A go-to-market strategy is a tactical plan for executing a successful product launch onto the market. As such, it also encompasses your sales strategy and varies for each product.
When planning for a new product’s release and marketing, it’s essential to have a Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy. This is a step-by-step plan created to ensure the launch is successful. The process measures the feasibility and viability of the product and predicts its potential performance.
But your Go-to-market strategy isn’t just for physical products—it also works for services, software, and even a new company branch. This article will touch on the elements of a go-to-market strategy, the importance of one, and how to build a strong one for success.
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Elements of a Go-To-Market Strategy
A go-to-market strategy involves tactical planning for executing a successful product release and promotion in order to gain sales. An effective GTM strategy will generally achieve goals like:
- Establish the ideal target audience or buyer persona
- Identify the problem that the product will solve
- Create an appropriate marketing strategy
- Translate marketing into a sales plan
Given this, your go-to-market strategy will typically have:
- An established customer journey map
- Marketing campaigns
- Budgets and prices
- Sales tactics
- Customer support groundwork
Importance of a GTM Strategy
Without a proper strategy in place, your business lacks a clear direction and focus. In the end, this can results in a waste of time and resources when launching your different products.
Some issues you could face without a GTM structure in place include:
- Incorrect target audience
- Poor marketing timing
- Unforeseen market saturation
- Decreased profits
A lack of a GTM strategy, or a poorly-planned one, could result in your product launch ending up a failure. And depending on your company’s situation, you may have difficulty recovering. A failed product launch could damage your brand’s image and reputation, and cause a loss of trust in your customer base.
Having a strong GTM strategy in place will help you manage expectations around a product and ensure you have safety nets in place for any hiccups before and during the launch. This minimizes any losses and obstacles you will face, even if it won’t guarantee complete success. It also helps prevent your venture from becoming a sunk cost.
Building a GTM Strategy
There are two primary methods for building a go-to-market strategy—funnel and flywheel. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages and is applicable depending on the brand’s priorities.
This is the “sales funnel,” a metaphor for a traditional, one-off sales process. It centers on three stages of a customer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.
The funnel starts with a large number of potential customers who are aware of the brand. Then, specific criteria such as personal preference and external information will narrow that number down to those considering a purchase.
From there, the number narrows further to those making the concrete decision to purchase. The further down the funnel a customer is, the more likely they are to close a sale.
The funnel allows a brand to focus on lead generation that it can then turn into sales. The brand can concentrate on customers much more likely to close a deal and therefore focus its efforts on maximizing cost per lead.
On the other hand, the flywheel approach involves a cycle of “attract, engage, delight.” It uses momentum gained from positive customer experiences to drive referrals and, consequently, sales.
Essentially, you attract potential customers to your business with strategies such as freemium products, referral programs, and paid advertising. This attraction turns them into prospects, whom you will then engage with your products and services. If they’re delighted by what they see, they’ll become customers who will in turn promote your brand to other potential customers.
Attraction involves other aspects like search engine optimization (SEO), content and social media marketing, and targeted advertising. You’re earning people’s attention. Then you engage them with attractive and intuitive websites, communications, and lead nurturing.
Finally, you delight your customers with a functional product that solves a problem and comes with exceptional support. Some key aspects of the delight phase include multi-channel availability for feedback and loyalty programs to increase retention rate.
The idea is that the wheel spins itself, and you can simply speed it up and reduce friction with your company’s efforts. This ensures that your brand isn’t working alone to grow itself—your customers are helping too.
GTM Planning Process
Whether you opt for a funnel or flywheel strategy, you’ll first need to conduct market research in order to identify and plan your:
- Business case
- Marketing, and sales strategies
- Marketing plans
- Customer support systems
- Definition of success
This way, you can begin the planning process. Your strategy should answer questions such as:
- Who is your target audience?
- What problem do they have that your product solves?
- How much are they willing to pay for a solution?
- Is there a demand for the product?
- Do you have competition in selling the product?
- How will you market the product to potential customers?
- How will you sell the product?
By understanding and responding to these questions, a business can strategize on how to develop its product and, in turn, market it to its expected user base. After everything is done, this go-to-market strategy results in a successful product launch that will drive sales and leads.
3 Most Common GTM Strategies
Many go-to-market strategies have common elements, but each strategy has something unique to itself. Some of the more popular GTM strategies are:
#1 – Inbound Marketing
This strategy uses different forms of marketing—such as blogs, social media, and SEO content—to foster brand awareness among its target audience. It’s an organic method of attracting potential buyers or new prospects.
Its focus is on creating appropriate content at the correct time to appeal to the right audience. This is a long-term strategy that can boost its return on investment (ROI) with paid advertising and media support.
#2 – Sales Enablement
This strategy focuses on supporting and empowering the sales team, including front-line sales managers and representatives. A brand should provide training, scripts, and coaching through every stage of the sales cycle.
#3 – Account-Based Marketing
This strategy applies mostly to B2B marketing, in which your marketing and sales teams focus their efforts to target and engage with high-value accounts that are relevant to your niche. This involves guest posting and other cross-channel campaigns that benefit both you and the receiver.
Executing a Go-To-Market Strategy for Product Success
Prior to launching a new product, software, or service, your business needs to formulate a thorough go-to-market strategy. This involves the steps by which your company will launch a product onto the market and generate sales.
A solid GTM strategy will help manage expectations around a product through competitive and market research, product and market testing, brand awareness, and optimized lead generation. It also creates plans for any potential obstacles that a product launch will face.
Through all of this, you can generate consistent sales and high-value leads that will drive your product’s success.