Go-To Market Strategy For Startups In 9 Actionable Steps
Starting a new business is hard work, especially in emerging markets where competition is high, and resources are limited. Building a product or service that you believe in and are passionate about is just the first step. You then need to find customers who share your passion and are willing to pay for your product.
As a startup founder, getting your first 1,000 customers can be a daunting task. It’s the tipping point that can make or break your business. With limited resources and a product that may not have been validated in the market yet, it can be challenging to gain traction and build a customer base.
However, with a well-planned go-to-market strategy, startups can significantly increase their chances of success.
In this blog, we will outline a 9-step actionable plan that startups in emerging markets can follow to get their first 1,000 customers.
To illustrate this go-to-market strategy, we will use the hypothetical example of Alex, who is starting a food delivery service that specializes in healthy, plant-based meals. Let’s call it GreenBite. GreenBite aims to provide an affordable and convenient solution to those who want to eat healthy but don’t have the time or knowledge to cook for themselves.
Step 1: Build A .csv List – 100 Ideal Users You Know Personally
Before you can start reaching out to potential customers, you need to identify who they are. The first step in this process is to build a list of 100 ideal users you know personally.
The first step in this go-to-market strategy is to build a list of 100 ideal users that you know personally. These are people who are likely to use your product or service and can provide valuable feedback. Start by reaching out to your personal network, family, and friends to identify potential customers. Once you have identified them, add their contact information to a .csv file.
For GreenBite, the founder, Alex, considers her personal network and identifies 100 individuals who are interested in healthy eating. These users are people who are interested in healthy eating, plant-based diets, or who have expressed an interest in food delivery services in the past. So she includes her yoga teacher, her gym trainer, and friends and colleagues who are vegetarian and health conscious.
She added their names and contact information to a simple.csv file:
Step 2: Contact Them And Ask Them To Be Beta Testers
Once you have your list, the next step is to reach out to each person and ask them to be beta testers for your product or service. This will give you valuable feedback and help you refine your product. This will also give them early access to your offering and allow you to get feedback before your official launch to the public. Be sure to emphasize that this is a beta test and that their feedback is critical in helping to refine the product.
Alex reaches out to the people on the list via phone call, text message, or email and explains the concept of GreenBite. She then asks if they would be interested in being beta testers and receiving free meals in exchange for their feedback and input.
Here is how she approaches John:
“Hi John, I’m starting a food delivery service that specializes in healthy, plant-based meals. I think you would be interested in what we’re offering. As a beta tester, you would get free meals in exchange for your feedback on the service. “Are you interested in participating?”
Step 3: Give FREE Access To Your Product For 2 Days
After you have identified your beta testers, it’s time to give them limited access to your product or service. This will allow them to experience the value of your offering without any commitment or risk; and will provide you with valuable user feedback.
Alex offers her beta testers free meals for two days. This will allow them to try GreenBite’s service and give feedback on the quality of the food, delivery times, and customer service.
“Great, John! I’ll send you an email with all the details. You’ll get free meals for two days, and we’ll be in touch to get your feedback on the taste, quality, and overall experience. Thank you for participating; your feedback will be valuable in refining our products and services further. Will you be willing to suggest or recommend anyone from your contacts who would be interested in becoming our beta tester?”
Step 4: Build 2 OPEN Ended Questionnaires On Typeform
Now that you have beta testers using your product or service, it’s time to gather feedback. To do this, you can use Typeform to create two open-ended questionnaires that will help you better understand your target market.
a – Describe WHO you are in your own words?
b – What is your PAIN related to (xxx) and WHY?
a – WHAT do you LOVE about our solution?
b – HOW would you describe our solution to someone?
Hold on to these responses. This is gold. We will use these responses in multiple ways throughout the rest of the process.
Alex created the following questionnaires to be sent to her beta tester:
What are your biggest pain points when it comes to eating healthy, plant-based meals?
Why do you struggle with this?
What are the areas where we can improve?
Can you give feedback on the food, delivery and service of GreenBite?
Step 5: Go On Mailchimp / Mailer Lite etc.. And Build An Email Flow
Email marketing is a powerful tool to engage with your target audience and nurture them until they convert into paying customers. After you have received feedback from your beta testers, it’s time to build an email flow to reach out to potential customers.
Create an email flow on a platform like Mailchimp or MailerLite.
The email flow should include three emails – one before using the product/service, one after using the product/service, and automated reminders.
Day 1 – Before using the product, send Typeform 1 to understand their needs and interests.
Day 2 – After using the product, send Typeform 2 to receive feedback on how they found the experience.
Day 2 onwards – Send automated reminders to those who haven’t completed the questionnaires.
Alex creates an email flow to generate response and feedback from her beta testers. She further targets people who have previously subscribed to similar services.
Day 1: GreenBite/ Alex sends them Typeform 1 to understand their preferences and dietary requirements.
Day 2: After they have tried the product, she sends them Typeform 2 to receive feedback on the food quality and overall experience.
Day 2 onwards: She set up automated reminders for those who haven’t completed the questionnaires.
Step 6: Create Your Marketing Copies
Marketing copies are a critical component of your go-to-market strategy. Your marketing copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive enough to convince your target audience to try your product.
After collecting feedback from the beta testers, the startup can use their responses to create effective marketing materials. The startup can copy the most accurate responses and use them to create their marketing messages. This will help the startup better communicate the benefits of their product to potential customers.
Use the responses from the Typeform questionnaires to create marketing copies that resonate with your audience.
For GreenBite, you can use customer feedback to create marketing copies that highlight the health benefits of plant-based meals and how they can fit into different dietary requirements.
“Eat healthy and delicious plant-based meals with our food delivery service.”
“Catering to your dietary requirements, our meals are packed with nutrients to help you stay fit and feel great.”
Step 7: Build An Instapage Using Your Marketing Copy And Canva
An Instapage is a landing page builder that allows you to create visually appealing pages that convert visitors into customers. The startup can use Instapage and Canva to create a landing page that showcases their product and the benefits it offers. The landing page should be visually appealing and include the marketing copies created in step 6.
Use the marketing copies you have created and combine them with a simple yet compelling design using Canva. This will help the startup capture the attention of potential customers and convince them to sign up for the service.
Your landing page should include the following:
A clear and concise value proposition
A simple and attractive design
A call-to-action (CTA) button that stands out
For GreenBite, you can create an Instagram page with a simple design that highlights the health benefits of plant-based meals.
The page can include a value proposition like
“Healthy, plant-based meals delivered straight to your door. Stay fit and feel great with our nutritious meals.”
The page can also include a CTA button that stands out, such as “Order now” or “Subscribe today.”
Step 8: Start Running Ads On A Low Budget And Then Stop After 100 Customers.
To acquire their first 10-100 customers, you can start running ads on a low budget. Use the marketing copies created in step 6 to draft ad concepts.
Once you acquire your first 10-100 customers; stop running ads for 2-4 days.
Analyze the results and make any necessary adjustments.
This will help you optimize your ads and improve conversion rates.
GreenBite can target health-conscious individuals who are interested in plant-based diets. They use Facebook Ads or Google Ads to reach their target audience.
Title: “Achieve Your Fitness Goals with GreenBite”
Target Audience: people who are interested in fitness, healthy lifestyle and vegan food
Step 9: Repeat Steps 1-8 Until You’ve Reached 1,000 Customers.
Once you’ve refined your product and messaging, it’s time to repeat the process to acquire more customers and scale your business. Repeat the process for 200 customers, then 300, and so on until you reach your 1000 customer mark!
GreenBite and Alex expand their list of ideal users to include people who are part of fitness and vegan communities on social media and referrals from their existing customers.
I know that it will be a long commitment, but trust me, it will lay the right foundation for your startup’s success!
In conclusion, starting a business is not an easy task, but with the right mindset, strategy, and guidance, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey. Remember to always prioritize your customers’ needs and focus on providing value, stay agile and adaptable, and never stop learning and growing.
As a marketing and startup professional, I understand that the road to success is not linear. However, by following the steps outlined in this blog post and continuously innovating and iterating, you can build a business that not only survives but thrives in the long run.
To all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, I encourage you to take that first step and turn your vision into a reality. Whether you’re starting small or dreaming big, always remember that every great success story started with a single idea and a leap of faith.
With that, I wish you all the best in your entrepreneurial journey. Go out there and make a difference in the world!