When looking to grow your business, a data-driven go-to-market strategy can help mitigate potential risks. Moreover, an effective go-to-market strategy has many benefits. These include the ability to cut down on your time to market, provide an enhanced customer experience, and improve marketing effectiveness.
To help you enjoy a well-rounded go-to-market strategy, this guide covers how companies can approach their expansion plans. Using our step-by-step guide, you can create a successful campaign for your product or service launch.
Yet, it’s important to think of the long-term when coining your go-to-market strategy. Given that it takes careful planning and preparation, a successful corporate strategy rarely happens overnight. You definitely don’t want to get on LinkedIn and start Pitch Slapping new connections.
Coining a viable strategy includes a deep understanding of market trends and customer preferences, alongside other market research. By ensuring you have your business’s groundwork covered, you can easily plan the expansion into new markets.
What is a Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy outlines your company’s approach to product or service distribution. It highlights your target market and the ins and outs of your delivery process.
A GTM strategy helps you achieve a product-market fit in one region or niche. This helps you establish your presence in the market during (and after) product launch. As businesses often have to expand to new markets for brand awareness, increased sales, and business stability purposes, a GTM strategy is crucial.
If your business is planning on expanding, this proven go-to-market strategy can help you achieve this goal.
4 Components of a Successful GTM Strategy
A successful product launch’s GTM strategy needs to cover the following aspects:
Product-market fit relates to the general acceptance of your product by the market you’re trying to enter. More specifically, it ensures that your product is relevant and satisfies specific markets’ needs.
A target audience is a particular group of people that you can expect to buy your product or service. They are often defined by aspects such as demographics and behaviors. This helps you target your marketing campaigns and messages more effectively.
Competition and Demand
Understanding your competitors and the general demand for your new product is part of a powerful go-to-market strategy. This is because understanding what the current market looks like can help you gauge how your product will fit in. Moreover, it can give you insights into whether your target audience will demand it and how competitors may view your product.
Distribution focuses on how your product will reach your target market upon launch. If your offering involves a product, will you sell it in a store, or through a third party? On a similar note, if it’s a service, what (online) mediums are you going to sell it through?
The distribution aspect of your product launch mustn’t be an afterthought. This is because your offered delivery methods affect the cost of the product. Ultimately, this impacts the demand for your product as well. As such, you should carefully assess which direct and indirect distribution channels you’re going to choose.
What to Include In Your Go-to-Market Checklist
As part of your market strategy, there are certain things you have to account for. In doing so, you ensure you cover certain key parameters. We cover these below.
The buying center refers to a group of people involved in a product or service’s purchasing process. These groups of people can include employees, family members, and other relevant stakeholders. The purpose of buying centers is to help with product recognition, pinpointing required product specifications, and option evaluation.
As such, buying centers help back up certain purchase decisions based on stakeholders’ needs and priorities.
Buyer roles will vary depending on the product, industry, and vertical you’re selling to. Prepare your team for brainstorming various job titles that may be affected by your solution.
Learn about each role to obtain a broad understanding of what they do, their objectives, and their pain spots. It’s critical to figure out who these people are, what motivates them, and their issues since they’ll be the ones to promote your product.
Identifying buyer personas before your product launch ensures you know how to sell your product. This is because buyer personas define who your prospects are. Buyer personas refer to fictitious profiles created to represent your desired customer base. These profiles can cover demographics, pain points, behaviors, jobs, goals, and careers.
The value matrix conveys the purpose (and value) of your product or service to your audience. Additionally, it helps you communicate the value of product or service features to stakeholders.
To make sure your value matrix is all-encompassing, there are certain elements your matrix must include. Your value matrix should have various sections differentiating between your buyer personas.
These sections should highlight the pain points they face and how your product or service solves those pain points. This helps you create an effective messaging approach that conveys your product’s value to each persona.
Messaging refers to how you talk about your product or service to a specific audience. You can strategically tweak messages to establish and reinforce the benefits of your product.
Based on your value matrix, you can create effective verbal communication strategies that communicate the value of your product. As such, the various messages should resonate with buyer personas and their pertaining pain points.
The buyer’s journey is all about understanding the possible journeys taken by potential customers. It includes visualizing the buying process from your perspective, as well as that of your buyers’.
From a business perspective, the buyer’s journey resembles a traditional sales funnel. Yet, from a buyer’s perspective, the buyer’s journey consists of three key steps.
Firstly, buyers realize that they have a (business) problem. Secondly, to help cope with this problem, buyers shortlist possible solutions based on research. Finally, buyers then discuss the possible solutions with relevant stakeholders. This results in the buyer’s selection of the best solution.
Typical Funnel Stages
- ToFu: Top of Funnel, get their Attention with white papers, checklists, short videos.
- MoFu: Middle of Funnel, earn their Consideration with eBooks, Case Studies, Webinars, Demos.
- BoFu: Bottom of Funnel, win their Decision with proposals, reference calls, trials, and Proof of Concepts.
Marketing Flywheel Model
To level up your go-to-market strategy, switch your traditional marketing funnel to the marketing flywheel. The marketing flywheel model displays a continuous loop of three key steps. Done correctly, this three-step process results in a growth-based customer experience.
The three steps include ‘delight’, ‘engage, and ‘attract’. Attract refers to offering your customers genuine value. This step helps you with generating inbound leads.
Next, engaging your target audience means that you create a perpetual relationship with the customer by providing them with education, solutions, and personalized customer service.
Lastly, delighting your customers is all about creating a positive experience for them. Implemented in your go-to-market strategy, these three steps can work together to elevate consumers’ perception of your brand.
There are various sales strategies you can use to guide buyers through their decision-making process. Some examples of sales strategies include:
The Self-Service model
In the self-service model, consumers make purchases on their own. This sales strategy is most prevalent in B2C scenarios, where products entail a lower price.
As this model often results in a high volume of sales with short sales cycles, it can be very profitable. Yet, this self-service model involves a solid market strategy. This is because a lot of these sales depend on your marketing team to generate traffic and conversions.
The Inside Sales Model
In inside sales, your sales representatives nurture your business leads. This involves a cycle where sales representatives contact leads (through phone or email) until they make a purchase.
Yet, as opposed to telemarketers, inside sales focuses on high ticket items and doesn’t rely on scripts for conversation.
The Field Sales Model
In the field sales business model, your entire sales organization works together to close large enterprise deals.
Given that these sales often involve complex products with steep price points, such opportunities don’t occur often. Given the complexity and multiple stakeholders involved, these deals also have longer sales cycles.
As the sales team required for field sales are often costly, consider whether including this business model in your go-to-market strategy will pay off before implementing it.
The Channel Model
In the channel model, third-party partners and agencies generate the sales of your product for you. Such partners include affiliate partners (who receive a commission on each sale), resellers, value-added providers (who include your product in a bundle), and other similar entities. While this sales model may offer increased efficiency and customer success, it also involves having reduced profits and less control over sales.
Without a defined process, your go-to-market strategy may not be effective. This is especially the case given that how businesses sell is ever-changing. Now, more than ever, sales leaders are facing novel challenges.
With shorter product cycles, data-driven sales models, and rapidly shifting trends, you have to update your sales playbook often.
This makes it a more agile part of your go-to-market strategy that you’d have to tend to often. Some aspects of the process are to define include prospecting, preparation, presentation, objection handling, closing, and follow-up procedures.
Behind your product launch should stand a solid and well-crafted marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy refers to how you approach potential customers and turn them into paying ones. It entails a long-term approach that aims to increase your company’s competitive advantage by leveraging buyers’ needs and wants.
It specifies your company’s values, brand messaging, and other high-level marketing elements. These are then implemented into aspects such as brand positioning, media relations, and your marketing mix.
Below, we list several business aspects and activities you should cover as part of your marketing strategy.
Demand generation refers to the activities you undertake to drive awareness toward your company and its products or services. These activities are especially useful for generating a pipeline that will help you grow your business.
Such activities are often more outbound-oriented, including cold calls, list buying, TV commercials, and sponsored webinars. Knowing how you’re going to generate demand after product launch can help you obtain consumer awareness from the get-go.
This can help boost engagement with your new product, which may lead to more sales.
Lead generation is the process of converting visitors into people with an interest in your company’s offerings. You can do this by obtaining customer information from their interaction with any aspect of your business. For example, lead generation can occur from interactions with your live chat and interactive content (e.g., surveys, webinars).
Brand marketing is all about the activities and elements that help people recognize your brand. It goes beyond promoting your brand name and logo everywhere, emphasizing nurturing relationships with (potential) consumers.
Moreover, it involves making use of clear communication and marketing activities to differentiate you from competitors.
There are numerous things to do in order to establish a solid and effective brand marketing strategy. These include having a defined brand purpose, being consistent, emphasizing your connection with customers, and getting to know your competition.
A brand strategy that’s well thought out and adequately planned can make or break your product launch.
Product marketing is all about bringing a product to the market. This includes marketing product-related aspects by merging product management and marketing communications. Consequently, your product marketing ventures will clearly articulate the value of your product while encouraging product adoption and advocacy.
Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a process that focuses on creating, planning, and distributing content to your target audience. Various content types serve different purposes. These can serve to educate leads, boost conversations, enhance customer relationships, describe product usage, and build a community.
As such, you can leverage content marketing in many different ways across the marketing funnel. This makes it an essential aspect of your go-to-market strategy.
Your distribution strategy tackles your product or service’s supply chain. It defines the comprehensive process of ensuring your offerings are accessible to customers. As such, your distribution strategy should focus on the rightful delivery of your product to the consumer.
In general, the distribution strategy covers the movement, availability, and protection of goods. Moreover, it can also include aspects such as cost reduction and customer satisfaction.
Search Engine Optimization
As part of your go-to-market strategy, your online marketing efforts are integral to your company’s success. This is especially the case given the increasing use of search engines in online shopping. As such, search engine optimization (SEO) is all about increasing your rankings on search engines.
In doing so, you can increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. This allows you to attract a wide array of visitors the more accessible your website becomes.
Some SEO practices include building an SEO-friendly site, using relevant keywords in your content, and link building, amongst many other activities.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM), like SEO, focuses on increasing your website’s visibility on search engine result pages. Yet, unlike SEO, SEM makes use of paid methods to rank higher in these results pages. This typically involves using paid tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) to gain visibility.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the process of creating content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook. The main aim of social media marketing is to create a personal relationship with customers. Additionally, social media is a great place to promote your products or services
To ensure your social media marketing efforts are fruitful, ensure that your content suits the context. This ensures that things aren’t lost in translation or irrelevant. Additionally, you can benefit from using things like hashtags and cross-platform sharing to encourage engagement. These tools and actions can greatly increase your reach on social media.
Email marketing refers to the act of sending out promotional messages to a targeted group of people through email. It is an effective form of direct marketing, given that you forego the use of intermediary channels when reaching your customers. If done correctly (in a way that engages customers), email marketing can help with strengthening customer relationships, conversions, and ensuring a great customer experience
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization focuses on increasing the percentage of conversions on your website or mobile app. It involves making tweaks to elements (e.g., content, call-to-actions, images) to drive conversions. To test whether these changes lead to increased conversion rates, you can put in place practices such as multivariate testing and A/B testing.
Optimizing your conversion rate will greatly benefit your business. Increasing your conversions can decrease your customer acquisition costs given that you obtain more value from current visitors. As such, conversion rate optimization should be a standard part of your go-to-market strategy.
Product Launch Checklist
Launching a new product into a market requires a lot of pre-planning. Given its ability to make or break the success of your new product, your product launch is as crucial as the product development process. If you don’t launch your product effectively, customers either won’t be aware of your offering or may get a bad impression of it. Below, we list some of the things you can do to ensure an effective product launch.
Shorten Sales Cycles
The sales cycle refers to a series of specific steps or phases that constitute the buying process. Some of these steps include prospecting for leads, qualifying customers, and dealing with customers’ hesitations.
One of the goals regarding your sales cycles should be to shorten them. This is because shorter sales cycles give you more free time to focus on attaining more leads. Additionally, they can become a source of competitive advantage by allowing you to increase your market share while also growing your business. Some methods of shortening your sales cycles include niching down to a clear target market, getting rid of cold leads, and reducing inefficiencies in the selling process.
Reduce Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer acquisition costs refer to the costs associated with attaining customers and convincing them to buy your product or service. To get started, computing your customer acquisition cost consists of adding up several granular costs. These can include technical costs, production costs, advertising costs, and the cost of your marketing team.
As these costs can get expensive, reducing your customer acquisition cost should be a priority. This is because low customer acquisition costs simultaneously help your revenue while increasing your customers’ lifetime value.
There are certain practices you can incorporate to reduce these costs. These include improving customer retention, optimizing pages, automating marketing tasks, A/B testing, and improving your conversion rates.
Customer advocacy is a subset of customer service where you focus on what’s best for the customer. It places your customer’s needs at the forefront of communication – even if it comes at the expense of your revenue. Shifting towards customer advocacy is essential in today’s world. This is because companies are becoming increasingly customer-focused. As such, not offering the same standard of customer service may negatively impact your business.
In the long run, customer advocacy enables you to improve your product, create a more tailored customer experience, and be more proactive with your customer service. Therefore, employing customer advocacy – especially in a world where word-of-mouth prevails – will greatly improve your product launch.
When cross-selling refers, you sell complementary add-on products to consumers when they purchase an initial product. For example, in the context of tech products, cross-selling could involve telecom shops trying to sell headphones with the purchase of a new iPhone.
Cross-selling is especially beneficial when launching a product. This is because you can employ it to help sell your new product (or showcase its compatibility with existing products). As such, cross-selling can help you optimize the value and revenue of every sale.
Like cross-selling, upselling is a sales technique where you persuade customers to make extra purchases. However, unlike cross-selling, upselling tries to persuade consumers to purchase the upgraded or premium version of a selected item.
Upselling can be especially useful when launching an upgraded product, as effective upselling results in larger sales and maximized profits. Besides higher revenues, there are other benefits that upselling provides. Upselling can increase customer lifetime value, personalize the customer experience, and create convenience for the customer.
Examples of a Successful Product Launchs
In Motion Marketing’s Go-to-Market strategy template has helped organizations of all sizes grow. Below, we list some of our customers that have had success with using our go-to-market strategy.
- Performio = 110% growth in North America. We helped Performio develop marketing strategies for penetrating the US market and created a demand engine by aligning Sales Team & Marketing.
- Sourcery = New Customers Daily! Successful launch of a SaaS in a new market by creating in-depth and relevant content for customers.
- Crew Talent Advisory = Incredible Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). After extensive market research, we created a marketing plan positioning Crew as a brand their customers could use for strategic planning.
- SalesGRID = Bootstrap SaaS startup, delivering Sales Enablement Software to helo sales teams consistently develop their craft.