Banking on Content

Go-to-Market Strategy

Attracting and Retaining Loyal Customers with a Competitive Advantage

By Tom Heaton, President, TrueCore Advisors


Every day you go to market with your products and services, the people who sell for you, and a value proposition you believe will attract and retain clients. However, simply showing up is not enough — and it certainly won't differentiate your business from the competition.

You need to take stock of your go-to-market strategy and your end-to-end plan for execution.

A Continuous Effort

Go-to-market is a continuous effort that is vital for placing the right bet on new products, securing new clients, accelerating revenue, retaining clients and extending the relationship life of each and every client.

For banks ranging in size from $1 billion to $100 billion+ in assets, there are certain new products that should be considered as "must have on my roadmap" for strategy and execution. Among those are mobile and digital banking services and data analytics services that provide a variety of tools for better client decision making. Customers need, and most expect, their banks to offer a continuum of integrated treasury, business performance and payment solutions that enable customers to plug and play at each stage as their businesses grow.

High-value, complex bank solutions don't sell themselves. Customers are quick to embrace a bank sales advisor who demonstrates knowledge and insight and who understands their business, industry and customer segments. They buy from, and are highly loyal to, bank advisors who teach and tailor solutions to better manage and forecast cash, offer systems and processes with controls, and eliminate costly barriers to implementation of solutions. Finance and treasury users welcome bank options that automate requests for lines and letters of credit, that enable them to open digital bank accounts on their own, and that facilitate e-signing basic business engagement documents.

Given that many bank services are repetitive, astute bankers realize that providing convenience in new solutions can be a game changer in acquiring new customers and retaining current clients. However, too often even the brightest bankers feel handcuffed by old technology that is predicated on outdated business assumptions. As a result, product solutions can prove to be cumbersome and fail to deliver the intended streamlined product value.

Does Every Business Need a Go-to-Market Strategy?

Some say you don't need a go-to-market strategy. After all, you go to market regardless every day, right? Be careful of this mind trap. It may save you time and effort in the short run, but it introduces high risk.

The truth is every business needs a go-to-market strategy. Successful business leaders understand this, while those who don't become the low-performing players in the market. In the absence of market strategy and quality execution, your best clients may race for the exit, and your most talented sales professionals may exit along with them.

How does a go-to-market execution strategy mitigate risk and improve performance outcomes? Effective strategy positions you with a success model to execute your business plan. It dramatically increases your chances of retaining and attracting clients, launching new products, creating value and outperforming competitors.

The value you offer today, what clients demand next, and the innovative new ideas being contemplated are the heartbeat of your go-to-market program life cycle.

Many Strategic Questions

Consider for a moment the process of developing a go-to-market strategy for executing new digital banking solutions.

  • Where will you start? How well are your priorities aligned with those of your customers? What are your competitors doing and how will you differentiate? How slow is too slow? How fast is too fast? How late is too late, because the barriers to entry have risen and the remaining share of market is too small?
  • Do you want to buy, build or partner to develop new products? Do you have a business case? Can you defend it? Will it pass muster and receive funding? What will compel clients to buy your products?
  • How will you integrate new digital technology and services with existing systems? How will you avoid being ensnarled by current antiquated systems?

Make Communications Part of Your Strategy

New banking product rollouts present a perfect opportunity to communicate with clients and prospects and highlight your product's value.

For example, you can accelerate the speed to market of your new digital banking service by publishing and/or posting content that, while not directly promoting your product, addresses hot-button industry issues. Thought leadership articles, customer newsletters and blogs can all subtly remind clients that you are listening to them. Such content keeps clients and prospects engaged while you rapidly design and deploy your bank's new digital solutions.

Better yet, show customers you understand their desire for insight. Deliver content through a variety of social media outlets and through a variety of formats such as teaser pre-launch videos and article placements featuring industry experts within your bank.

If your bank doesn't have the internal resources to produce and deliver such content, you can use any number of content marketing services to produce and deliver content that demonstrates high levels of thought leadership and awareness of hot-button industry issues.

To maximize the impact of your client communications, involve your clients in the solution development process. Interview them about what they like and solicit them for wish lists related to your new product. If you intend to deliver value, then act like it by turning first to those who will be the final judge — your clients. Show them — don't just tell them — how your new digital banking services or online account opening services will save time, help close deals, fill orders faster and keep cash flowing.

About the author
Tom Heaton is president of TrueCore Advisors, a firm specializing in go-to-market strategy and execution programs that drive revenue growth for banks and fintech, insurance and health care companies.

About FPS
We help commercial bank marketers develop compelling, brand-relevant thought leadership that goes beyond enhancing brand awareness; we move our clients from strategy to demand creation to drive real business results.