A well defined go-to-market strategy is the difference between a successful launch and a flop. It outlines your product’s target market, customers, channels, pricing and more—and makes sure that all teams are aligned and working together.
Creating and perfecting a go-to-market (GTM) strategy that works for your business is essential. It optimizes the way your business stands out from the competition, reaches more customers and increases revenue. Not only does it help you effectively communicate your value proposition and product offering, but it also helps bring customers closer to you.
Whether you’re new to building a GTM strategy—or you’re ready to refresh any areas of your existing one—this blog post is for you. You’ll get a close look at the critical components of go-to-market plans, the steps to create one and tips to help you make the most out of your strategy.
What is a go-to market strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a plan to introduce your product or service to the market, reach customers and generate sales. It outlines the steps you need to take to get your product or service to market and the tactics you need to use to make it successful.
GTM is a critical part of a successful business plan. It outlines how a business will make its products/services from concept to reality and create an effective path to market, fully ready for launch. It’s here in the GTM strategy that most companies create the process for identifying, segmenting, and targeting potential customers and the tactics and strategies marketing, sales and customer service will use to reach them.
Strong GTM strategies also include a combination of market research, product positioning and pricing, and orchestrated plans across marketing, sales and customer service. The comprehensive approach is what enables your product/service to reach the most potential customers.
Why do you need a go-to-market strategy?
You might already be doing several things that are part of a comprehensive GTM strategy and wondering why you need to formalize your efforts. Here’s why you need it.
- Position your company against competitors: A well-designed GTM strategy ensures that you understand how you compare to your competitors. Through this process, you’ll gain insight into the key differentiators you should play up in your messaging to customers and prospects, giving you the edge with customers and any new markets you decide to enter.
- Create a unified inbound and outbound strategy: Far too often, companies run inbound and outbound efforts independently. With a GTM strategy, you can tightly align the two to reach more ideal prospects. You’ll also be able to create campaigns that are well-tailored for the individual needs of each potential customer segment, and regardless of how they enter your funnel, you’ll know they’re getting a consistent message from your team.
- Achieve your business goals: A GTM strategy gives you a roadmap of where your business wants to go and how it will get there. By positioning yourself correctly and understanding your customer base, you can adjust as needed to achieve success quicker than the competition. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make accurate predictions and decisions that drive your business forward faster.
- Reduce marketing costs: By evaluating your competition and crafting an effective inbound and outbound strategy, you can save high costs on marketing efforts. You’ll be able to focus resources on campaigns that are more likely to yield results instead of wasting money on activities that won’t drive growth.
- Understand your customers: A go-to-market strategy enables you to deeply understand your customers, their needs and their pain. This data can be used to tailor your products and services (and your sales and marketing efforts) to meet their specific needs, which can help you increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Components of a GTM strategy
If you’re still reading, you’ve seen the vision of what a GTM strategy can do for you and your business. Now, let’s drive into the components you need for your strategy.
- Product market fit: Your GTM strategy needs to ensure that your product has market fit. You’ll do this by talking to customers, conducting research and keeping a pulse on your market. It’s not enough to have market fit. Make sure your product also has a key benefit that differentiates it from the pack.
- Target audience: You understand how your product works—and you need to understand how your target audience could benefit from it. Knowing the ins and outs of your target market and potential customers can give you actionable data to inform the direction of your marketing campaigns and product distribution plans.
- Competition and demand: You’ve got competition. (Louder for the companies in the back who think they don’t.) You shouldn’t ignore it. Get intimately familiar with how you compare to them, and what sort of demand they’re seeing compared to what you’re seeing. This assessment will help you understand if/where you need to invest in product development to stay afloat—and where you can invest in product development to take the lead.
- Distribution: Your GTM strategy should consider how your products will be distributed to customers. It includes understanding where potential customers are located and determining the most efficient way to get the product into their hands (or network, or database…. You get it.).
- Pricing: Let’s not forget pricing. Your pricing should be based on the outcomes your product can create and its ability to solve customer pain points. Consider how you can price your products and services to maximize profits while meeting customer expectations.
- Promotions: Promotional activities, such as advertising and public relations campaigns, are necessary for the success of most GTM strategies. It’s all about creating awareness of your product and aircover for when sales teams start outreach.
- Measurement: Last, but certainly not least, you need to track and measure the performance of all GTM functions. This will help you understand where to double down and where to divest.
How to build a go-to-market strategy
Whether you’re launching a new product or expanding into a new market, having an effective go-to-market strategy is vital for any business looking to increase its reach and stay ahead of the competition. So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it.
To help alleviate the confusion around GTM strategies, we’ve created this comprehensive guide on creating an impactful GTM strategy that increases visibility and drives sales and conversions. Here are 9 essential steps for creating an effective GTM plan for your products and services.
1. Get clear on your ICP (ideal customer profile)
Every company should have an ideal customer profile (ICP), which clearly documents what their dream customer looks like. This document helps the entire organization understand whom they’re selling to and why. It helps the company narrow their focus and invest their energy on the right accounts. Most ICPs include details like industry, company size and geographic location. But, that’s not enough anymore—and the companies with strong GTM strategies know that.
So, stop and really think about the characteristics that your best customers have. Are they early or late adopters? Do they have a growing or shrinking IT workforce? This level of detail that goes deep to uncover how companies operate, is called exegraphic data. And while your current ICP may have only included demographic and technographic details, you’ll change the game (for the better) by bringing exegraphics into the fold.
Lastly, don’t be like other companies. Don’t let this doc collect dust. It should be a living document that’s adjusted to account for your product’s evolution and changing market conditions.
2. Craft a value proposition for messages
Your value proposition should be crafted to clearly articulate your product’s or service’s main benefits and how it will solve a customer’s problem. Your value proposition should be clear and tailored to your target market. It needs to be eye-catching and easy for customers to understand.
Concisely explain your product’s unique features, how it differs from competitors and how it will meet customers’ needs.
When crafting your value proposition, consider the core benefits that differentiate you from the competition and create a clear message that resonates with your target market as they browse your website.
Tip: Use customer reviews and testimonials to support your value propositions.
3. Test your messaging
Once you’ve crafted your value proposition, it’s time to test it. (After all, they need to resonate with your target audience.) You can test your messaging online and offline, with customers and prospects. Test variations of the value props to see which show the most promise.
4. Optimize ads based on messaging tests
Once you’ve tested your value statements and determined a winner, you can start optimizing your ad campaigns. Afterall, advertising is a critical component of any go-to-market strategy as it helps to build awareness, generate leads and ultimately increase conversions.
Using the results from your messaging tests, you can create ads that target the same audience with more relevant copy and visuals. Be sure to use up-to-date data when optimizing your campaigns, so they’re consistently delivering the best results.
5. Understand your buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is the process by which customers become aware of, evaluate, and purchase products or services. Everyone involved in your GTM strategy needs to know what the buyer’s journey looks like as if it was the back of their hand. It’s this level of obsession that will empower everyone to spot friction and come up with innovative solutions.
As you dive into the buyer’s journey, think about the questions they have at each stage, what they’re looking for and how you can solve their problem. Creating content that resonates with your target market at every stage of their journey is important and increases the chances that they’ll stick around until the end.
6. Build awareness and brand demand with inbound and outbound methods
Building awareness is essential for any successful go-to-market strategy. You must reach your target market with the right message on the proper channels.
Inbound marketing methods such as content marketing, SEO and social media are effective ways to engage with potential customers—they’re looking for you. Outbound methods such as email, print advertising and direct mail can help you reach a broader range of potential customers.
Mixing inbound and outbound methods helps you create brand recognition, generate leads and build customer relationships.
7. Optimize your sales pipeline
Your sales pipeline is the process by which prospects move from leads to opportunities and ultimately become paying customers. Optimize your sales pipeline to maximize conversions while reducing costs.
Think about each step of the process and ensure it’s as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Consider automating specific steps, such as follow-up emails or lead qualification. Also, look at ways to measure the success of each step to identify any areas that need improvement.
Often, the first step in optimizing pipeline is making sure that your prospecting team knows who to contact and why.
8. Strategize ways to tap into your current customer database
Your existing customers are likely your most valuable source of revenue. To maximize your ROI, consider increasing existing account value by upselling or cross-selling products and services.
Also, consider what incentives you can provide for current customers and how to engage them with relevant content. These incentives should include discounts, free products or services, exclusive content and other offers to encourage customers to purchase more from you.
9. Adjust and iterate as you go
No go-to-market strategy is perfect the first time; adjustments must be made based on feedback and data analysis to get the best results. As you go along, keep track of the successes and failures so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Make sure to track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as leads generated, conversion rate, cost per acquisition, etc., to measure success. And, be prepared to make changes quickly if something isn’t working—after all, the best go-to-market strategies are constantly being optimized.
Set your GTM strategy up for success
A GTM strategy will help your team march in unison in the right direction. But if you made even one wrong assumption at the very beginning of your launch, your team will go wildly off course and not reach your goal.
One of the most common missteps? Having an incomplete picture of who your ideal customer is. Let us help. Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform can tell you the hidden characteristics that make your best customers your best—and find you others that look just like them. Our platform can show your demand gen team which accounts to target and give your SDRs a prioritized list of accounts to contact.
Contact us, and we’ll get you started with a FREE ICP audit so you can understand the deep and more meaningful characteristics of your ideal customers.