version for attracting advertisers, and a different version for speaking directly to customers.
Find Out Where Your Customers Hang Out
Your go-to-market plan is not just about who your customers are, or what you say to customers—it’s also where you say it. This a big piece of the puzzle that is often forgotten about. Every customer goes through a journey when it comes to purchasing something, and it begins before they’re even ready to buy. It starts when they first become aware of a new product or hear about a new concept.
For instance, to find new games, your customer might read gaming blogs or head over to Reddit. If something looks interesting, they might check out a trailer—all before heading to your website or searching for you on an app store. The more often you can put your product in front of your customer during this journey, the more likely they are to buy it.
Here are some questions to ask as you try to understand your customer’s purchasing journey:
Make Smart Connections
Once you understand the customer's purchasing journey, you need to develop a plan to connect with your customers along the way, in the language that fits those spaces. Here are some ideas to get your started:
Adjust as You Move Forward
As always, your go-to-market plan will need to be reviewed and optimized after launch. What worked? What didn’t? Did you find the right customers, and did they engage the way you expected them to? Everything digital is measurable, and the smarter and more thoughtful you can be about processing results and learning from them, the better your product will be. This will be an ongoing effort, so track, measure, optimize and repeat!
Can you think of an example of a really creative way that a company has created buzz for its product? Share it in the comments!
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