Category: gotomarket

Go-To-Market Roadmap -Implementation Gateways

Table of Contents

The idea of a Go-to-market Roadmap.

A Roadmap communicates the vision and progress of what’s coming next for your Go-to-market. The Roadmap is outlining which services models we are building and when we will finish. It’s communicating when we are making those products or features and assigning participation at each stage. Customers Purchase Decisions are driven by:

  • Your customer Value Proposition
  • Your Reference Base
  • Your Track Record in the relationship
  • Your Professional Approach displayed in the sales process


Geoffrey Moore and Clayton Christensen have written about the hurdles that 🇺🇸US-based tech firms are meeting when bringing their technology to the market. In this case, the target market is not the home market but a new region, where the company neither has a significant footprint nor experienced staff. 🇪🇺 

Taking an Innovation to the market is an adventure similar to the timeless and inspiring publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, affectionately known to most people only as “Alice in Wonderland.” The story of a little girl following a rabbit into a strange land has inspired the animated Disney film. Going Down The Rabbit Hole comes a bit easier with the right Strategy Advisor.

Geoffrey Moore, “Crossing The Chasm” is an excellent inspiration for Startups. The same author’s “Zone To Win” is a unique framework for Corporate Innovation

Taking an Innovation to the market is an adventure that similar to the timeless and inspiring publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, affectionately known to most people only as “Alice in Wonderland.” The story of a little girl following a rabbit into a strange land has inspired the animated Disney film. Going Down The Rabbit Hole comes a bit easier with the right Strategy Toolkit.

Geoffrey Moore, “Crossing The Chasm,” is an excellent inspiration for Startups. The same author’s “Zone To Win” is a unique framework for Corporate Innovation.

The value of hiring an advisor.

Working with a qualified go-to-market advisor will lower upfront costs and the risk of failure. The reasons for this are less need for recruiting agencies and less need for office space and traveling. A Go-to-market advisor brings best practices and maintains a local network of independent service providers, so he can quickly scale operations but no biases by vested interest in local infrastructure.



Working with a qualified Go-to-market advisor will make things easy without the need for compromising on your business ambitions. You can test things without the effort of hiring staff and signing long term contracts right from the start. If the initial concept fails, you can fine-tune or even abandon the operation.

Candidate checklist ✅

  • How good is his conceptual framework?
  • Does he understand pitfalls and provide workarounds?
  • Does he declare potential hidden interest or bias?
  • Does he easily compromise on quality?
  • Does he bring target market insights?

What I consider a conceptual framework:

Market segmentation and Value Proposition

The Planning and Implementation process to keep the resources required to an absolute minimum while still meeting the need for an ambitious game plan. You have done your homework and know about defining a market in general, concepts of marketing, black swan, “blue vs. red-ocean” markets.

The first checkpoint is, whether your Value Proposition is qualified for the new target market. Analyze the main competitors, their competitive approaches, market size, dominating technologies, and price structures. And do the same on your Customer and Supply Side.

Distribution Strategy

Most software companies start out selling directly to their end-users. Can they continue selling directly to their end-users when entering new markets? Check local laws, technical restrictions before you end in significant business commitments in terms of employment, user rights, and intellectual property.

Go-to-market Implementation

Go-to-market Implementation covers customer acquisition, partner acquisition, local brand building, and setting up the legal, technical, service, and support processes in the new region.

bridgehead image

Go-to-market implementation with local bridgeheads

Go-to-market Implementation covers customer acquisition, partner acquisition, local brand building, and setting up the legal, technical, service, and support with qualified bridgehead partners. These companies are ideal because their strategic interest is in line with your strategic interest. Inadequate managers may not understand the impact of the hidden bias of potential partners.
A qualified go-to-market advisor will be able to help you set the processes and gateways. Based on the results of a proper target market analysis, he will have identified the requirements for an ideal bridgehead customer and the requirements for a perfect bridgehead partner. Your preparation will set you apart from the approximately 80% who mess up a go-to-market implementation in the long run.

Preparation makes the difference

If there is one secret sauce that makes the difference – it’s the quality of the whole operation’s preparation. Don’t commit to a single strategy before you have proof. In contrast, the quality of the research process is not limited to Go-to-market. It perfectly works for exit preparation – as the objective is in both cases to understand a business ecosystem before you decide who should be your partner. Quick and Dirty is not an option. Usually, things that are quick and dirty serve a temporary purpose rather than the long term. But the problem with quick and dirty is that dirty remains long after quick is long time forgotten. Don’t mix things up with radip-prototyping – or the minimum viable product concepts. A qualified strategy advisor will be able to tell you the difference.

The four waves of a Go-to-market implementation

Wave 1: Readiness​

The initial phase of the implementation roadmap gives the insights plus valuable time to decide whether to sharpen the existing value proposition.

Wave 2: Bridgeheads

Recruit & manage key partners

Wave 3: Growth

Manage key partners and lead generation 

Wave 4: Transition

You want to take the operations in-house

Wave 1: Readiness

The initial phase of the implementation roadmap gives you the insights plus valuable time to decide whether to sharpen your existing value proposition.

what to do

Analyze your main competitors, their competitive approaches, market size, dominating technologies, and price structures. A precise analysis of your current and planned business processes is a neutral and objective comparison of what you have versus what you need.
Gather information such as main competitors, competitive approaches, market size, dominating technologies, and price structures. (e.g…). Premium local content creation and distribution will play a major role in our go-to-market process.
  • What are your potential customers currently using today?
  • What were the reasons, they have decided for this service?
  • When are your potential customers planning to change?
  • Who is currently supplying your potential customers?
  • What are their key strengths and key weaknesses?
  • Local Market Presence = Virtual Office

results

  • Niches that are under-served. 
  • List of potential customers, looking for products or services like yours. Relevant opinion leaders and suitable growth partners for your business.
  • We can validate the actual value proposition and identify initial local bridgehead candidates

Wave 2: Bridgeheads

Recruit & manage key partners

what to do

Recruit & manage the key partners that will help us build a highly competitive offering in the target market.- Focus on strategic and cultural alignment. 

  • Business Development
  • Media and Analyst Program
  • Direct Marketing Programs
  • Local Market Presence = Virtual Office

results

  • Initial bridgehead customers and partners
  • Sales Pipeline

Wave 3: Growth

Manage key partners and lead generation

what to do

Develop sales capability to meet the growing demand. Maintain a high level of sales activity. Gear up marketing activity to support high growth. Lead generation to maintaining momentum.

Outbound selling to customers and re-seller prospects using your corporate identity. Build sales pipeline – Focus on early successes and establish local references.

  • Business Development
  • Media and Analyst Program
  • Direct Marketing Programs
  • Local Market Presence = Virtual Office

results

  • Initial bridgehead customers and partners
  • Sales Pipeline

Wave 4: Transition

You want to take the operations in-house

what to do

Conduct an unrushed search for the best leader for your activities mid term. Find the candidates who will bring expertise, drive, and industry attention to your firm

Business Development

  • Maintain a high level of sales activity as before
  • Support the transition to client’s local subsidiary or appointed partners

Market Presence

  • Maintain a high level of sales activity as before
  • (when appropriate) establish local company & offices

results

How to apply the process to the European Union? 🇪🇺

Over the past five years, many US companies have eyed the European Union as an opportunity for sales expansion and profitability. However, according to statistics, less than five percent of these companies are successful in gaining revenues and market share within their first year. Interestingly, an even smaller percentage continue to pursue European business after year one. Despite this, 2021 will be the time act since as the EU economy is recovering from the Covid  Recession, there has always been and still is an openness to new ideas and funds available in Germany today.

Germany, a great place for doing business and living. 🇩🇪

Germany has retaken the #1 country ranking 2017 in the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index. 

Germany enjoys a very balanced image across all six NBISM indices, posting notable improvements on Culture (+1.07), Governance (+1.28), and People (+1.34). It is now among the top 5 nations for five of the six Nation Brands Index metrics – developed by Simon Anholt in 2005. GfK conducted 20,185 interviews online in 20-panel countries with adults aged 18 or over. Data are weighted to reflect key demographic characteristics including age, gender, and education of the 2017 online population in that country. 

Germany is an open market and warmly welcomes foreign investors. That is demonstrated by the 22,000 foreign enterprises that have established businesses in Germany and now employ more than 2.7 million people. The German market is open to entrepreneurial investment in practically all areas.

More than 7 million foreigners live in Germany. Several metropolitan regions have prominent foreign communities with their own schools, churches, shops, and restaurants. 70%+ of German blue- and white-collar workers can speak English

Statistically, Germany has 277 international patents per one million inhabitants – more than anywhere else in the world. The close cooperation between industry and world-famous research institutions like the Max Planck and Fraunhofer Institutes swiftly transforms new ideas into products for the world market.

Germany has a closely-knit network of roads, railways, and international airports. That guarantees swift connections. The airport in Frankfurt is an international hub. The Port of Hamburg is one of the largest container transshipment centers in Europe.

Germany is a modern constitutional state with transparent and reasonable laws. The advantages are internationally recognized. The German legal system has served as a model for legal systems in many other countries. International studies demonstrate that German legal security is highly regarded by investors. Among all countries, Germany ranks fourth in terms of legal security.

Geography 🇩🇪

The German population is currently estimated at 82m. A full census has not been taken since 1987 (1981 in the eastern part of the country), and population trends since have been based on estimates supported by a continual micro-census. The next full census is planned for 2011 as part of an EU-wide project. In contrast to other western European countries, the population has risen over the past decade due to immigration, which up to now has generally more than compensated for the excess of deaths over live births. However, this trend has now ceased and the general assumption is that of a long-term movement towards a reduced and aging population: official estimates suggest that the population will fall to between 65 and 70 million by 2060 – depending on immigration levels.

Germany is more densely populated than either of her two largest neighbors, France and Poland. The population density is greatest in the traditional industrial areas of the Ruhr and parts of the Saar, the commercial centers of Cologne/Düsseldorf, the Rhine-Main area of Frankfurt / Wiesbaden, Berlin, and on a smaller scale in and around the other larger cities. Few areas can be described as under-populated. There Is no significant tendency on the part of the population to emigrate, although all residents are free to do so and to take all their assets with them.

The German population is currently estimated at 82m. A full census has not been taken since 1987 (1981 in the eastern part of the country), and population trends since have been based on estimates supported by a continual micro-census. The next full census is planned for 2011 as part of an EU-wide project. In contrast to other western European countries, the population has risen over the past decade due to immigration, which up to now has generally more than compensated for the excess of deaths over live births.

However, this trend has now ceased and the general assumption is that of a long-term movement towards a reduced and aging population: official estimates suggest that the population will fall to between 65 and 70 million by 2060 – depending on immigration levels. Germany is more densely populated than either of her two largest neighbors, France and Poland. The population density is greatest in the traditional industrial areas of the Ruhr and parts of the Saar, the commercial centers of Cologne/Düsseldorf, the Rhine-Main area of Frankfurt / Wiesbaden, Berlin, and on a smaller scale in and around the other larger cities. Few areas can be described as under-populated. There Is no significant tendency on the part of the population to emigrate, although all residents are free to do so and to take all their assets with them.

The Black Swan as a foreseeable market opportunity

White swans are the norm 🦢- Black swans are a foreseeable market opportunity.

When unexpected events cause economies and capital markets to tumble, politicians, economists, and asset managers like to speak of a “black swan.” These animals are scarce and, therefore, also stand for improbable events in economic theory, which throw the familiar out of balance. I took a picture of the two black swans on the photo in Knysna, South Africa 2017, a beautiful place with amazing animals. As we know, these beautiful animals are rare, but they exist – and as we could find out while traveling in South Africa, sometimes you meet more than one of them. 

New York Professor Nassim Taleb used the term in his book “The Black Swan to outline the meaning of this in Innovation, and Crisis Management. The power of highly improbable events”. Nassim Taleb uses a Thanksgiving Turkey to describe why expectations built on historical events can fail dramatically.

“Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say. “On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.”

The black swan event has killed the turkey – or in a business context, it can stop your competitors´ ability to execute strategy. | Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Is the Covid19 crisis a black swan event?

The worldwide Covid19 crisis shows us in 2020 how vulnerable our complex globalized social and economic system with its interdependencies is. We realize that the pandemic disrupts global supply chains and little capacity reserves and redundancies in the system.

Pure software companies are less exposed to supply chain disruptions and might even see an exciting market opportunity. Traditional companies have banned all non-essential travel. Travel companies and companies that depend on in-person meetings are affected.

The pandemic was foreseeable.

In a guest article for the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (NZZ), he and his co-author Mark Spitznagel explain why the corona crisis should by no means be considered a Black Swan event, “for which being unprepared is excusable.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his co-author Mark Spitznagel explain why the corona crisis should by no means be considered a Black Swan event. On the contrary: The global pandemic is a white swan – an event that will undoubtedly occur in the future. 

A global pandemic will undoubtedly occur in the future. The government of Singapore, which called on us as consultants at the time, had already been preparing for a pandemic since 2010 with a detailed plan.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, NZZ 2020

The Foreseeable Market Opportunity 💥

With change comes opportunity because certain events will damage your competitor’s ability to execute strategy. The challenge is to look out for when these events will occur. The black swan event has killed the Thanksgiving Turkey – and it can stop your competitors’ ability to execute strategy. 

There is always a risk in the business plan, and at the same time, a massive business opportunity. Each shift in spending creates a foreseeable market opportunity. Taleb writes that Singapore took action and already started projects in 2010. The opportunity lies in defining these scenarios and execution models before they occur. Search listening and social listening helps us understand when the time is right – and what we have to do. When the event arrives, you should be ready.

👉  How to find out about the next battlefield, understand its impact, and prepare for it?

👉 How to spot a company worth buying or sell your own company before it´s affected?

👉 Partner with us. CyberSecurity breaches are foreseeable events and opportunities. 

NABC method by the Stanford Research Institute

The NABC method by the SRI.

The generic NABC method by the Stanford Research Institute stands for:

  • N for Need. An idea without a practical need for it remains just what it is: a good idea and nothing more.
  • A for Approach and is usually a point of departure for most activities, but with the NABC method.
  • B for Benefit or the innovative elements of an idea. In other words, that which constitutes its uniqueness.
  • C for associated costs that come with each alternative.

We make a case for an international software firm willing to build a business in Germany. They work in a fast-changing environment where companies need to move fast but smart, and failure is an option.

Sample Client: An US-based firm willing to build a business in Germany.

Client objective: Invest as little as necessary but as much as needed to remain independent.

Need in NABC

Definition of Need in our context:  An international company seeks the most effective legal, technical and commercial setup to start their business within Europe.

The common challenges are due to different time zones plus the standard go to market barriers: Cognitive Hurdle, Resource Hurdle, Motivational Hurdle, and the Political Hurdle.

Approach in NABC

Definition of Approach in our context:  Our approach is to be mandated by the international company to deliver the setup (support the planning and the understanding of the market structure) and execute the market entry (local bridgehead acquisition on customer, supplier and service partner level).

  • Our cooperation with the international client is milestone-based and may last six months or longer.
  • The client can decide to take over operations directly and maintain established relationships with customers and partners themselves.

Benefits in NABC

Definition of Benefits in our context: 

Benefits are faster sales, due to local sales, friendly channels, less cost, due to less travel, given infrastructure and lower risk, due to minimal financial and legal exposure.

These benefits have a different meaning, depending on the nature of our client´s business. E.g.: If you are selling Mobile Gaming Apps on the Apple AppStore, you have a clear framework, how to do business in a new country. The AppStore guidelines tell you, how to win users, and how to monetize them. You may charge for certain goods in the App´s gameplay. You may convert them from free gaming to gambling.

In both ways, the AppStore will tell you, what´s in line with applicable law. However, with connected services you typically run into the main cost drivers user-acquisition and user-retention. Here, things will become expensive very quickly, when your team screws the whole project by ignoring local law. Back to gaming – gambling: this is quite complicated in the European Union, as laws like the U.K. Gambling Bill give you rights in some regions only. If you are seriously building Apps and have been banned from the Apple AppStore before, you know that this kind of event can break your neck.

We can expect a significant learning curve with Mobile Health Apps and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) Apps. It´s obvious that European user organizations will more and more force their local legislation to hold the developer accountable for any breach of privacy. Facebook is the most prominent company in this discussion and playing it´s political power and technical dominance very well.

Associated Cost in NABC

Definition of Associated Cost in our context: 

Next step in our value-based approach is to compare the associated costs that come with each alternative.

In our gaming – gambling example we can name one alternative “doing nothing” (very popular alternative by the way). In this case, the associated costs would be the “missed business”.

But apart from the “doing nothing” alternative, we can compare the more serious alternatives for an US-based tech startup, that received additional funding for “international growth”. Their shareholders expect to look for aggressive growth opportunities and certainly have heard that the European Union in 2016 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 16.477 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 22.2% of global nominal GDP and as a whole is the largest economy in the world.

However, with all the uncertainty around UK Brexit, it´s hardly predictable, what´s the best go-to-market approach. Old school recommendation would tell you to do, what the others did and install a European bridgehead in London (where most come together). But that could become a massive strategic mistake.

Not only is the cost of living and cost of doing business in the U.K. much higher than in any other European country. There is a well the still open question, if and how the UK based firms will have access to the European Union.

Definition of alternatives in our example.

Our software firm, willing to build a business in Germany has three alternatives:

  1. Send your own team – if available
  2. Build a local team from scratch – find, hire & train
  3. Buy a local company – certainly the most expensive choice

You may have read about the term “unfair advantage” before. It´s used in the Business Model Canvas when the entrepreneur is asked, why the user should choose his service. Good answers would be: “we hold a patent”, or”, “we know this industry better than anyone else”.

We would answer, that we are designed to serve exactly this use case. The reasons for this are:

  • we can start lean but scale fast
  • we don´t have to feed overhead
  • we are not exposed to hidden interest
  • we align our business model with yours

 

Partner with us, if you are on a serious mission and allow us to put some serious numbers on this kind of benchmark. Our approach is Straight Forward Performance Driven

#NoCorporateBias
#NoCulturalBias

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