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Strategy & Planning Updated on: May 18, 2023

Creating a go-to-market strategy for entering a new market [w/ checklist]

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So you're expanding into a new market - an arguably critical decision for any CEO looking to strategize their B2B SaaS company's growth. We will get thinking about how you established your foothold in your current market, consider 'capitalizing on what you already know', take stock of your best SaaS marketing campaigns, and embrace the mantra of 'trial and error' as we address the questions found below (check this blog out for more on GTM strategy and see our full library of essential B2B SaaS go-to-market resources here).

So gather up everything you know and ask yourself some of these basic fundamental questions:

  • When's the right time to break into a new market?
  • What do you need to consider?
  • How can you get there without reinventing the wheel?
  • How do I attack a new market without ruining my current GTM strategy?

The bad news is, these are pretty open-ended, so you are probably filling with even more queries, the good news is, Kalungi has your back. With their proven B2B SaaS go-to-market strategy template (at the bottom) it will be the perfect partner to getting you started with how to consolidate your next steps towards your new go-to-market strategy. 

But before that download your simple market expansion checklist below whilst you mull over the below 4 points about expanding into a new market.

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Get your free simple market expansion checklist

Get on your way to getting your new growth strategy off the ground.. 

1. When to break into a new market

It is a safe bet that you do not want to break into a new market without first establishing yourself in your current market. Ensure you have found market product fit (MPF) before jumping into a new market.

We like to define this as: 

  1. Your solution is solving a genuine problem
  2. Your SaaS solution is being used regularly by your current customer basis
  3. You have 10 or so engaged advocates who use your product regularly and speak to others about how it's helping solve that problem.

Use a tool like Ansoff's Matrix and decide on how you would like your growth strategy to go forward.  Set quarterly OKRs/ KPIs from the results so that they support your new SaaS go-to-market strategy and help it get off the ground. 

2. Capitalize on what you already know

Start by leveraging everything that is working on your current market, apply the same rules, and begin testing. You can refine as you build your historical data, and analyze what you have already collected. 

Things like finding your ideal customer personas (ICP) in your current market can be a huge lift to your SaaS GTM strategy. You won’t know if your ICP will directly translate into your new market, but it’s something. If you haven’t found it then head here to start the ball rolling. 

As portrayed in the B2B Marketing Snacks Episode 6, coming up with a great content strategy for SaaS is a critical piece of the pie. It sets the stage for SaaS and provides your audience with the ability to learn about your industry, product, and services. 

Combined with the invaluable research around search engine optimization your content can educate and nurture your prospects and customers whilst raising your SERP (search engine results pages) which is extremely important when entering a new market and wanting to rank at the top of a search page, certainly when your customers may not even know they need your product.

3. Look at your best marketing campaigns

Having found PMF, you already know you tapped into the right niche in your current market, you naturally want to replicate that success either in a new vertical or geographical location. This no easy feat, but can definitely become easier with some solid customer advocates and a steady flow of referrals backing your efforts. 

Combine the above with replicating your previous best SaaS marketing campaign efforts and this will give you a solid foundation to start running, refining, and tweaking your new campaigns as you go on.

Consider what content, search engine marketing (SEM), and pay-per-click (PPC) strategies worked and gave the best ranking and conversion rates. Create a document of every success you’ve ever achieved in your campaigns and plan accordingly with that historical data as a starting point. Get something up and running and don’t be afraid to spend some $$’s in getting it right. 

4. Trial and error

Trial and error is a sure way to figure out what will and won’t work. As above, replicate what has previously worked for you and trial it. If it doesn’t work, then it’s back to the drawing board. Create a hypothesis: your hypothesis will contribute to the success rate of this trial campaign. Over time you will begin to see trends. Remember, testing is paramount as nothing is ever set in stone. A/B test, look at the results, improve, and repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat again until you are sure your SaaS strategy is working for you and your prospects in the right way.

And that will set you on the right path to getting something rather than nothing. Take your numbers, check in on them and continue to develop your strategy by assessing the audience and seeing where they are. Make sure you are tracking them with the right key performance indicators (KPI’s) (more about this here). Also, consider the funnel stages remain the same so your data doesn’t get convoluted, and ensure these are also aligned with your sales team (take a deeper dive on the importance of keeping this consistent here).

The realities of new market entry 

In my most recent case, we found the new market is very much in its awareness stage. They need to be engaged with and made aware of the problem you are attempting to fix with your SaaS offering before you even get near talking about your SaaS offering. Your GTM SaaS strategy needs to be defined by the marketing wheel (learn more here).

Convince your new market of the problem that you are fixing, then do it by nurturing them through each stage of awareness, consideration and finally and most importantly decision.  Your main mission is to make them through the journey so their consideration of the problem becomes a reality they can solve now by being proactive rather than reactive. That problem is not going away any time soon and you are here as their partner, to offer them real competitive advantage.

Why would they spend money on your offering if it's not a necessity? This is your chance to nurture your new market and show them the hard core facts. They can gain competitive differentiation by putting themselves in front of their competitors, being the forerunners of the market and achieving this status with your SaaS offering.

If you have more questions enter your info below and gain access to the proven Kalungi template below or get in touch.

B2B SaaS Marketing Plan Template and Toolkit

Want a playbook like this to build your b2b SaaS go-to-market?

Through 12+ engagements with B2B SaaS companies, we've turned what you see in the video below into a repeatable 6-month marketing playbook with guides, templates and examples to help you build your marketing function for scale.

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As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day” so make sure not to spend too much time planning “Rome” and be okay with the fact that your initial efforts may render small wins.

Demand generation can often be the all encompassing objective of most marketing efforts, but do not let it discourage you from the fact that every step, no matter how big or small will take you ever closer to realising your dream of encapsulating that new market.

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