When your company unveils a new product or service, you must launch with a proper go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
Without proper planning, it’s nearly impossible to know which audience to chase, whether you’re too late or too early to the market, or how you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors. You could also waste your time and valuable resources with inefficient processes and misprioritized projects. To avoid this, it’s of the utmost importance to craft a carefully thought out go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about developing an effective GTM strategy and the most common mistakes to avoid right off the bat.
What Does a Go To Market Strategy Include?
A GTM strategy is an action plan that determines how a brand will reach its target audience and achieve a competitive edge. When defining your strategy, include information about your unique selling proposition (USP), positioning, messaging, sales and support materials, and customer journeys, personas, and use cases in your strategy. Here are the necessary components.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Why are you launching this product now? How does launching this product align with your overall business strategy? Understanding why you’ve decided to introduce your new product to the market in the first place is the foundation of your GTM strategy and will help you with later steps.
Definition of your product-market fit: How does your product fit into the current market? Answering this question should be at the heart of your GTM strategy. This doesn’t have to be in-depth — it’s just a way for you to get an overall sense of how your product sits in the market.
Create your marketing plan: Your marketing plan is important no matter what stage a product is at — but if you expect your customers to find your product through ads, social media, or other content-heavy communications, then your marketing plan will make or break your product launch. Including information about branding, messaging, lead generation, content, where your marketing content will live online (i.e., a website, social media, etc.), and the types of events, advertising, and PR you’ll create surrounding your product.
Define a sales strategy and a sales support plan: Your sales team is the bridge between between your product and your target customers so a flexible sales strategy is imperative to your product launch. What kinds of training support, tools, and resources will the team need to sell successfully? How should they go about generating leads and finding new customers? How can your product and marketing teams support your sales team so that everyone’s jobs are more efficient and effective?
Customer Support (CS): With any new product comes the inevitable customer service kinks and you want your CS team to be prepared. The best way to handle this is to try to anticipate things that could go wrong at launch and mitigate what you can. For everything else, engage your product and marketing teams to help develop scripts and CS protocols to fix the potential issues. By arming your CS team with the right tools and retention strategies, they will be better equipped to solve customers’ problems efficiently and satisfactorily. Also ensure there is a feedback loop that flows from CS back to product and marketing.
Determine which metrics will measure your GTM strategy success: To determine if your launch is a success, you’ll need to define what success is and decide which metrics will show you if your product is successful or not. One of the most common metrics used is conversion rate, i.e. how many users purchased your product or signed up for a demo. But there are many other metrics that could define success for your company. The key to determining whether or not you’re gaining traction in the market is to choose the right metrics for your company and the stage it’s in. You can find a good article about this here.
Proven Step-by-Step For a Go-To-Market Strategy
Need help developing a successful GTM strategy? Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to do it.
Step 1: Identify Target Markets, Assess Feasibility and Analyze Market Demand
Undoubtedly, one of the strengths of a GTM strategy is its ability to determine whether your new venture is feasible and your product is in demand. It will help you identify your target market and how to get their buy-in. But first, you have to do the research. Conduct the necessary market research and feasibility studies before you even think about creating a GTM strategy or product plan.
Step 2: Develop a Product Plan, Product Roadmap, and Other Tools
The next step involves the logistical outline of how you’ll build your product or execute your project. Naturally, this is quite an involved process on its own, but it can be especially difficult if you didn’t do Step 1.
Building on your research is the key to developing a product plan and product roadmap that works from the very beginning. The goal is to set yourself up for success later on down the road by creating a flexible roadmap that allows various teams to sync seamlessly on any project — whether it’s a marketing campaign or a new feature that will get your customers excited.
You can read more about product planning here.
Step 3: Develop a Marketing Strategy
Buyer personas: Who is your target market? Describe all the different cohorts that exist in that specific market.
Buyer journey: What is the process a customer takes from first discovering your product or service to ultimately buying?
Messaging: To develop your messaging, ask yourself these questions below:
- What pain points are you addressing?
- How are you solving the problem?
- How can you make your audience feel empowered?
- What is the biggest fear of the buyer you are selling to? How can you leverage this fear through your messaging?
- Can you address your current users and prospective buyers at the same time?
- What paid avenues will be most effective for reaching your target market?
- What are your marketing strategies to reach prospects at each separate stage of the buyer’s journey?
This is the first time your target audience will be introduced to your product (and perhaps your company), so the way you talk to them and about your product will leave a lasting impression. Craft your messaging carefully.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Creating an effective GTM strategy can be tricky — you need a well-thought-out, well-planned roadmap and a thorough understanding of your customer and product or service category. But thankfully, a little insider’s knowledge will go a long way, too.
Here are three common mistakes to avoid right off the bat:
Price to Value Miscalculation
A Price to Value (PTV) miscalculation is also known as underpricing your product or service. Price is rarely ever the key consideration for a purchase — especially in the considered purchase environment.
On their own, customers will determine the value of your product or service in their everyday lives — and in doing so — may be willing to pay a little bit more if it resolves their issues. In fact, according to controlled, measured price testing scenarios, we’ve seen higher sell prices consistently convert at the same rate (or higher) than a lower price.
Underestimating Pain Points for Your Product
Certain consumer categories (i.e., wellness, home improvement, etc.) are perfectly positioned for facilitating immediate transactions and engagement. If your product falls into one of these categories, does your sales infrastructure support speedy delivery to customers? Or the immediate download of purchased material? Or direct contact with a rep? How about quick add-ons that increase your average order value?
It’s critical for your business that you understand your target markets mindset and not just its demographics.
Going to Retail too Soon
We get it. You’re full of enthusiasm and are eager to secure quick retail distribution of any kind. After all, your product will be in stores, right? Well, the truth is that without the required advertising support, sales can — and typically will — languish at the store level. This can lead to a wide variety of problems, including putting your price integrity in jeopardy if units are marked for reduction too early in your launch.
The Bottom Line
A successful GTM strategy helps you develop a clear path for launching new products or services and to carefully assess all the aspects of your future operations. Apart from solidifying your vision, it will help you to look at your offerings from the buyers’ perspective and work out the optimal presentation and marketing of your new products and services.