Last week’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture welcomed a new speaker, MaRS’ very own Murray McCaig, who discussed the seven steps of a successful go-to-market strategy.

Murray has had a lot of experience creating go-to-market strategies for startups and technology companies in Silicon Valley. Presently, as a venture capitalist and consultant who listens to companies’ go-to-market strategies daily, Murray brings two perspectives to this topic.

According to Murray, when developing a go-to-market strategy, your goal is to create a detailed, believable plan that answers four questions:

  • What are you selling?
  • Who are you selling it to?
  • How will you reach your target market?
  • Where will you promote your product?

To begin to answer these questions, it’s very important that you have a strong value proposition as it will help you begin to identify your target market. (For more information on value propositions, watch Joe Wilson’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture here.)

Murray explains how to segment the market with easily identifiable criteria and outlines how to refine your target to fit with your value proposition. After you have reached one segment, Murray explains how to use the “beachhead” strategy to tap into others.

Once you know your target market, you must plan how you will reach them. Murray discusses the various channels to reach your customers and the factors to consider in the channel selection process. He also discusses tips for building a high-performance sales team, for both direct and indirect channels, including highlights of what he has learned and the mistakes he’s made along the way.

The final step is getting your message out with a strong promotion plan. Murray outlines what should be included in a positioning statement and provides options for inexpensive and effective marketing channels for your target audience.

Throughout his presentation, Murray used examples of two companies that have been working with MaRS and that have had success in their go-to-market strategies: CircuitMeter and Revelo LIFEbike, last year’s winner of Entrepreneurship 101’s Up-Start! Competition. (For those wishing to attend the pitch competition, this year’s Up-Start! Competition will be held on May 15.)

Find out more about successful go-to-market strategies by watching Murray’s full presentation here.

Short on time? Check out this Hot Tips video: Go-to-Market Strategy – Quick Hits

Next lecture: Sales (B2B) with Mark Elliott of Venture Accelerator Partners Inc. on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

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Lauren Seymour

Lauren works with the entrepreneurship programs team at MaRS. She helps keep track of thousands of event attendees and assists in marketing efforts to keep them coming back for more. See more…