Ten minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve we saw a rare meltdown on national television and one last 2016 celebrity death: Mariah Carey’s reputation. Millions saw Carey’s disastrous performance—some in person in Times Square and some live on television; the rest of us saw it later online. Unfortunately, Ms. Carey, one of the top-selling recording artists of all time, refuses to own up to her botched performance, and instead points fingers at everyone else, magnifying her mistake on stage. Rather than learning from past lip syncing scandals (e.g. Ashlee Simpson’s 2004 “Saturday Night Live” lip syncing debacle), Carey and her PR team are ensuring that this crisis to her brand—which should have lasted a day—will last an eternity.
New products and features are imperative for sustaining and growing a business, and marketing can drive the success (or failure) of a product launch. Your go-to-market strategy provides a strategic plan that clarifies how to reach your target customers and better compete in your market, bringing together your key business drivers: sales, marketing, distribution, pricing, branding, competitive analysis, and consumer insights. Go to market strategies can be applied to new product launches as well as existing products and services. Following are seven steps to formulating your strategy:
We’ve Come A Long Way
It’s hard to believe, but in 2005 Coca-Cola’s former Head of Marketing, Sergio Zyman, made the statement: “Leaving things up to the Consumers’ imagination is something you never want to do. Customers are dangerous, and if you leave them to decide how they want to be satisfied, you are going to have a terrible time living up to their dreams. Better to control the promise completely.”
Fast forward a few short years later to Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs: “When we create stuff, we do it because we listen to the customer, get their inputs and also throw in what we’d like to see, too. We cook up new products. You never really know if people will love them as much as you do.” Companies had total control in yesterday’s marketing world, but in an age of high transparency and consumer empowerment through social media, brands know that authenticity and engagement are top priorities.