So, you have a product or service that people need, right?
That's awesome! It's what makes a business work.
But having a good solution is just one part of the story.
Getting the word out to the right people and getting them interested – that's the real challenge businesses face today.
A smart go-to-market plan focuses on who you are aiming for, where to find them, and how to connect.
In this article, I will walk you through a step-by-step guide to understand the pieces of a successful go-to-market plan, plus a template to help make one for your next product launch.
Let's start with the basics!
Table Of Contents:
- What Is A Go-to-Market Strategy?
- Benefits Of A Go-to-Market Strategy
- When To Make A GTM Strategy?
- Types Of GTM Strategies
- Pillars Of Go-to-Market Framework
- How To Build An Effective GTM Strategy?
- 3 Examples Of An Effective GTM Strategy
- Over To You
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling
What Is A Go-to-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy) is a step-by-step plan to introduce your product to the market. It helps you figure out who you want to sell to, how you will talk about your product with them, and how you will make sales.
Your GTM strategy is basically a map to show how you will get your product out there and beat the competition.
It shows your product as the answer to a problem that people have in the market.
Benefits Of A Go-to-Market Strategy
When it comes to launching your product, guessing won't cut it. If you don't have a well-thought-out plan, your launch might just be an experiment. Some companies rush into the market without checking if there's a real need.
That's where your GTM strategy comes in. It helps you avoid common mistakes that often happen with new products. This way, you can reduce the chance of failure.
An effective GTM strategy will:
- Boost the chances of your product launch being successful
- Guide everyone involved in the right direction and create a clear path for success and growth
- Speed up the time it takes to get your product out there
- Make it easier to handle challenges that pop up during launches
- Help you react better to changes in the market
But GTM isn't just for new products. It can also help improve the customer experience for products that are already out there. So, it's a win-win strategy.
When To Make A GTM Strategy?
Here's when you need to create a GTM strategy:
- Launching a new product or service in a market you already know
- Introducing a product or service to a completely new market
- Giving your company or brand a fresh start
- Trying out a new product's market to see if it grows
Companies use GTM strategies to clearly define what their product is for, what problem it solves, and who would find it useful.
This way, they can use smart marketing methods to engage with customers and make sales that really matter.
Types Of GTM Strategies
Different types of GTM strategies can suit your needs, and here they are:
Make your brand known and attract potential customers naturally at every step of their buying journey. Use techniques like content marketing, blogs, SEO, and social media. You can also use paid methods like ads on search engines.
Inbound draws in people who are already interested in what you offer by providing them with the right information when they need it.
While inbound marketing is great for the long term, sometimes you need quicker results. This is where outbound steps in.
Paid advertising, both traditional like TV and digital like Facebook ads or Google Ads, get your message directly to your target audience.
Upskill your sales team with training, coaching, and marketing materials like demos. This helps them sell better and increase sales and productivity.
Account-Based Marketing Strategy (ABM)
ABM focuses on specific high-value accounts. It uses quality content, cross-channel campaigns, and technology to engage with important clients and close deals.
Source: SuerOffice CRM
This strategy uses sales-focused marketing activities like cold calls, emails, and webinars to convince customers to buy from you.
Pick the strategy that fits your business size and target audience best to find the right approach for a successful launch.
Pillars Of Go-to-Market Framework
A well-crafted go-to-market strategy is important for any product or service that wants to succeed in the market. It should be carefully crafted to meet the product's objectives and ensure that it achieves the expected results.
Industry experts agree that all products or services should undergo thorough market research before a GTM strategy is developed. This research will help to identify the target market, the competition, and the product's unique selling proposition (USP).
|Product utility analysis
|Product market alignment
|USP summary draft
|Current market analysis
|Sales strategy planning
How To Build An Effective GTM Strategy?
Identify Buyer Personas & Buying Center
First, you gotta know exactly who would love your product. Think of this as finding your ideal customer. It's super important.
Usually, you figure out who your product is for when you are building your brand, not when you are making the product.
Once you know who your customers are, you gotta find ways to reach them. Like, where do they hang out? Where can you talk to them?
In the business world, especially the B2B segment, it's not just about a single customer. There's a whole team of people who decide to buy products. It's called the buying center.
The buying center has different people with different roles:
- The Initiator: The one who's like, "Hey, let's check this product out."
- The User: The person who actually uses the product, like a salesperson.
- The Influencer: The one who tells everyone why they need this product, usually someone in sales.
- The Decision Maker: The boss who gives the final thumbs-up, often a manager.
- The Buyer: The one with the money, usually the CFO.
- The Approver: The big boss who gives the green light, usually the CEO.
All these roles have different job titles in different companies. Your sales team or the people who get leads should figure out who's who.
Then, find out everything about them. What they do, what bugs them, what they are trying to fix.
That's how you make sure you are talking to the right people in the right way.
Research Your Competitors
By now, you might have got an idea of where your product stands compared to others.
You should also know what your competitors are up to and what people like about them.
This helps you make your product shine.
Check out review sites for similar products and find the features that matter for your business.
See what customers love or don't like about your rivals' products.
Create A Value Matrix
The product value matrix helps you match your product with what businesses need. It links the issues you found with how your product's features solve those problems.
Begin by pointing out the problems your different customer types face. Then, show how your product solves each problem. Finally, create a marketing message that connects the issue with your product's solution.
Source: I Done This
Define The Marketing Strategy
You want people to know about your product or service in your target audience so you can get new customers.
To do this, you might use different marketing plans, like reaching out to potential customers and getting them interested, and then figuring out which plans work best for your product launch.
For your experiments, you need to look at different places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google for paid online ads.
When you are trying things out, three things are important:
- Where you are doing it
- Who you are talking to
- What you are saying
Once you know what works well with where, who, and what, you can improve your ads based on your experiments before showing them to lots of people.
There are lots of tools to help with testing and doing this, like Hubspot, Marketo, and Mailchimp, for example.
Understand The Buyer’s Journey
Ever wondered how someone goes from just hearing about your product to actually buying it?
Now, you can figure out this journey using your buyer persona and value matrix.
Usually, a buyer's journey goes like this:
- They realize they have a problem.
- They look for solutions.
- They pick a few options.
- They get in touch and choose the best one.
But in business, sales often happen through a sales funnel.
At the start of the funnel, people show interest in downloads, checklists, and short videos.
Then, you can guide them through the funnel with ebooks, case studies, tutorials, webinars, demos, and more.
At the end of the funnel, when they are ready to decide, you can offer trials, give quotes, make proposals, have calls and videos, and finally close the sale.
But if you are not into the funnel approach, there's something called the flywheel. It takes customers through attraction, engagement, and delight stages. It's a way to turn people who are interested into customers who love your brand and stick around.
Source: Edwards Media Solutions
Analyze & Shorten The Sales Cycle
Think about the problems people might have when selecting your product. If you bring up those problems before they do, it shows you understand their needs.
Also, come up with ways to find customers who are the best fit for your product. This way, you can save time when guiding them through the sales process.
Determine The Success Metrics
How will you know if your product or service is doing well?
You have to decide this and make sure your success metrics and goals are actually meaningful. They should be connected to specific business targets.
These metrics should be measurable to see real results. They should show changes clearly and motivate your team.
3 Examples Of An Effective GTM Strategy
Slack is a popular workplace communication SaaS that Salesforce acquired for $27.7 billion. Slack is often mentioned as an example of a B2B go-to-market strategy based on product-led growth (PLG).
Slack's PLG strategy was based on an outstanding customer experience. The company conducted extensive customer usage research before launching the product, and they made sure that the product was easy to use and met the needs of their target users. As a result, Slack saw 8,000 sign-ups on its launch day and 1.1 million active users just four months later.
Zoom is a video conferencing platform that became a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Zoom's success did not happen overnight. The company had a great go-to-market strategy that was based on product-led growth (PLG).
Zoom's PLG strategy was based on a great product, a strong focus on customer experience, and a freemium model.
Zoom offers a freemium plan that allows users to try the product before they commit to a paid plan.
Zoom's PLG strategy was a huge success. The company's market value reached more than $17 billion even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loom is a video messaging platform that allows users to record and share videos instead of sending emails easily. The company used a product-led growth (PLG) model to achieve its success.
Loom's PLG strategy was based on a great product, a strong focus on user feedback, and agile development.
The company is now valued at $1.5 billion. Loom is a great example of how to create a successful product using a PLG strategy.
Over To You
Getting new customers and launching products in a tough market isn't easy.
But with a solid go-to-market strategy, you will be fully prepared to draw in, connect, and make your target customers happy with what you are offering.