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June 7, 2019

3 Key Elements of a B2B Go-to-Market Strategy


After you’ve identified an existing need in the market and developed a product to address it, you’re ready to start selling your solution. To do so, create a go-to-market strategy (GTM).

The building blocks of a strong B2B GTM are pretty straightforward in and of themselves, but when you add in the specifics of targeting your GTM to your specific product and market, the process can appear more complicated and convoluted.

 3 Essential Elements of a B2B Go-To-Market Strategy:

1. Market Intelligence

To know how to introduce a product to a market, you need to understand the market you’re entering. The best way to gain that understanding is to conduct market research.

There are many resources available to help you gain insight into your market from publishers like IDG to research companies like Forrester and Gartner. To truly guide your GTM, keep the following questions in mind as you delve into your target market.

What is my market and where does it line up on the Ansoff Matrix?

The Ansoff Matrix was developed by a mathematician and breaks product market introductions into four paths:

    • Market penetration, where you sell an existing product to an existing market

    • Market development, where you sell an existing product to a new market

    • Product development, where you sell a new product to an existing market

    • Diversification, where you sell a new product to a new market.

Understanding not just the market itself but also how your product relates to it is essential to developing your GTM and guiding the research you do and your messaging later on.

Who are my competitors and how am I differentiating myself from them?

If your offering is completely unique, capitalize on that, but if not, find out a way to carve yourself a niche by differentiating your offer in regard to price, expertise, functionality, etc.

If you can’t differentiate your product from the existing products present in a market, there might not be a real need for your offer.

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2. Market Segmentation

The second element in a successful GTM is market segmentation. The findings from the market research you completed in the market intelligence phase determine who is most likely to purchase your product, solution or service.

The market segmentation phase takes your market research one step further to help you understand who the decision-makers are within that market. Rather than defining your target market as CMOs at mid-sized SaaS companies, use your market research to create buyer personas.

If you’re following the product development path, conduct research on your existing customers so you can best speak to their pain points. If you’re following the market development or market penetration path, survey your current customers about their experience with your product to inform how you frame your value proposition.

Developing buyer personas will enable you to segment your market to target the best-fit customers who have challenges your offer addresses, so instead of simply targeting CMOs at mid-sized SaaS companies, you’re targeting CMOs at mid-sized SaaS companies who are struggling to set up a reporting structure to prove the ROI of their marketing efforts.

3. Product Messaging

The final component of your go-to-market is how you convey your key value proposition. You understand the market you’re entering and who your customers are. Develop your product messaging to stand out from your competitors and resonate with buyers.

When creating your product messaging ask yourself:

  • How does your offer address the need in the market?
  • What supports your claim that your solution will fulfill their need?
  • Why should your target market believe you?


The components of a go-to-market strategy are simple: market intelligence, market segmentation and product messaging. But, the execution of those steps can be more complex depending on your product and the market you’re entering.

Being methodical about each step and doing your due diligence will help set you up for success.

To ensure you don’t miss a step in your GTM, download our Complete Go-To-Market Strategy Checklist.

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This post was originally published July 19, 2011.


Quinn Kanner

Quinn is a writer and copyeditor whose work ranges from journalism to travel writing to inbound marketing content. She’s super passionate about grammar and punctuation and loves learning new things that she can share with readers. Her favorite punctuation mark is the em dash.


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