How to Build a Go-to-Market Strategy?

March 13, 2024
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13 Minutes
Modified on:
March 12, 2024
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Written by:
Swati Bucha
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You've devised an innovative business idea, analyzed the product-market fit, and are excited to release your product or service. However, a well-thought-out go-to-market strategy is essential for a successful launch. Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy framework must be practical and strategic for your product launch to succeed. It's difficult to know if you're targeting the wrong market, coming into a given market too early or too late, or if there are too many competitors in the space without adequate planning.

This article covers every step of the process to help you understand go-to-market strategy. You can use this guide to learn how to build and launch almost any new venture, including startups and B2B companies.

What is a Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a complete plan for introducing a new product or growing an existing one into a new market. It answers the following queries, which positions your initiative for success:

  • Which particular issue does the product you sell address, and what makes it special?
  • What problems do your ideal clients have, and who are they?
  • Where are you going to market your goods? 
  • Which markets are you interested in seeking, and how competitive are those markets regarding demand?
  • How are you going to generate demand and reach your target audience?

The cost of launching a product is high. Furthermore, no matter how innovative your product is, how you promote and sell it will determine whether or not it succeeds. By developing a go-to-market strategy, you can ensure you're considering everything and stay clear of costly errors, such as releasing your product in a market crowded with competitors or to the incorrect audience.

Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy - When It Is Needed?

You must have a go-to-market strategy every time you launch a new product or service. This comprises:

  • Introducing a new product into an already-existing market. For instance, an established clothing company is introducing a range of cosmetics.
  • Bringing an established product to a new market, like expanding a local grocery chain into a new state.
  • Testing a new product in an unexplored market, such as the first app released by a tech startup.

Understanding a go-to-market strategy is necessary even for well-established businesses when launching a new product or entering a new market. This is because market forces and competition can shift rapidly. Your current strategy may not work as well as it did in the past, even if you've had success with a similar product launch. 

Benefits of Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy

Developing an effective go-to-market strategy can help your company in several ways, including product launches. These benefits include:

1. Making the Company's Mission Easier to Understand.

Developing a business strategy of any kind, including a go-to-market strategy, is an excellent chance to assess your company's mission and confirm that your product efforts align with it. What is the purpose of this organization? What will it accomplish for its clients and staff? What principles support this mission? How do newly released goods further this goal? 

2. Recognizing the Market Potential.

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the market, including the target audience, competitors, and the proposed product's position within it, is necessary to develop a go-to-market strategy. Your company will have more tools to succeed in every aspect of business, from new product launches to introducing a fresh brand identity to the world, with a greater understanding of customers and market conditions.

3. Reducing Operational and Marketing Costs.

A strong go-to-market strategy will help you minimize marketing expenses by determining which promotional channels will provide the best return on investment (ROI) and creating content and messaging that appeals to your target audience.  

4. Increasing Brand Recognition.

By introducing and advertising a new product, you can increase awareness of your brand and potentially draw in new target markets, which will increase the size of your clientele. 

5. Improving The Potential For Growth. 

A well-executed GTM plan can raise the possibility of growth for your company. Suppose you have access to new niche markets, well-organized market data, and an effective product launch process. In that case, you can take advantage of growth opportunities more quickly than you would without a go-to-market strategy.  

How To Build A Go-To-Market Strategy?

Here are 11 steps to help you know how to build a go-to-market strategy to introduce your new product:

1. Use Templates for Go-to-Market Strategies.

A new product or service launch can easily become overwhelming, particularly if there are many stakeholders and moving components. Because of this, the first step you should take when launching a new product is to locate go-to-market strategy templates to help you and your team stay on track and in sync.

Many providers offer a complimentary go-to-market kit with a range of templates, just like email templates for Black Friday, to assist you in planning every facet of your strategy and informing important stakeholders about who is in charge of what.

2. Establish Realistic Launch Goals Based on Projected Sales.

Assuming a new product will be a game-changer for revenue generation is a common mistake. If you go this way, you avoid breaking even on your production and marketing expenses.

Always assume that your new offering won't generate more revenue than your current offerings. Being pleasantly surprised is preferable to being extremely disappointed. Recall that the purpose of your sales forecast is to hold you responsible.

3. Set Deadlines.

Task deadlines for completion maintain team focus and ensure your product is released on schedule. Just make sure that the deadlines for every department in your company line up so that, on launch day, sales, inventory, marketing, and finance are all in agreement.

4. Identify the Target Audience.

You must thoroughly understand your target market to execute a successful GTM launch. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who needs the solution provided by your product?
  • Which particular frustrations can your product help with?
  • What price range would your target market accept for a solution?

Creating buyer personas and creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) are the two most popular methods for identifying your target market. Together, these techniques help you target specific demographics within your audience and reduce the size of your customer base.

The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

This method identifies your ideal client or the person encountering the problems your product attempts to resolve. They can purchase your product, are aware of the issue, and are actively seeking a solution. Take into account the following features to construct the perfect customer profile:

  • Industry or demographic,
  • Geography, 
  • Size of the company,
  • Budget or pricing strategy, 
  • Factors that influence decision-making,
  • Pain points.

Buyer Personas:

Your target audience consists of different people, each with issues, morals, and aspirations. By developing buyer personas, you can better understand your target audience by distinguishing between the various types of individuals that make up your audience.

To fully understand your target audience, you should develop several buyer personas. Buyer personas must consist of one of the following roles:

  • Initiator,
  • Influencer,
  • User,
  • Decision maker,
  • Buyer,
  • Gatekeeper,
  • Approver.

5. Choose your KPIs.

If you are unclear about what exactly you are measuring, you cannot evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy. Do you want to monitor customer retention, brand awareness, conversions, or something else?

Using sales funnel software to track your metrics from the outset makes it simpler to identify issues and identify fixes. Here are some KPIs that you can use:

  • People viewed the product page
  • Quantity of interactions that come in from outside
  • Profit per client
  • Rate of cash burn
  • Score for customer satisfaction
  • Number of clicks on advertisements
  • Quantity of interactions outside the country

6. Examine and Modify Your Old GTM Strategies.

If you've previously employed an effective go-to-market strategy, think about doing so again. Not only is consistency good for your business, but it also benefits your clients.

When your brand is consistent, new and returning customers will feel comfortable purchasing from you. Sometimes, a significant change in strategy backfires and destroys customer trust.

7. Understand Sales Cycle Updates And Establish Procedures For Collecting Data.

If your sales team is working on new sales strategies and cycle modifications, make those adjustments before launch.

Shortening or altering a sales cycle usually involves some degree of trial and error. If you're attempting to analyze sales data on a new product after cycle changes, separating your product data from your sales activity data will be impossible.

8. Streamline Lead Funnels.

No matter how much you refine the customer profiles or target audiences, every new product will have a unique niche.

Your teams will need to dedicate more time to conducting market research, developing a fresh approach to the market, and refining your lead funnel to maximize conversions in light of the new audience niche. Updating your prospecting tactics and building a backup sales pipeline is worthwhile if your new product represents a significant shift for your business.

9. Link Up Sales Efforts With Customer Journey.

Your sales activities will change depending on where your prospect is in the customer journey. As a buyer moves through the sales funnel, your sales representatives can engage in the following activities:

  • Awareness: Using email marketing practices and prospecting, make buyers aware that you are a viable option.
  • Discovery: Evaluate leads' needs by assigning them a score and setting up discovery meetings.
  • Review: Forward a proposal to the potential client.
  • Goal: Work out and sign the contract.
  • Purchase: Take payment, then forward the buyer to onboarding.
  • Loyalty: Provide the goods and inquire about the client's satisfaction.

10. Increase Demand And Brand Recognition Via Inbound And/Or Outbound Strategies.

To fill your pipeline, you must now attract the interest of your intended audience. Demand creation can be achieved through both inbound and outbound strategies.

With inbound, potential customers find your company via marketing initiatives and automatically contact you or express interest. Paid advertisements that direct users to a landing page, content, and social media accounts are a few instances of organic inbound traffic sources.

The process of a salesman contacting a lead via cold outreach techniques is known as outbound demand creation. Salesmen could accomplish this by contacting a contact list, phone-calling prospects, sending warm emails, or obtaining leads at industry events.

11. Create Content To Attract Inbound Leads.

Compared to outbound leads, inbound leads are typically less expensive to acquire and quicker to convert. This is because inbound leads are typically more interested in purchasing your solution and have some knowledge of the business issue you solve.

Since content will bring visitors to your website, content marketing is the key to creating that incoming attention.

By identifying and focusing on keywords that your potential customers would use to search for, your content marketing team will generate and publish relevant content on your website, which will, in turn, drive this inbound traffic.

The foundation of content marketing is search engine optimization (SEO), or how an online search engine ranks information online after a query is entered into the search field. This will considerably increase the amount of organic traffic to your website.

Go-To-Market Strategy Examples

Here is a list of some go-to-market strategy examples to help you inspire:

1. MailChimp

Obstacle

MailChimp, founded by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius, aimed to develop smarter email marketing methods after discovering that 70% of emails were spam but faced challenges in convincing users.

Solution 

MailChimp initially offered free services, but its tiered pricing strategy needed more to make it a market success.

Result

MailChimp, a pioneer in email marketing and contact management, grew from a side project to a $12 billion company by focusing on smaller businesses and individuals, offering a lower-tier free version, and targeting small startups and freelancers.

2. Starbucks

Challenges 

Starbucks, now serving 6·4 million Chinese customers weekly, faced significant concerns 20 years ago about its success in a tea-drinking culture.

Solution

Researchers of Starbucks conducted an in-depth study on the appropriate advertising methods in the cultural context, the types of drinks customers preferred, population demographics, and potential cultural and financial differences in different regions of China.

As a result,

Starbucks opened its first stores in China's busy metropolitan areas, targeting wealthy citizens and heavy tourist traffic. The company adapted its American menu to include tea-based products, resulting in China's fastest-growing market and success.

3. Huawei 

Challenge

Huawei faced competition in India's large and populated telecommunications market and biases due to the perceived inferiority of Chinese products. To succeed, the company needed to establish trust and relationships.

Solution

Huawei established service centers and R&D facilities in India, ensuring local jobs and product quality. They also promoted smartphones as "aspirational products" through English-language channels.

As a result,

Huawei's successful strategies, which boosted revenue and built trust, have made it the second-largest research base outside China, demonstrating its commitment to customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

Developing a product necessitates substantial financial investment. However, when there is a robust framework to identify the target audience for the product and messaging, specific objectives, and well-defined procedures to implement the plan, each effective go-to-market plan starts with precise planning and approach. 

With the help of this planning, you may set specific goals, have a well-defined schedule, and track your advancement. Creating a strong go-to-market strategy isn't as difficult as it seems with these eleven steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is responsible for the GTM strategy?

Depending on the business, sales or marketing professionals can be tasked with developing the go-to-market strategy. In the case of some enterprises, the startup founder usually takes on this responsibility and then transfers it to another member when the company succeeds and grows.

2. What differentiates a go-to-market strategy based on customers versus another based on products?

The product-based go-to-market strategy is the most popular and simplest strategy for launching a business. Its foundation is creating and promoting a core product to a large market. A customer-centric go-to-market strategy is more complex and requires more planning.

3. What differentiates a marketing strategy from a go-to-market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy refers to a plan to bring the product or service to the market. However, a marketing strategy is an extensive plan showing how to deal with potential customers and clients.

4. Which go-to-market error is most frequently made?

When developing a go-to-market strategy, businesses frequently make the mistake of "spraying and praying" instead of concentrating on an ICP. To appear efficient, founders often use vague language to communicate with everyone. This approach is extremely ineffective and rarely successful.

5. How much time does it take to implement a go-to-market strategy?

Many factors affect this, including price, the sales cycle, clients, etc. Sales of a $5,000 product should be completed in six weeks or fewer. If the price is $250,000, be ready for an eight- to eighteen-month sales cycle.

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