Go to market and channel strategy

In many companies the go-to-market approach is too often a function of what has worked well in the past. But if you are doing things the same way you did three years ago, you’re almost certainly doing something wrong. Why do we say that? Well firstly, customers have changed. And secondly, technology has changed.

In the Growth Diamond, you are here:

Go-to-market and channel strategy

Customer pathways have shifted dramatically and quickly, triggered by changes in technology, communication and media

Once upon a time we had a landscape of force-fed media, delivered through a small set of predominantly traditional channels. That has now evolved into a customer-driven universe of search, social, peer-review and influencer marketing, and mobile apps.

Customers’ buying decisions are happening online, offline, directly, and indirectly, and customers are engaging with customer service through their channels of choice. In fact, the average customer today engages with a brand across 10 channels!

We need to take the customer’s perspective in order to determine how best to approach the market

In our work with businesses, we’ve heard dozens of questions related to go-to-market models:

  • Should we put together a direct sales force or sell indirectly through others?
  • Should we bundle customer service into our sales division or treat them separately?
  • Can we get our product to market through other channels, such as social media?
  • The list goes on...

The problem is that these are fundamentally the wrong questions to start with. They all focus on the perspective of the business when what they need to do is take the perspective of the customer, in order to determine how best to approach the market.

Figuring out an approach for going to market is one of the toughest things for a business to do. But without understanding the customer and their pathway, it’s almost impossible to get it right. It’s ultimately that deep customer understanding and customer-centric view that should guide your channel configuration.

So how do you design a customer-centric and effective go-to-market approach?

We believe companies should re-think their channel setup and go-to-market approach on three levels:

  1. First, you need to optimise the channel mix. Which channels do your target segments use and prefer? And what combination of channels will be most effective and provide the greatest ROI?
  2. Second, you need to optimise each individual channel – because the sum of the go-to-market approach will not be greater than the weakest part.
  3. And third, you need to allocate your marketing and sales resources across channels. Where and how do you get the highest return?

Figuring out how you go to market is not a one-time exercise for a company. It should be an ongoing process, constantly informed by emerging technologies and an evolving understanding of customer needs and channel preferences.

In our experience, the companies that have been able to rebuild their go-to-market strategy successfully have reaped several benefits.

Figuring out a go-to-market approach is no trivial exercise — it separates the companies that will be successful and sustainable from those that won’t. It’s where strategic choices meet practical execution and things need to be both effective and efficient at the same time.

  • For their customers, it resulted in a better customer experience –greater personalisation and frictionless switching across their channels of choice.
  • For their employees, having a clear and common picture of how to engage with customers resulted in increased productivity, strengthened employee engagement and, ultimately, led to better performance.
  • For their company, a clear go-to-market approach resulted in higher ROI on marketing and sales investments, growth in market share, increased profitability and, in some cases, all of the above.

How we have supported clients with go to market and channel strategies

Go-to-market model

The client, a high-end electronic producer, wholesaler and retailer, needed a new go-to-market model.

We helped conduct detailed research of customer segments, customer journey mappings and channels – designing a new customer experience brought to life across the various go-to-market channels.

100% Revenue Growth in prototyping country

Scope: Global (Prototype within one market).

Commercial strategy and omni-model

The client was experiencing growth challenges and was behind with respect to customer’s needs fulfilment compared to competition.

We helped design the commercial strategy and an omni-channel business model and go-to-market model for online, physical stores and social media – creating the right match between products, customers, markets and channels.

+23 million new customers, 29% increase in sales.

Scope: Global (18 countries in Europe)

New digital business platform

The client wanted to address the digital channel challenge and convert it into an opportunity they could harvest.

We helped co-create an online trading platform and a new value proposition and a more effective go-to-market set-up to target relevant market segments through an improved digital channel.

20% annual increase in sales and a more fit and motivated sales organisation.

Scope: Global

DTC go-to-market eCommerce

The client needed support developing a B2C go-to-market model for a medtec product, which historically had only been sold B2B.

We helped analyse the market structure, identification of target customers, development of value prop options and prototyping a new go to market channel – the DTC eCommerce solution.

New Sales

Scope: Global (Prototype US)

New product offering and channel strategy

The client needed a new branded product offering and channel strategy.

We helped conduct market segmentation based on in-depth analysis of customer needs and behaviour. In order to attract the “young professionals” segment, a new value proposition and brand was developed, as well as a channel strategy and a communication platform.

A new way for the client to expand their position within the targeted segment.

Scope: Four Nordic countries

Channel optimisation

The client was doing well with their market KPIs – but not with business targets and profit levels. Consequently, they were seeking to optimise their channel structure.

We helped work out which changes to the channel structure had the most impact on revenue and cost, and we helped realise that impact.

2.9 MEUR in EBIT increase due to channel optimisation.

Scope: Local Nordic project.

Curious on how you succeed at digitising B2B sales?

What if you could digitise B2B sales in a way that delivered a true omnichannel experience to customers without disengaging or negatively impacting current sales teams and/or channel partners?