5 Successful B2B Go-to-Market Strategies Explained
Any business can be based on a great idea, but only a few are ever based on a great strategy. The numbers don’t lie: more than 90% of startups will fail on the open market. Almost 10% close their doors within the first year. And while there are countless reasons why a business might crumble, not one of them should be due to your go-to market strategy.
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy exists as a vehicle of success for your company. It guides your actions, measures your outcomes, and ultimately gives your business purpose and direction. The primary objective of the GTM is to present yourself to audiences in the best ways possible – and with as few roadblocks as necessary. The success or failure of each strategy depends on a number of factors, including your KPIs and overall growth metrics.
There are (quite literally) hundreds of different kinds of GTM strategies available to choose from. But for B2B businesses with more complicated growth cycles, it’s critical to pick just one. After all, the more you narrow your strategy to meet specific needs, the more successful you’ll be. B2B market research is your best friend!
Even experienced marketing professionals need a GTM strategy, especially while preparing for their first launch in a new company. Let’s explore five of the most successful B2B go-to-market strategies currently in use, as well as their pros, cons, and secondary considerations.
Strategy 1: Content
SEO-driven content strategies are excellent for any growing startup, and used by nearly 90% of all B2B marketers. Inbound methodology works by creating valuable content – blogs, ebooks, social media, etc. – that channel leads gently through the B2B marketing funnel. As these leads discover new pain points and search for solutions, your keyword-driven content may be one of the first things they see (and eventually lead to a sale).
Long-Term Value: Content continuously generates value. Older posts can be regularly updated to provide additional reach and relevance.
Low Cost: Content is one of the most affordable types of marketing material to create, especially written blogs or articles.
Slow To Start: It may be difficult to delegate writing tasks to pre-existing members of your team, especially if you’re currently working on scaling a business. It may take several months to create a calendar along with ready-to-post content.
Requires Depth: Good content writing requires specialized knowledge and writers. You may need to hire a freelancer or agency such as Draft.dev to create material at scale.
Strategy 2: Paid Ads
If you’re interested in reaching a target audience by using adaptable advertisements, an ads strategy might make the most sense for your business. Use advanced targeting to reach audiences across devices and platforms, and personalize your content in a way that makes sense. Loop in happy customers with retargeting ads, or use display ads linked with landing pages to direct traffic toward individual products or services.
Visible: You can start seeing the results of your paid ads almost immediately, sometimes within two weeks or less. This is very different from content, which may take time to show measurable returns.
Easily Measurable: It’s much easier to track the KPIs of a PPC campaign than a content campaign. If you want growth that’s simple to keep tabs on, this might be the right GTM strategy for you.
Expensive: Paid ads might get pricey after a time. Expect to pay up to $10,000 in monthly revenue just for PPC.
Short-Term: Your ads are only relevant for a certain amount of time. Unlike content, they will eventually grow stale and age out of the marketplace.
Strategy 3: Sales And Cold Outreach
If your B2B focuses heavily on slower growth, scaling with cold outreach could be a complementary tactic. Sales teams and marketing departments may locate viable leads on platforms like LinkedIn, then make cold outreach calls and emails that address pain points with personalized scripts.
This strategy is a tried and true with plenty of real-world success stories. For example, B2B software company Ambition increased their cold email response rate by 333% to find new leads and prospective customers.
Great Networking: Even if your email isn’t a good fit for one person, it may be worth forwarding to another person in the recipient’s network. This boosts reach and awareness among a niche group, and presents your product to the largest possible audience.
Stronger Personalization: Cold calls and emails are great candidates for personalization. Write specifically to individual pain points, professions, industry type, and more. Remember: the more personalized emails are, the most likely they will be opened.
Additional Training: In order to keep your sales teams on the same page, additional training may be necessary. Create guidepost documentation and host regular meetings to keep everyone coordinated and in sync.
Smaller Growth: While still relevant, the success rate of cold outreach is far less viable than other strategies. Less than 24% of cold emails are ever opened, with an average response rate of 1% to 5%.
Strategy 4: Referrals
Interested in highly qualified leads? Referrals from existing customers could be a great option. Create incentives for referrals (money, freebies, or other giveaways) that builds up social proof in a target market. Since 65% of all business stems from referrals in the first place, leaning into referrals as a GTM strategy could help to underpin your growth.
Higher Retention: Referred customers are more likely to stick with your B2B over time. Their retention rate is 37% higher than non-referred customers, while their churn is reduced by 18% on average.
Cost-Effective: Unlike PPC clients that require active prospecting, referred clients come to you on their own accord. Their presence increases your overall profits by 25% – no small feat.
Less Control: There’s really no way to control the growth of your business under a referral strategy. Even if your work speaks for itself, traffic may ebb and flow according to whim and chance.
Limits Change: It might be difficult to change certain elements of your business model (prices, plans, or tiers) while leveraging WOM. You’ll need to broadcast these changes well in advance – or risk losing your hard-won referrals.
Strategy 5: Partnerships
Turn your third-party relationships into a flywheel of marketing success by formalizing your partner and vendor relationships. Easily help your prospects choose between multiple vendors by positioning yourself as a leader with more to offer. More than 57% of companies say they use strategic partnerships to get more customers, which can be a boon for your growing GTM strategy.
Credible: B2B businesses with more partners are seen as more credible by potential clients. Use this to your advantage and seal with deal with more prospects as a result.
Well-Rounded: Clients love working with businesses that appear to be equipped to address what they need – including the many facets of their personal pain points.
Cluttered UVP: Throughout your partnership journey, don’t forget what your universal value proposition is. Clients may have difficulty seeing through your partnerships and understanding exactly what makes you different.
Volatile Market: Partnerships can’t last forever. The relationships you build may need to end suddenly according to changing needs, which might effect your GTM strategy. Today, 70% of business partnerships fail in the marketplace.
Picking The Right Go-To-Market Strategy
It goes without saying that the go-to marketing strategy you choose can make your break your business success. The importance of knowing your company, product, and target market well shouldn’t be underestimated, and deserves a thoughtful conversation (or three) before being implemented.
When the time comes to pick a B2B strategy, ask yourself:
- How much growth can you actually handle? Does the GTM strategy you have in mind have a contingency plan for this?
- Is the growth strategy actually scalable for your industry? When the time comes to grow, will you have everything you need to get going?
- What kind of resources will you need to kick start your growth strategy? Is there anything in particular you need to establish beforehand?
The road to choosing a go-to-market strategy can be a long one, and deserves a lot more time and energy than just reading a single article. Definitely dig into other relevant resources, and have a good chat with the other members of your team.
But if you’re still considering a content-oriented go-to-market strategy, Draft.dev may be able to help.
Draft develops technical marketing content for software startups all over the world, bringing company voices to life with technical tutorials, value-drive blogs, and relevant content. We’ve helped 150+ companies launch and maintain their startup GTM strategy with subject-matter experts, facilitating quality content that’s built to impress.
Think we might be fit? We’d love to chat. Schedule a Discovery Call to discuss your GTM content strategy. Go ahead – it’s free.
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