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What's Your Route to Market?

14th December 2017 0 comments

Without a clear ROUTE TO MARKET it’s hard to gain critical mass in your business. Critical mass makes everything easier. (Yes, it creates it’s own challenges but it gives a tipping point where the mass starts attracting attention). 

Even when your message is mastered, the next challenge to master is that consistent and predictable ROUTE TO MARKET. 

Example 1: I have one business coaching client who had totally mastered leaflet drops to the point where he could run a seminar any day, anywhere and fill it using leaflets drops by Royal Mail. He had nailed his route to market and his business grew at a predictable rate. He was able to grow a totally unrelated business using the same ROUTE TO MARKET. Mastering that route to market allows him to build critical mass in any business that’s locally based serving householders.

Another client has nailed referrals via a powerful network of people who were retiring from his area of expertise and who recommended him. He worked that ROUTE TO MARKET strategy until he had critical-mass of his own (without the old guns having to give him a leg up and pass clients through to him). Now he has critical mass of prospects and former clients he is up and running. 

Others sell from stage as their primary ROUTE TO MARKET. Some use agents to get them bookings. Some are brilliant at mastering social media. All routes to market. All are valid. 

Mastering a PRIMARY route is key when your content can be applied to a wide range of people. (i.e. marketing, success, skills etc). If you have too many routes, you end up chasing your tail across to many platforms and not having enough client conversations. 

Example 2: Gary Veynerchuck is widely regarded as a marketing genius and now he has so much traction he can show up on any platform and people want to listen. 

It wasn’t always that way. He mastered a SINGLE ROUTE TO MARKET first: YouTube. 

He sold wine, but he quickly moved from wine and then his own financial success became the story. He had been able to give up the wine business, had critical mass and he was free to move on. Sometimes we give successful people almost TOO much credit for being clever, when in fact they simply mastered a route to market because they were willing to give it a go when the platform was new and had few people using it. (Think Gary V YouTube – Frank Kern, SEO & online product sales when no-one had really heard of selling information online.) If you are sceptical just read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers…..

WHEN YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED YOUR ROUTE TO MARKET THINGS GET MUCH EASIER…

OR – you can come at it from a different direction and specialise in CONTENT first and figure out the ideal route to market later. If you are on a smaller budget then that’s often the main strategy.

That’s when you become the recognised expert and can use MULTIPLE ROUTES to reach your target audience, but you will only start to reach critical mass when you find your ideal audience AND your primary ROUTE TO MARKET. Then you can put dollars behind reaching more of them via a primary ROUTE TO MARKET channel. (Facebook, speaking etc.)

Example 1: If you are only marketing to accountants you can master the CONTENT and AUDIENCE and use lots of different channels to reach them: business shows, social media, paid advertising, speaking etc., etc. Being a recognised expert is vital though – otherwise you can be in the market but no-one will listen…

It’s a CONTENT FIRST position that most of us come from at the beginning. The “I am the expert place”.

Example 2: I came from journalism, content creation & corporate content consultancy background so it was obvious to focus on Subject Matter first (CONTENT FIRST) and then find the audience who wanted to write the type of content I loved the most and I have studied at the deepest level – BOOKS. I aimed at entrepreneurs getting off the starting blocks…

I quickly established a ROUTE TO MARKET for the book writing (building connections and occasional ad campaigns running into events) and it ticks along nicely. For it to really grow I need a more scaleable ROUTE TO MARKET. I know what needs to be done so I know what I can do to progress it. But what’s interesting is that my SME business coaching, (where I help mainly bricks and mortar based companies) with sales strategies and people management issues, produces more revenue overall BUT I DON’T HAVE a predictable and consistent ROUTE TO MARKET for it, so growing that side of the business is much harder (plus it’s crowded with people who aspire to do it but don’t have any real clients)… Hence it feels like hard work to grow it and rise above the noise. The amount of noise makes the same route to market as the book business much more expensive!

We all take our own path, either:
– AUDIENCE first > find the ROUTE TO MARKET, or
– CONTENT first (ESTABLISH your EXPERTISE) then find the AUDIENCE then hone ROUTE TO MARKET 

So what’s your ROUTE TO MARKET?

Now that’s the million dollar challenge!
Because when you meet it and find your audience, have great content and you crack your ideal route to market that you can replicate and scale, that’s exactly what you can expect to put in your bank account.
Personally I’m facing that very challenge right now for the next phase of my business and I’m focusing on my route to market now that my product is tested and proven with some great testimonials. I’d love to know which routes to market have worked best for you…

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