It’s hard to beat a good story. When talking about the work we do in our professional lives, a good ‘for example….’ is super helpful in explaining what we do. Sometimes, we all struggle to explain ‘what we do’ to others. We’re often susceptible to industry jargon that people from other walks of life don’t understand. Stories – or examples – are a great way to leap the communication gap in our effort to make it really simple to understand the value we bring to our customers.
In our Work Stories series, we highlight examples of our recent work projects to help others understand the work we do. Today’s work story is a recent ‘Go-To-Market’ strategy project that we worked on with a B2B financial services company. We’ll call this company FinCo to protect the confidentiality of the actual company.
Industry: B2B Financial Services
Ownership: Subsidiary of a $1B parent company
History: Founded circa 1990
Location: U.S. (West Coast)
In 2014, FinCo expanded their business into the NW U.S. Their entry into this new geographical market was a ‘soft launch’ – a trial balloon. They were pleased with the early successes they had in this new market. After 12 months of relatively modest investment, they were ready to make a larger investment in this market and make a larger, formal launch of their products and services to prospective customers in this region.
Fletcher&Co. was brought in to help with FinCo’s ‘go-to-market’ strategy. The scope of our work was:
- Gather lessons learned – Talk with early customers and channel partners in the NW to learn more about how FinCo’s early entry was perceived: what went well, what they did best, how they were unique, did the parent co’s brand resonate with the NW audience, etc.
- Brand Strategy: Decide whether a new brand identify made sense in the new market.
- Marketing Strategy: Determine who were the best target customers. What product niche FinCo best served. How was FinCo unique and compelling.
- Marketing Message: Develop FinCo’s elevator pitch. In a simple few sentences, clearly articulate what FinCo did best, who they served and how they were unique.
- Marketing Collateral Plan: Determine the appropriate marketing collateral that FinCo needed to communicate their message to prospective customers. Digital, hard copy, advertising/PR, etc.
The conversations I had with the first year’s customers and channel partners were incredibly insightful. We learned that FinCo was well respected, and filled an important niche in the NW B2B financial services market. We learned what customers valued most about their services, and what they thought of the parent co’s brand.
Over the next two months, Fletcher&Co. worked closely with FinCo’s CEO and senior leadership team to craft their 2015 ‘go-to-market’ strategy. Ultimately, we decided that a new brand name would be beneficial in this market due to misconceptions some people in this market had with the parent co’s brand. We determined the specific characteristics of their target audience, identified the specific products and services that served this regional market, and crafted their marketing message. In the latter stages of our work together, we identified the optimal marketing collateral items that would help in their business development efforts. And, we chose an advertising agency to assist them in building out their digital and hard copy collateral portfolio.
Sometimes, team’s just ‘click’. When this happens, great things can be accomplished and the work is highly rewarding. This project was one of those times. FinCo’s senior leaders and Fletcher&Co. worked exceptionally well together. The collaboration was open, honest, creative, data-driven, and highly productive. I have great optimism for the success that FinCo will achieve as they expand their market scope into the NW U.S.
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