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How to Develop a Winning Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Your go-to-market strategy brings together all the key elements that drive your business; sales, marketing, distribution, pricing, brand awareness, competitive analysis and more. It provides a strategic action plan that clarifies how to reach your target customers and better compete in your marketplace. Go-to-market strategies can be applied to new product launches as well as existing products and services.


What are the benefits of a go-to-market strategy?

1. Reduce costs associated with failed product launches

We’ve all heard the saying, “if you fail to plan then you should plan to fail.” With product launches, it is acutely true. By planning every detail that you can ahead of time, you’ll more likely experience fewer mishaps, helping you stay closer to your ideal budget.

2. Ensure an excellent customer experience

Part of your go-to-market strategy includes developing your messaging and aligning to one comprehensive view as a team. As a result, customer experiences should be seamless and impeccable.

3. Establish path for growth

Your go-to-market strategy does not just include how you will get your product to the market. When you integrate your long-term goals into your strategy, you’re also establishing a path that will lead you to those goals. Developing a comprehensive go-to-market strategy is an investment in time and resources, but it can help ensure your organization is aligned on the path to success.


Steps to creating an effective GTM plan

Know your goals and what you need to get to those goals. Ideally, your goals are set in alignment with your company vision.

3 key questions to answer:

  • What are the objectives of this go-to-market plan?

  • What is your timeline?

  • What is your budget?

1. Assess the market you’re launching in

Do competitive research to identify the key players in the market. This will help you identify gaps that are currently unexploited in the market.

Use your competitive market research to understand what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are. Read reviews about their products and assess what is working well and what is not. These become pain points that your product and messaging can present a solution to.

When it comes to assessing your own position or the position of your competitors in your market, the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis helps clearly identify action items.

Questions to answer:

  • Which markets have the biggest and most urgent pain?

  • Where are there gaps in the market?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • What is their strength?

  • What is their weakness?

  • What does your product offer as a solution?

  • Are there any threats that can work against your success in the market?

2. Identify your target audience

A critical step to a go-to-market strategy is identifying who your ideal customer is. Create buyer personas to better target your product and messaging. Identify who you would expect to be buying your product(s) and what their life might be like. Conceptualize when and where they will be making their purchases and what information will help them decide to purchase.

Questions to answer:

  • Who is your ideal target customer?

  • What are the biggest challenges they are facing in their role or organization?

  • What publications, community forums, blogs or events interest them?

  • How do they view and collect information?

3. Leverage your customer insights

The better customer insights you have, the better likelihood you have for executing a successful go-to-market strategy. A great way to collect insights is by interviewing internal stakeholders within your company to better understand what customers are telling them. This includes, but is not limited to, customer service representatives, your sales team and client-facing employees.

Questions to answer:

  • What are your customers saying?

  • What is common feedback received and what are the themes within that feedback?

  • What is not being addressed and what is actively being worked on?

  • How can you improve?

4. Define your brand positioning and your offering

Brand positioning is all about how you’re going to position yourself against other competitors in the market and what makes your brand stand above the other options. Your brand positioning should drive the creation of your marketing strategy and messaging, and thus, your product launch.

Keep in mind your buyer personas and company mission when developing your positioning for your product launch. Everything should connect, as each component is a direct representation of your organization as a whole.

Questions to answer:

  • What needs do your target customers need solved?

  • Which features in your offering best address these needs?

  • How will customers use it?

  • What are important attributes or benefits of your offering?

  • What makes your product or solution different from others in the marketplace?

  • How are we elevating our brand/company with this new product/solution?

5. Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs will be the metrics used to identify success in your go-to-market strategy and should be aligned to your objectives and sales goals. For a product launch, an important KPI will be conversions, most likely indicating that a purchase has been made. Conversions can represent multiple different activities, defined specifically by your organization.

Keeping track of your KPIs will help you assess how your product launch is tracking against your goals and will also indicate areas in need of improvement.

Questions to answer:

  • What KPIs will we use to measure success?

  • Do the KPIs align to my company’s short or long-term goals?

  • What milestones need to be reached along the way for success?

  • What marketing resources do I need?

  • What marketing resources do I have readily available?

Preparing your go-to-market strategy is a critical component to launching a successful product or service. This plan will need revisions and tweaking along the way, as your product or service grows and develops. Throughout the whole process though, asking the right questions and finding complete answers will be key in developing your holistic go-to-market strategy.

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