GTM for early on stage startups
The most mutual question a new startup faces is — how do we acquire users -starting from your first 1000 users? How do we go from 1k to 10k users? How practise nosotros launch our product? Or if yous like to complicate information technology with VC talk, what’s your Go-to-Market(Aka GTM) strategy?
In this post, I shall focus primarily on consumer companies and products. This is role I where i volition get in detail on few of the 12 methods for generating user interest and acquisition. In the next post, I will share examples of the other methods. I’ll share some tricks for b2b startups separately.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky to piece of work on several early stage products. Whether information technology was at my own startup — building Whatsapp Condition Saver(grew information technology to 700k+ users organically) & Mshup(a brusk video app) or with existing players — launching Smartapp — a smart bill payment or more recently launching OneScore — a new app to check & improve your credit score & right now OneCard — India’s Best Metal Credit Carte du jour. And across these startups and products, I’ve come up across similar problems.
A few bug are unique to a new product/startup –
- No users or set definition of users. Thus unable to verify hypothesis
- No/Low marketing budget
- Beta/Unfinished production
Early stage startups endure from something i like to telephone call the circle of death. Since they don’t have any money, they find it hard to get the
right users. Since they don’t have the right users, they can’t validate their hypothesis/get feedback. And thus they continue to work on the wrong problem or solution resulting in loss of time and thus eventual expiry. The simplest way to suspension this cycle is to —
go some users! Paul Graham’southward blog mail on ‘Doing things that don’t scale’ is very pop for this very reason.
Getting the ‘right’ user –
One of the about nether-estimated points in figuring out your become-to-market is acquiring the correct users. Do these users have the problem you’re solving for? Is the problem big enough? Does your solution adequately cover their problems? Are you lot using the correct messaging to communicate your value suggestion to your users?
This besides applies when you’re launching a new product or exploring an entire new segment of users for your product. We can alternatively look at these as solving in 3 layers. Let’s explore how we can solve for pace three of GTM.
The surreptitious/insight –
What is different well-nigh your product? What do you know or understand that others don’t? What’s your secret? The secret helps you define the positioning. It can help you acquire users at a toll. For Sharechat, the undercover was a ton of new users suddenly wanted to share on Whatsapp only had no way to get that content.
Let’s examine the secret of Dollar Shave Lodge — a subscription service for overnice, cheap razors.
They started with a core insight — razors were too expensive. And mixed information technology with a killer secret — men hated ownership them again and again.
The GTM is the procedure of converting the cloak-and-dagger/insight into the right aqueduct/positioning to larn users. In the case of Dollar Shave Club, it meant creating a video.
Positioning — Dollar Shave Club. Go blades just for a dollar.
The AIDA model is useful to understand how we can use the insight to grab the attention of the user.
At present that nosotros sympathize why it’s important to generate interest, let’s sympathise some ways in which we can generate interest.
Channels — ways to generate interest & acquire users
At that place are 12 core means to generate interest as shown in a higher place.
- Make a killer video
- Utilise Ads(if LTV is very loftier)
- Leverage content/social media
- Go offline
- Create a waitlist — pre-generate demand
- Create FOMO — included in invite systems & referral
- Crazy pricing
- Be present — go where your users are — this includes SEO, ASO, Marketplaces, Malls etc
- Have great pattern
- Game-irresolute production — Example iPhone. This is very hard to do.
- Utilize influencers
- TV marketing/Ads
All GTM strategies are a upshot of focus on one or the other of the strategies mentioned above. Typically one starts out using a detail strategy & and so expands to add new channels. At OneCard, we used a combination of 1, 5, half dozen, nine and 10 to launch the product.
I’ll go into point no 8 — Be Present. It’s a strategy used by FMCG products for the longest time to sell Shampoo. Be in that location when the user goes to buy. This strategy encompasses several different channels based on the product –
- SEO — be the meridian search event when a user searches for your product/similar product
- ASO — be the tiptop ranking app in the appstore when user searches for keyword
- Marketplace — be the tiptop phone when user searches for reliable phones or be present in the choice
- Airdrome parking — If y’all’re a cab service, exist nowadays when passengers want to get back home/work
To give yous an example of a strategy i implemented myself, let’s look at the OneCard video. I was inspired by Steve Job’s demo of the iPhone and the Dollar Shave Society video. I combined it with a few behavioural economics concepts of scarcity of data generating curiosity. And focused it around a single message we wanted to evangelize — a lot like the Dollar Shave club video.
OneCard — Information technology’south Metallic. Coming Soon. Pre-launch video
Increasingly startups and new products are using influencers to launch or abound their products in a big way. MPL used Virat Kohli, Khatabook used a combination of 11 and 12 — MS Dhoni as influencer and Tv set ads as the channel to chop-chop build trust and grow, more recently Cred used Bollywood stars in a serial of Ads. Other players are experimenting with Harsha Bhogle, Akshay Kumar as influencers/ambassadors though not promoting them in a huge way.
Creating FOMO & Invite programs
Invite programs are a personal favorite considering it’s becoming harder to execute a program without directly incentives. I’ve written in depth about the mechanics of an invite program here — https://productnotes.in/lessons-from-building-scaling-referral-programs-to-millions-of-users/
Positioning and telling a story
The terminal office of the GTM is positioning. Essentially it’south nigh what
story you’re telling your users. Why should they
care nearly you
vs a zillion competitors? Why should they prefer your production?
That’s it for now. If you want me to dig deeper into a particular area, delight leave a comment. If y’all institute the commodity useful, delight experience free to striking the share with your friends..
I’one thousand a product builder currently re-defining credit in India. If y’all’re interested to work with us, delight DM me here or on Twitter. I honey all things consumer — fintech, social, video and music.
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