Every new product your company launches should have a go-to-market strategy. Otherwise, your brilliant new creation may flop when it hits the market.
What is a go-to-market strategy? A GTM strategy serves as a short-term marketing plan for launching new products. In other words, it’s the roadmap you’ll take to reach your target audience and sell them your product.
A go-to-market plan is worthwhile for startups and existing companies alike, whether you’re launching:
A new product in an existing market
An existing product expansion into a new market
A new product in a new market
A service rather than a product
Here’s how a go-to-market strategy can give your next release the top-notch product launch it deserves. Then, read these go-to-market strategy examples to inspire your next marketing campaign.
A GTM Strategy Is Vital for Your Business’ Success — Here’s Why.
Your go-to-market plan will identify your target audience and target market, ensuring you have consistent messaging and proper distribution channels to reach them.
Establish a consistent approach: A slapdash marketing push can confuse potential customers about your product. A GTM strategy ensures that all print, online, video, social media, and radio ads communicate the same core message.
Leverage market research: Put that industry examination you performed to good use in shaping your GTM strategy. Apply what you learned from prior examples, customer demographics, and competitive data.
Make your value clear: The best GTM strategy recognizes a target audience’s pain points and presents the new product as the solution. Thus, a simple yet effective value proposition is in place when you reach potential customers.
Provide a sales strategy: Your sales team will understand your product’s appeal and more effectively present it to their leads and generate conversions.
Establish your competitive advantage: A good GTM plan accounts for rivalry in the marketplace. You’ll enter the fray knowing how your messaging will set you apart from major competitors.
Set success metrics: You’ll already know how to monitor and gauge your product’s performance. A GTM strategy makes it easier to determine if your product launch was successful.
It’s tempting to rest on your laurels if you already have a track record of success. But even established companies need a GTM plan to keep up with the ever-changing market. A business that fails to have a marketing plan is headed for a disastrous product launch.
What is the difference between go-to-market strategy and go-to-customer strategy? A go-to-customer approach is similar to a GTM but focuses solely on customer retention and growth potential rather than market factors. It sees a product launch as taking your product to customers, rather than to market.
A GTC plan aims to retain customers by optimizing the customer experience instead of seeking new customers in the marketplace. It doesn’t care as much about finding a product-market fit, so long as users are happy. Some companies prefer this approach instead of a traditional GTM model.
What Should Your Go-To-Market Strategy Include?
What does a GTM strategy include?GTM strategies should consist of your product’s:
Value: What problem does your product or service address?
Ideal customers: What target customers are experiencing this problem? How would users benefit from your product?
Competition: What other companies already offer similar products? Is there already an overabundance of competitors on the market?
Distribution channels: How will you bring your product or service to shoppers?
This description may sound a bit like a product roadmap. But that’s not the same as a GTM plan.
What is the difference between go-to-market strategy and a product roadmap? A product roadmap outlines the overarching vision of a product from its inception to its long-term evolution. A GTM plan is a small part of that product’s lifespan — specifically when it hits the market.
A go-to-market strategy should align with the direction and priorities established in the product roadmap.
Go-To-Market Strategy Examples
Here are some go-to-market strategy examples to help you better understand how your company can use them.
An inboundGTM strategy relies on digital marketing techniques like content marketing and social media. This approach targets organic lead generation from traffic on the company website, social media outlets, YouTube channel, and blog.
Potential customers locate your product when searching for relevant material on their pain points. Thus, content marketing is core to an inbound marketing model as you passively build brand awareness as a go-to source of expertise.
For example, say you’re trying to market your new web-based insurance comparison tool. You could fill your website with valuable information on understanding insurance policies and choosing the right provider to attract people interested in your SaaS product.
Use a GTM strategy that generates brand interest when you’re confident that people would want your product if they knew about it. This approach uses whatever means to get your product or company name in front of people. This can include cold calling, product placement, billboards, and influencer marketing. You can also sponsor webinars, podcasts, sports teams, or events.
Sales enablement model
This approach uses focused, targeted sales tactics to accelerate the sales cycle and reduce wasted time on nurturing and negotiations. You’ll rely on your salespeople to turn prospects into patrons — fast.
With a sales-led model, your marketing team will need to create whatever resources your salespeople require. They will present materials like case studies, competition comparisons, onboarding guides, and brochures to customers to win them over.
A sales enablement model is ideal for larger companies with pricy products. You need enough frontline and in-house staff to make and use these resources — and charge enough money for your product to recoup those expenses.
Account-based marketing model
The ABM model uses salespeople to pursue leads, but they work in tandem with marketing representatives. It’s marketing’s job to get to know clients’ identities and values, understand their pain points, and create personalized resources for the sales team to seal the deal.
Consider using an ABM strategy if you primarily intend to market your new software to other businesses. You can win over and upsell big clients using personalized treatment by having assigned marketing representatives in your company.
A self-service approach to marketing puts the buying journey entirely in the customer’s hands. Your sales reps aren’t interacting with the interested buyer to urge them to commit. The decision-making is entirely in the shopper’s court.
Here’s an example of a self-service business plan for a startup software company. The interested party can find your mobile app in the Apple Apps Store, purchase and install it on their phone, and use it without directly interacting with your company representatives.
This product-led approach is cost-efficient and repeatable, but it takes a lot of preparation to streamline and can be a gamble.
How To Develop a Go-To-Market Strategy
After your product team has handed over a top-notch product, it’s time to make a go-to-market strategy.
How do you create a GTM strategy? Create a GTM strategy using the seven steps below during your new product launch.
1. Identify your ideal customerpersonas
A strong GTM plan starts with a clearly defined customer base. Create a thorough description of the kind of person who would pay for your product or service. Identify their key demographics, geography, decision-making factors, habits, and pain points. Consider how your buyer persona’s socio-economic class relates to your pricing strategy.
Roadmap software helps visually organize your ideas throughout your marketing campaign. Many applications offer go-to-market strategy templates.
2. Research the market
Know what you’re getting into so you can prepare. Valuable research looks at the current market landscape to judge the current demand and competitor offerings. Comb through their user reviews to see what features they love and hate. Knowing this will help you position yourself to be noticed and set competitive pricing for your product.
3. Write your messaging
Use your gathered information and buyer personas to craft an engaging pitch. Ensure it’s distinct from competitor messaging while communicating your product’s advantages. And hammer those pain points!
Making a value matrix can help organize your ideas. Test the messaging in focus groups or on digital channels to gain feedback. Then, circulate the messaging to all stakeholders.
4. Review your sales and marketing tactics
Form a cohesive marketing campaign based on your messaging and objectives. How will you reach potential customers and convince them to commit?
Map the buyer’s journey from when they first discover their problem to when they purchase your product as a solution. Understanding the model customer journey will show you key points to influence their decision-making process.
Decide what marketing channels you will use, such as content marketing methods like paid search ads, blogs, and emails. Review search engine optimization (SEO) best practices so people will find your product when searching for solutions to their problems.
5. Set your marketing goals
You won’t achieve success if you don’t know how to define success. Establish clear, achievable goals that align with your product vision and business objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives and key results (OKRs) are the most-used frameworks for measurable objectives.
Set separate benchmarks for your digital marketing efforts and outbound sales. Having goals lets your sales and marketing teams know what targets to aim for, their timeline, and how to tell if they’re victorious.
6. Do the work
Execute your plan! Send your outboundsalespeople into the field to work on customer acquisition. Have your marketing team get your social media channels buzzing. Write and upload those landing pages on your website.
Create interest and delight during the sales process to foster more lead generation. Pursue referrals as brand awareness grows. Don’t let your GTM plan fizzle out after all your preparation.
7. Assess, adjust, and optimize
Your launch may go differently than you expect. You may face unforeseen obstacles from your marketing channels or competition. Potential users may not react the way you expect them to. That’s why monitoring the launch’s progress and altering your tactics as needed is crucial.
Revisit and iterate your product based on real user reactions. Boost customer satisfaction to increase retention rates. Consider onboarding a customer success team to advocate for users’ problems and seek solutions.
Find ways to reduce your customer acquisition costs to garner cheaper leads. Make new user onboarding more efficient, and pursue automation opportunities to reduce costs. Explore ways to tap into your existing customer base from other products.
How To Track Your GTM Strategy Performance
You need to monitor your launch’s performance to ensure it’s meeting your goals. But how do you do that?
Be selective in your KPIs — report only on data that will impact your team’s product design or marketing decisions. KPIs for GTM strategies typically fall into financial, product-led, and brand awareness categories.
Some example KPIs include:
Number of new users gained
Number of current users retained
Average conversion time
Quarterly recurring revenue
Website or social media click-throughs
Number of positive customer reviews
Demo or trial signups
While a product manager cares about their product’s success, they usually do not own the profit-and-loss statement. That’s because profitability decision-makers are often executive stakeholders.
The product manager only focuses on financials when making the GTM plan. The difference between a GTM and a P&L is that a go-to-market strategy anticipates a product’s performance on the market. However, a profit-and-loss statement looks at the product’s expenses and income after its launch. To a PM, a successful product goes beyond its monetary profitability to customer satisfaction.
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