A well-designed marketing strategy can serve as a valuable guide, showcasing what works and what needs adjustment as you move forward.
At times, however, you’ll need to focus on an entirely new approach, such as when launching a newer product or service, a rebranding, or entering a new market.
These launches aren’t “business as usual” events. Instead, they are unique and important to the success of your company or brand.
So, how do you make the most of them? You devise a bulletproof go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
A well-thought-out and implemented go-to-market strategy helps you to avoid making costly mistakes, such as launching to an incorrect audience or entering a market already saturated with what you have to offer.
A launch is an exciting time, so use this to your advantage. Create an offshoot of your overall digital marketing plan, and get creative.
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What is a Go-to-Market (GMT) Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a structured plan for launching a new product or service, entering a new market, or relaunching your brand or company.
At the heart of the GTM approach is the identification of a particular problem or issue of a targeted audience and positioning your product, service, or brand as providing the best solution.
Introducing or launching something new can be risky, and a GTM strategy can help minimize that risk.
When to Create a Go-to-Market Strategy
With any launch, you need a go-to-market strategy, regardless of whether you are a new entrepreneur, a start-up, or an already established company.
Examples of when you need a GTM strategy include:
- Launching a completely new product or service.
- Entering a new market with an existing product.
- Relaunching your brand.
- Introducing a new feature or component for an existing product.
- Launching a new business or new company branch.
Components of a GTM Strategy
Four essential components are involved when it comes to a successful go-to-market strategy.
1. Your Target Audience
The foundation of your strategy, on which all else relies, is your target audience.
With a clear definition of who your potential customers are, including demographic, geographic, psychographic, and other identifying characteristics, you can narrow your approach.
2. Market Demand and Competition
Understanding the demand and competition in the marketplace for your new product, service, or business is crucial.
- Is the market oversaturated already? Is there a significant demand for what you plan to offer?
- Who are the key players in the market you wish to enter? What is your competition?
Based on what you find, you will need to tailor your approach to show how you are different.
3. Specialized Content and Messaging
Content and messaging are opportunities for you to stand out.
Messaging involves what it is you want to get across to your target audience.
Tailored content for the launch includes a compelling description of what is launching, its value, and the problem it solves.
4. Sales and Distribution
Your GTM strategy intertwines with sales and distribution methods as well.
Determine a pricing strategy and selling strategy. Both will depend upon your target market and how you wish to position your product or service.
Select distribution methods to use to effectively reach your target audience.
How to Create a Bulletproof Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy
Even with the most innovative or well-designed product or service, the marketing steps you take can make or break your success.
For this reason, you need a robust go-to-market strategy. Here is how to create one.
1. Identify and Understand Your Target Audience
Identifying and understanding who your target audience is will drive your marketing strategy and the approaches you take before, during, and after the launch.
A target audience is a specific group of consumers or businesses who share certain characteristics or features and can be identified through customer segmentation.
Start by asking who will benefit from your product or service. In other words, who experiences the problem or pain point that it will solve?
Once identified, get to know them. What are their pain points, problems, needs, wants, and interests? What are they willing to pay out for solutions?
To drill down even further, create buyer personas or ideal customer profiles.
In addition, if you are a B2B, you will want to identify the buying center or decision-makers for your target audience.
2. Conduct Competitive Research
You need to determine a way to stand out from all the noise and capture the interest of your target audience.
Competitive research, then, is your friend. Identify who the top competitors are and analyze each one.
Sources for this include:
- Product portfolios or service offerings.
- Capability statements.
- Presentations to the marketplace.
- Competitor websites, newsletters, and social media postings.
- Annual reports.
- Pricing structure.
- Content strategies.
- Social media strategies.
- Content engagement (likes, shares, comments).
- Customer reviews.
Determine what your competitors lack in the way of offerings and marketing strategies.
Use this information to carve your own strategy and even add additional features to what you offer so you can differentiate yourself.
3. Discern Your Messaging Strategy
Messaging strategies allow you to:
- Communicate what your company stands for.
- Convey value of your product or service.
- Show how your offering is different from your competitors or other businesses.
- Identify the problems you solve.
- Build emotional connections with customers.
- Position a product or service as the best solution.
To start, ask yourself:
- What objectives do you wish to achieve with your messaging?
- Which keywords associate best with your product, service, or company?
Once defined and crafted, incorporate your messaging into everything you do, from slogans to press releases to marketing materials.
For example, your messaging might be something like “Delicious snacks with none of the guilt.”
4. Create a Roadmap for the Buyer’s Journey
With inbound marketing, you first understand your target audience then create your strategy to meet customer needs along the buyer’s journey.
For your GTM Strategy, you also need to create a roadmap to address each stage of that buyer’s journey for maximum impact.
The three stages are:
By understanding the buyer’s journey and each stage along the way, you are better able to predict the actions and behavior of your customer.
With this knowledge, you can create a roadmap, anticipating questions and preferences for each stage.
5. Devise a Tailored GTM Content Marketing Plan
Creating a content marketing plan for your GTM strategy comes next. Determine the best ways to promote your launch, then generate the content to get you there.
A few hints include:
- Incorporate your unique messaging.
- Personalize your approach.
- Use storytelling techniques to connect with your target audience.
Examples of content types to consider using include:
- Blog posts
- Social media postings
- Interactive content
- Free trials
6. Collaborate with Sales and Customer Service Teams
Marketing doesn’t work in a vacuum, and with a launch, you want everyone to be on the same page.
Collaborate with your sales team, identifying distribution and sales channels. Devise pricing and sales strategies to go along with the launch.
A GTM strategy also involves collaboration with your customer support team to ensure an overall good experience for customers.
7. Outline Marketing Objectives and Tracking
Set clear objectives for your GTM strategy and find the best ways to track them.
The most common metrics to track include:
- Customer acquisition costs.
- ROI of your sales strategy (cost per dollar of sales expense).
- Conversion rates.
- Length of sales cycle.
- Customer lifetime value.
GTM Strategy Examples
Successful GTM strategies are already occurring in the marketplace and can provide inspiration for your own launch.
When launching the third generation Surface, Microsoft focused on the fact that tablets in the marketplace failed to offer the same functionality as a customer’s computer.
With this, they were able to promote the newest capabilities of their improved Surface and position it as an all-in-one solution.
When Oatly, a Swedish company, decided to expand its products into the US market, competition wasn’t a factor because oat milk wasn’t yet on the must-have list of American consumers.
For the GTM strategy, they chose to forego the ad route and instead go directly to the retail coffee shops frequented by their targeted audience.
The goal was to introduce the product at the precise moment customers were ready to buy a coffee or other hot beverage, letting them try it for themselves.
Within a year, between 2017 and 2018, revenue increased ten-fold, fueling an oat milk craze across the country.
Baggu decided to enter an already crowded market, introducing its reusable bags to a wide audience.
The launch required a unique GTM strategy with its messaging revolving around sustainability.
In addition, the company collaborated with influencers, such as Jamaican artist Joonbug, to turn the otherwise boring product into a functional yet stylish fashion statement, using Instagram as the main marketing channel.
Fitbit Smart Coach
Activity tracker manufacturer Fitbit already had a following when it launched its personal training app designed to integrate with the Fitbit devices.
Messaging revolved around the slogan “Get More with Fitbit.”
One of the first steps of its GTM strategy, however, was to establish objectives. These objectives included building brand awareness, increasing subscription revenue, and boosting subscription attach rate.
Creating a go-to-market strategy is the best way to ensure your launch has a chance to reach more customers and become the success you know it can be.
With a solid framework to guide you, you can find the right audience, rise above the competition, create unique messaging and content, and track performance for best results.
In other words, you can launch with confidence.
For more ways to capture your customers’ attention, check out our blog post!