In today's fast-paced world, having a well-crafted go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the key for achieving sustained success. Whether you're launching a startup or recalibrating an established business, a strategic approach to market entry and growth is non-negotiable. This guide aims to be your roadmap, providing insights and actionable steps to empower you in creating a GTM strategy that not only helps your business grow faster but sets the stage for long-term prosperity.
What is a go-to-market strategy?
A GTM strategy is a plan that helps businesses position a new product or service for launch. It outlines the steps a company will take to introduce its product or service to its target audience, generate demand, and achieve its sales and marketing goals. Thus, a GTM strategy typically hinges on these pivotal 9 components:
- Target market definition: Clearly defining the ideal customer personas, their needs, and pain points. These are the individuals or entities most likely to benefit from and engage with your product or service. This involves delving into demographics, behaviors, and preferences to tailor your marketing and sales efforts effectively.
- Product positioning: Articulating the unique value proposition of your product or service and how it addresses the target market's needs.
- Messaging and positioning: Developing compelling messaging that resonates with the target audience and highlights the product's benefits.
- Marketing plan: Outlining the marketing channels and tactics to reach your target audience as well as generate awareness and drive demand. Your marketing plan may include a branding strategy or a marketing team training plan.
- Sales strategy: Defining the game plan that outlines how your sales team will navigate the market, convert leads into customers. Your sales strategy may incorporate tactics for prospecting, qualification, closing, and customer relationship management.
- Pricing strategy: Determining the pricing model and structure that aligns with the product's value proposition and target market.
- Distribution channels: Identifying the channels through which the product or service will be delivered to customers.
- Launch plan: Detailing the steps involved in the product launch, including pre-launch activities, launch events, and post-launch campaigns.
- Metrics and measurement: Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of the GTM strategy and make data-driven decisions.
Why you need a go-to-market strategy
A GTM strategy is important for several reasons:
- It helps companies to focus their resources on the most important activities.
- It helps companies to avoid costly mistakes.
- It helps companies to measure the success of their product launch.
- It helps companies to adapt their plans as needed.
You might also be wondering which you should have first: the product or the go-to-market strategy? While some companies build the product before even contemplating the go-to-market process, in reality it makes more sense to do the reverse, especially if you're a new start-up. In this case, you should build your GTM strategy first so you can truly understand your business' value proposition, whether you have a competitive advantage, know who your potential customers are, and understand the sales process behind the product you intend to build.
On the other hand, if you really know the market inside out and are confident that your existing product will succeed, you can build the GTM strategy second.
Who is responsible for the go-to-market strategy?
Just because it's got the word 'marketing' in the title, it doesn't automatically mean the marketing team is responsible for the go-to-market strategy. In fact, this marketing strategy needs to come from a combination of teams, including the product team, sales team, and the marketing team.
Line up a series of workshops and meetings with the relevant stakeholders, so you're all aligned on the ideal customers and new customers you'd like to acquire. Think about how you will tackle the customer pain points, the relevant sales funnel, buyer's journey, pricing strategy and strategic objectives. When you've aligned the messaging and positioning of your go-to-market strategy, you should continue to work closely together after the product launch.
How to create a go-to market strategy
Creating a GTM strategy can be a complex process, but it is essential for the success of any new product or service launch. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a GTM strategy:
Understand what your business case looks like
When you truly understand the why in your business case, you'll see what goals you need to achieve to succeed. Do the overall business goals align with the product launch? Make sure you have done your research and that it makes a good business case for the product-market fit and new lead generation so you can gain and retain customer acquisition.
Identify your buyer personas
As we mention in our Sales Enablement Training guide, you'll need to understand your ideal buyers. When you deep dive into each buyer personas, you'll be able to gain valuable insights into positioning your go-to-market plan to the target customers.
Make sure you think about who the buyer personas are, who they work for, what their company's size is, and why they would buy your product? Once you understand these essential elements, you'll be able to generate demand for your niche much more quickly.
Don't forget your existing customers! You'll need to research how to retain customers and make sure they understand your business model and the direction you're going into. Your marketing efforts won't go unnoticed if you keep your existing customers up to date!
Develop a marketing strategy
So, you've uncovered what your business case looks like and who the buyer personas are; now it's time to develop a marketing strategy. In this stage of the GTM strategy, you'll need to align your marketing approach with your buyer journey preferences. A marketing campaign that addresses the pain points for the customer is more likely to succeed than a marketing strategy that assumes they know who their customers are without doing any research.
Think about attracting your customers through a content marketing strategy plan so you can compile engaging content that will build trust while building a community of loyal customers. When you become an authority on Google for your niche, also known as E-A-T, your website will rank quicker and generate demand by your target audience, especially if you nail the keyword research and SEO techniques correctly.
Think about using the simple yet effective keyword research tool called Keysearch to find high-value keywords you can rank for.
Make sure you optimize your current website pages and think about a backlink strategy to gain authority on Google as well.
Create a solid sales funnel and sales strategy
You'll need to work alongside the sales reps to create a solid sales funnel, especially when you've specifically outlined the buyer personas. Think about the buyer's journey and each sale's funnel stage to convert a new market and existing customers. The sales reps will need to know everything from the generate, convert, explore and adopt phases of the sales organization to reach your target audience.
You'll more than likely have a couple of sales strategies within your company already, depending on who you want the product to reach. Your product might have a self-service sales model, an inside sales strategy, or an outside sales strategy. Whichever it is, make sure you align the correct sales strategy with your GTM plan.
Understand your pricing strategy
One of the essential parts of your GTM strategy is understanding how to price your product correctly. You'll want to consider a pricing strategy that you're providing value without aiming too high or too low.
You'll need to reflect the marketing strategy and sales strategy with your pricing to ensure that they all align so that you're going after the right market.
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Outline a plan for customer retention
If there's one thing to remember, it costs more money to acquire a new customer than it does to retain customers. While many companies can find it challenging to keep their customers, think about how you can up-sell your product. You might like to include a subscription service, loyalty program or keep the customers informed of new product updates to grow alongside you and be part of the exclusivity of the business.
What to include in your go-to-market strategy template
Equipped with the essential elements of a successful GTM strategy, it's craft your go-to-market plan template using our Course Builder. Our easy-to-use authoring tool is designed to inspire you and help you get started, especially if you need some creative inspiration to make your content shine.
Here's an outline what your GTM template might look like:
- About us: Clearly articulate your company's mission, vision, and values. This section provides the foundation for understanding your company's purpose and how it aligns with your target market's needs.
- Buyer personas: Develop detailed profiles of your ideal customers. This involves understanding their demographics, psychographics, behaviors, needs, and pain points. Buyer personas guide your marketing and sales efforts to effectively reach and engage the right audience.
- Value matrix: Map your product's features and benefits to your target market's needs and pain points. This matrix demonstrates how your product offers solutions to the specific problems your customers face.
- Product-market fit: Validate the alignment between your product and the market opportunity. This involves assessing market demand, potential customer base, and competitive landscape to ensure your product has a viable market fit.
- Competitive landscape: Analyze your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, positioning, and pricing strategies. This understanding of the competitive environment helps you differentiate your product and establish a unique selling proposition.
- Distribution and sales: Outline the channels through which your product will reach customers. This includes identifying sales partners, distributors, and online marketplaces. Define the sales process, including prospecting, qualification, closing, and customer relationship management.
- Marketing activities: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to reach and engage your target audience. This includes defining marketing channels, creating content, and executing campaigns to generate awareness, interest, and leads.
- Pricing: Determine the pricing strategy that aligns with your product's value proposition, target market, and competitive landscape. Consider factors like cost structure, customer willingness to pay, and market pricing trends.
- Customer journey: Map the customer's journey from initial awareness to purchase and beyond. This involves understanding the touchpoints and interactions customers have with your brand throughout the buying process.
- Customer retention plan: Develop strategies to retain existing customers and increase customer lifetime value. This includes offering loyalty programs, providing excellent customer service, and gathering feedback to address customer concerns.
- Go-to-market strategy quiz: Our powerful authoring tool allows you to create a quiz to assess your workforce's understanding of the GTM strategy and identify areas for improvement. This self-evaluation tool will help you refine your approach and ensure your GTM strategy is well-structured and effective.
Plus, you can add seamlessly add screens, move screens and customize your content into a GTM strategy you'll be proud of.
What happens post-go-to-market strategy?
Once the go-to-market (GTM) strategy is complete, the next step is to execute the plan. This involves putting all of the components of the strategy into action and tracking the results.
Here are some specific tasks that need to be done after the GTM strategy is finalized:
- Create a launch plan: This plan should outline the specific steps that will be taken to launch the product or service, including the timeline, budget, and training programs. In particular, product introduction training plays a pivotal role in equipping sales teams, customer support representatives, and employees with the knowledge and skills needed to present your new offering. Check out our free New Product Introduction Training template to get started.
- Develop marketing and sales materials: This includes creating brochures, presentations, and other content that will be used to promote the product or service.
- Train the sales team: The sales team needs to be trained on the product or service, the target market, and the sales process. It's a good idea to include a session or two on Product Instructions in your sales training program.
- Launch the product or service: This involves making the product or service available to customers and executing the above launch plan.
- Monitor and measure results: It is important to track the results of the GTM strategy and make adjustments as needed. This involves measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, leads generated, and sales closed.
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