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Any business that offers a service and wants to succeed needs a marketing plan — specifically, a “go to market plan.”

Without one, your business has no systematic approach for promoting itself to potential clients.

Without having a proper plan and process in place, it’s tough to implement your marketing goals, strategy and tactics. The plan may be adapted to a wide variety of situations, from the launch of a new business to even the routine planning of new business development activities.

For example, when launching a new service that your DJ company wants to start offering (i.e. photo booth, uplighting, monograms, etc), it’s prudent to focus on its strategic components. This is sometimes referred to as developing a “go-to-market strategy.”

The goal of a Go To Market strategy is to improve your key business outcomes. This is mainly accomplished by aligning to the evolving needs of your customers.

Read More: Master the art of Google My Business and book more gigs.

Say, for example, you want to add photo booth services to your offerings. To create an effective strategy for your business, you want to begin creating a detailed plan by asking yourself the following 6 questions:

1. Markets: What market do you want to pursue?

In this case, you are looking to expand your services to the wedding or private event marketplace.

The goal of a Go To Market strategy is to improve your key business outcomes by aligning to the evolving needs of your customers.

2. Customers: Who is your target customer?

Your customer would be someone who has already bought your DJ services and may be interested in a photo booth (or other services), or a customer who already has a DJ but would like to add on a booth and their current DJ doesn’t have one.

3. Channels: Where do your target customers buy? Where will you promote your products?

Target customers would buy based off of finding you through the same channels you promote your DJ business — social media, website, wedding sites & shows, etc.

4. Product Offering: What product/service are you selling? And what unique value do you offer to each target customer group?

Your product offering, in this case, would be the photo booth. Your unique value would be that your customer can come to you as a one-stop-shop and not have to have a separate vendor or company for what they are looking for.

5. Price: How much will you charge for your products for each customer group?

Your price for the photo booth, which could be based on competitive analysis and what you believe your target customer is willing to pay for this add-on service. You have to take into account the cost of starting it up, the on-going costs to keep it running, any backup materials in case of issues and if you want to expand to having multiple different types of booths for people to either choose from, or to book multiple events on the same day. All of this will determine your cost, ROI and profit margin.

6. Positioning: What is your unique value or primary differentiation? How will you connect to what matters to your target customers and position your brand?

Your unique value or differentiator could be multiple things such as the type of booth you have, the features it contains, the quality, the length of time you offer it for, whether it needs an assistant or not, and so on. Your positioning can go hand in hand with #4 (Product Offering) depending on how well you market it.

If you can answer these 6 questions, you’ll have an easy time creating your strategy and being successful.

Stay tuned for more. In my next column, we’ll dive into how you create the go-to-market strategy using compelling differentiators — and we’ll offer solid examples.

Joshua Volpe has an MBA in marketing and runs Kalifornia Entertainment in Rochester, NY. 

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