Go-to-market strategies are very distinct from marketing strategies in terms of where they fall in a product’s lifecycle. A go-to-market strategy (GTM) is the planning and preparation for introducing a new offer (product or service) to a market. A marketing strategy is the ongoing programs and campaigns that you’re running to drive demand for that offer after it’s been introduced to a given market.
GTMs are more concrete. You only use them until you achieve product-market fit, whereas marketing strategies are more prolific, getting refined over time as you learn how your buyers get value out of your offer.
The Importance of a Go-To-Market Strategy
For successful product launches in the B2B and SaaS industries, a solid go-to-market strategy is pivotal. It's not just about introducing your product or service to the market, but rather crafting a comprehensive plan that ensures you reach your target audience in the most effective and efficient manner. A well-planned GTM strategy helps businesses minimize risks, optimize resources, and most importantly, align all departments towards a common goal—achieving market success.
To rank high in a competitive business environment, your go-to-market strategy should be crafted meticulously. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you build a winning GTM strategy:
Identify your target customer: Who will benefit the most from your product? Defining your target customer is the first step in building a successful go-to-market strategy. Consider their demographics, pain points, and motivations.
Understand the competitive landscape: Identifying your competition and understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help you position your product effectively.
Craft a compelling value proposition: This is the essence of your product. What unique value does your product offer that sets it apart from the competition?
Define your marketing and sales strategy: How will you reach your target audience? What channels will you use to communicate your value proposition? What will be your sales approach?
Set a pricing strategy: Your pricing strategy should reflect the value your product provides while also considering market and competitive conditions.
Plan your product launch: Creating a detailed launch plan can ensure your product makes a big splash in the market.
Key Elements of a Successful Go-To-Market Strategy
Crafting a winning go-to-market strategy requires a thorough understanding of your product, target audience, and overall business objectives. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and a tailored strategy is crucial for success. Key components integral to most effective GTM strategies include analyzing your market conditions, identifying your buyers and competitors, determining your selling approach, and planning how you will market and promote your product upon launch.
The following are the essential elements of a go-to-market strategy.
Define Your Market Conditions
To develop a successful go-to-market strategy, you must understand your target customers' pain points and motivations, identify your competitors, and craft a compelling value proposition. Then, determine your marketing and sales strategy, pricing strategy, and launch plan to achieve market success.
What market growth strategy do you fall under?
In 1957, a mathematician introduced four categories of product-market introduction methods called the Ansoff Matrix.
Go-to-market strategies apply to two of those pathways: Product Development, where you are introducing a new product into an existing market, and Diversification, where you are introducing a new product into a new market.
Thinking about where your product-market fits in will help you define who you’re selling to and what you’re selling to them.
Who are your buyers?
Are you selling to businesses or people? Defining your buyers for your GTM is the same as developing your buyer personas for your marketing strategies. You want to understand what the day-to-day life of your ideal customer is like, so you can understand their challenges and determine how your offer will alleviate their pain points.
That knowledge will set you up for success when developing your go-to-market strategy because it’ll help you develop the value proposition of your offer.
Who are your competitors?
Who are the other key players in the market you’re entering? How will you differentiate yourself from them?
If your offer is completely unique you want to capitalize on that, but if competitors are offering similar products or services to you, you need to find a niche that you can dominate.
Determine Your Selling Strategy
Value and price are the two main factors that determine whether a prospect will buy your offer. So as part of your value proposition and go-to-market strategy, you need to think about your pricing strategy.
A potential jumping-off point for this is analyzing the pricing strategies of competitors with similar products. Ultimately, your pricing strategy should be centered around your value proposition. Identifying that core value of your product allows you to define what your pricing strategy should be and build out your pricing model around that.
When deciding on a pricing model, consider whether you want to introduce your product or service through a freemium model or have customers start by purchasing your product or service outright.
Freemium involves offering consumers a free, lightweight version of your offer to penetrate the market quickly, and then offering paid upgrades to gain access to the full breadth of your offer.
This can be extremely effective if you have a strong understanding of your core values. For example, the core value of video-hosting solutions is the number of videos you can host. On a free version, you may be able to host up to 10, but as you use the product and want to host more than 10 you need to start paying.
Freemium is built on the principle of product-led growth, where the value of the product will sell itself and customers will inherently purchase because they love using your product or service so much.
Purchasing Up Front
The alternative to freemium is having a purchase be the only way to access your offer. If you use one of these models, you’ll need sales and marketing efforts devoted to driving purchases.
The actual purchase process should vary depending on your buyers. You can have online or eCommerce options, where buyers purchase a service or software through a website or order a product to be shipped to them. Another option is physical storefronts, where the buyers purchase your offer from your store or an authorized retailer.
New Breed uses an assessment and evaluation process, where customers can’t purchase frictionlessly but rather enter the sales process through an assessment, consultation, or demo and then a salesperson walks them through the rest of the sales process.
Using service-oriented channel partners as a selling strategy can be a game-changer for businesses looking to expand their reach and increase sales. By partnering with established service providers in your industry, you can tap into their existing customer base and benefit from their expertise and experience.
However, it's important to choose the right partners and ensure that they are fully informed about your product or service before it enters the market. This means providing training and support to your partners, so they have a deep understanding of your offering and can effectively communicate its value to their customers.
When selecting channel partners, consider factors such as their reputation, market reach, and alignment with your brand values. A successful partnership requires a strong relationship built on trust and mutual benefit, so it's essential to select partners that share your vision and are committed to your success.
Market and Promote
The final part of your strategy is deciding how you will market and promote your offer when it launches.
If you’re launching your offer into an existing market, you should start doing your promotion with consistent customers. How you do that outreach — calls, emails, etc. — should be decided as part of your strategy.
If you’re entering a new market, you’re trying to reach people that you never have before, so you need to create a means through which they can discover your product. Examples of this include paid promotion through channels like Google Ads and new content creation to bring inbound traffic.
Finally, if you have channel partners, you have to equip them with the information they need to sell to their customers.
Your go-to-market strategy lines up with the introduction phase of the product lifecycle, and its main purpose is to get you through the introduction stage and into the growth stage.
More often than not, you’re going to have high costs and low traction when you first start out until you find product-market fit, which is where the market you identified has begun purchasing your product, gaining value from it and begins growing from there. Once you’re in your growth stage, it’s time to start implementing a marketing strategy that’s informed by the things you learned about your product and buyers in the process of achieving product-market fit. To get started with your marketing strategy, check out our guide below.
Tag(s): Demand Generation
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.