When starting a business, entrepreneurs have no other goal but to grow.
But growth is relative. Each business has its own definition of what it means to grow. Profit, customer satisfaction, gaining a high competitive advantage, penetrating a new market, etc.
To each is their own, they say.
But when we talk about long-term goals for businesses, it is a common denominator for all that their customers are the heart of every business. Let’s put it this way: Without customers, why create a business? Customers are the primary driving factors that sustain any business model.
Providing high-quality products and services is also as imperative as continuously looking for ways to stay afloat in a very competitive market.
We’re not saying that launching a business is also easy. It never really is. But, let’s face it. Starting a business is easier than staying afloat.
And for any business that wants to be sustainable, planning, a never-ending list of marketing strategies, and product innovation cannot be out of the equation.
But product innovation is not enough.
Since we live in a day where technological breakthroughs happen left and right, it’s probably safe to say that despite endless ideas, product or service innovation is never enough.
Without a solid and planned strategy, you’re going to spend a lot of time exhausting efforts and going nowhere.
This is nowhere more true than when you’re about to launch your existing product or service to a new market or launching a new product.
According to data published by the US Small Business Administration, two-thirds of small businesses survive two years after their launch. About half of small businesses strive for longer than five years.
So why do startups fail?
Well, startups fail because of many factors, namely, few target markets, fund shortages, inefficient teams, and cost problems. But CBInsights found that 20% of startup businesses get out-competed in the market. Thus, sustaining your market’s interest and brand loyalty should be absolute in any industry.
To avoid your business crashing and burning, proper planning should always be part of the business.
A seemly done plan will help your business flourish and define and refine your products, services, and customer base. Thus, creating plans and strategies can also result in clarifying your business objectives and analyzing competitors to have leverage in a cutthroat market.
And one of the best things that make sustaining your business possible is having the perfect go-to-market strategy!
But wait! Isn’t a go-to-market strategy the same as a marketing strategy?
In this post, we will give you a run-through on the basics of what makes a go-to-market strategy different, its components, and what it takes to create the perfect one for your business.
The thin line between a go-to-market strategy and a marketing strategy
Let’s start by defining these two concepts.
The go-to-market strategy is a company’s detailed blueprint of all the strategies needed to launch a new product or service to a new market or existing customers and sustain market competition. The go-to-market strategy can also be applied to launching your existing product to a new customer base.
A GTM strategy may include a company’s strategy in different business factors such as pricing, sales channels, a buyer’s journey, new product-market fit, etc.
While a GTM strategy contains all the methods of how the company’s products will become visible and known to potential customers, it is more product-specific. It directly aims toward the product’s ideal potential customers.
On the other hand, marketing strategy refers to a spectrum of actions that a company is willing to exhaust to market its brand and customers. All the efforts that aim at brand recognition, brand loyalty, and a competitive market position make up a comprehensive form of a marketing plan.
In a nutshell, a GTM strategy is solely focused on one product while a company’s marketing strategy focuses on the vast array of actions, marketing channels, distribution model, and target audience of the product launches.
In terms of implementation, we can say that the GTM strategy is much more for short-term business goals while the latter is for the brand’s longer sales cycle.
A marketing strategy is an ongoing concept for any brand. However, it is not stationary. Budgets, content, tools, and teams will inevitably change. In the course of any project, shifts can elicit any change – adjusting business goals, removing ineffective strategies, and experimenting with new forms of content marketing.
While the go-to-market strategy follows a fixed and aggressive timeline for a product launch, the plan is focused on what work is needed to be done to reach certain milestones that should be attained along the way.
Most times, sales reps use these two concepts interchangeably, mainly because the go-to-market strategy and marketing strategy are terms used to pertain to launching products, especially for startup businesses that do not have the capacity to launch a plethora of products.
Another critical difference between the two concepts is their purpose for the product.
When a marketing team creates a marketing strategy for the company, its primary goal is to ensure that the business can keep up with the existing and upcoming trends for an extended period of time. Sometimes, they even start out the trend for the content, all while creating a distribution model plan that surrounds their brand’s target audience.
On the other hand, the go-to-market strategy may also include the components of a marketing strategy such as marketing channels, content marketing, success metrics, etc. – it often leans toward more specific buyer personas. But at the end of the day, the main goal is to have a stable and competitive market position to surpass other products in the market.
For a marketing strategy to work, the entire marketing team must be a part of it. Different groups have different responsibilities, such as conducting rigorous market research, gathering market feedback, updating marketing platforms, managing relationships, reviewing the ongoing budget, and even analyzing existing infrastructure.
These actions create the entire marketing plan, which will become the basis for every company decision, especially in carrying out the sales process.
In contrast, the go-to-market strategy consists of the product marketing team, ensuring that the GTM strategy is implemented. This team can also work with other departments of the company, such as the sales team, the sales manager, and the development team, to work on different facets of the product, such as the sales strategy and pricing strategy.
For a marketing strategy to be successful, there should be meaningful and effective communication. Marketing strategy, alongside its components, should be able to embody not just the brand’s ideals but also the company’s ideals as well. The focus of the message should be directed on fulfilling the brand’s promise and continuously analyzing the needs of consumers, value proposition, the buyer’s journey, and other market forces that will make the business flourish and be more sustainable.
Alternatively, the go-to-market strategy requires the product vision to materialize and convey a remarkable message to the enterprise customers. Its success lies not only with a great campaign but also in the coordination between the marketing and sales organization to ensure that everything falls into place within the timeline for launch.
Now that we were able to discuss their differences, it is time to focus on the highlight of this post – the go-to-market strategy.
What is a go-to-market strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a blueprint that helps you define your target audience, convey your message, and position your product for launch. A GTM strategy ensures that the different business units are aligned on the same plan and strategies, allowing you to achieve competitive advantage and effectively launch your product or service.
Let’s just put it this way. The go-to-market strategy is a more specific version of your market plan – one with a more narrow scope particularly focused on just one product or service.
An effective go-to-market plan also enables consumers to understand the value proposition behind your product or service to build brand loyalty among existing customers while drawing new customers in.
When is it time for a GTM strategy?
Any business that finds itself in any of these situations needs a GTM strategy:
- Launching a new product to an existing market
- Introducing a company’s current product to new customers
- Testing a new product’s market for expansion
If you’re in the B2B space, you have to carve out your path before carrying out your actions to maximize your efforts, reduce unnecessary costs, and achieve your business goals. Thus, you will want to see an organized path that you can follow along the way.
Why do you need a go-to-market strategy?
Having a go-to-market strategy enables you to position your company alongside competitors, create scalable distribution models, and leverage content strategies for client acquisition.
Your go-to-market strategy is not just another document to be filed. It is a tool that a company can use and share across enterprise businesses. It serves the following purpose:
- It conveys clear objectives behind your product or service launch, its target audience and ideal customers, and the different content tools you’re going to use in order to drive the customer journey.
- It helps you create in-depth research on different buyer personas and consumer pain points. This allows you to provide them with the best quality of your product or service, fostering trust and brand loyalty.
With a well-researched go-to-market strategy, you’re sure that you’re on the right track with all your decisions for your launch.
Key concepts before writing your go-to-market strategy
Like any plan or strategy, you have to conduct in-depth research before putting all the concepts together. Your go-to-market strategy summarizes the different information of all the actions that you need to carry out before, during, and after your product or service launch.
Understanding product-market fit is important as it enables your customers not only to understand the value proposition behind your product but it becomes true for them as they experience it first-hand.
Simply put it this way: your product perfectly fits the market. This means you get to solve something that pains them.
With consumer demands not being easy to determine, researching your prospective customers can help you understand different buyer personas and create marketing strategies that would be effective for each.
And as you research what goes along with your go-to-market strategy, you delve into the why’s behind your product, such as why it was made, why it is important for consumers, and why your consumers would need your product.
To create an effective GTM strategy, you also have to think of the product-market fit beyond your product launch. It is also imperative to understand how the market would also change over time.
The target market consists of the primary beneficiaries of your product. Therefore it is only important to fully understand your customers and what it takes to provide them with the best quality of service.
A part of having a go-to-market strategy is understanding the ins and outs of your customers. This means that you have to know information such as demographic data, as well as the most specific information such as what they need and prefer.
In researching for your target audience, you can also use scaffolding as a tool to fully encapsulate the overall buyer’s journey.
You may start by asking yourself questions like, are there specific groups or customer segments that your product targets? Or how will you be able to create different marketing contents that would best fit your customer profiles for the long-term?
As you go through all these, you may want to become up close and personal with all customer segmentation to be able to adapt to inevitable market changes for the long-term course.
The competitive landscape will tell you who are you going to be going head-to-head with. And it is very important!
No soldier will go into any battlefield unarmed and without a plan. Thus, it is important that you get to understand the competition and the landscape that your product or service is going to be in.
A go-to-market strategy is something that you should also constantly change and adapt to the ever-changing market. It raises your sense of preparedness should there be trends that would suddenly spice up the market.
Here, the question is, how and where will you distribute your product?
Now that the buyer’s journey has already commenced, how will you make the end-to-end sales cycle happen? Will it be a physical product that can only be bought in stores? Or will it be available on online platforms? If yes, what platforms should you use?
Your distribution model should also be carefully considered in your go-to-market strategy.
What particular approach will work best for your customers to respond?
In the course of writing the plan, it is essential to understand whether your strategy will be through an intensive sales team or intense content from the team. Although these two approaches work hand-in-hand, it is also best to know where your customers respond more.
In this way, you get to maximize all your external and internal marketing efforts and receive positive feedback in the process.
The GTM strategy framework that brings your product to the market
Now that you can grasp the core components of a go-to-market strategy plan, it’s time to create your own. You may follow have your own template, but with this framework, you can have a feasible and organized go-to-market plan that is just perfect for your product launch.
With this framework, you should be able to create a comprehensive tool that will help you break into the market better equipped.
1. Identify your business case.
What is the reason behind your product launch, and what do you hope your business will gain from it?
The start of any go-to-market plan entails specifying your overall goals. In this section of your plan, you can briefly discuss how your product or service aligns with the overall business plan and business goals. You may also define in your business case how you’re planning to break through the market and the reasons behind it.
Whatever these goals maybe, you have to have them specified and explained in your go-to-market strategy plan. Find the difference, inbound vs outbound marketing.
2. Define your market and content strategy.
Where do you plan your product or service to fit in the market? What are the ways you plan on conveying the message to the consumers?
The next phase of your planning will discuss how you plan to reach out to your customers, create your value matrix, and hit your sales mark. Here, you may explain some of these ideas:
- Value matrix: What makes your product different from the competitors, and why should the consumers choose you over them?
- Positioning: How does your product or service fit in the market, and how would you want the consumers to view your product against competing brands?
- Messaging: How will you let people know about the value of the product you’re proposing and what particular pain points of consumers you would want to address?
- Sales and support tools: What are the resources your teams will use in order to sell and support your product or service?
- Customer journey: How many stages are there in your customer’s buying process? How will you be able to maintain and manage relationships after sales?
- Buyer personas: Who will use your product, and what are their purchasing behaviors?
- Application: How will your customers use your product, and how can you help them see a better life once they purchase your product
Fill out all this information and keep them concise and specific. In this phase of writing, your goal is to have a clear vision of where your product is going to be in the market and how your sales strategy will be for it.
In the process of writing, you will slowly uncover more and more the hows behind this information and how you’re gonna carry them out. Check out the email marketing metrics and calculate the aspects of your campaign.
3. Set up your pricing strategy
How much are you planning to price your product and why?
For many businesses, pricing is more than just a financial decision. You have to consider a lot of factors before setting up the standard of your product’s price as it sets the baseline of what value your product will have once it is released in the market.
Pricing reflects a great deal about your product and also affects your overall marketing strategy and how your target audience is going to perceive your product.
You also have to remember that there is always the message that comes along with how you price your products. You may be perceived as a premium product or are you planning to be more affordable than your competitors?
4. Create your external marketing plan
What external marketing are you going to use to convey the message to your customers?
Marketing is crucial to any business, more so, if you’re off to market a new product. And you cannot just sit and wait for consumers to find you. You have to sell it to them. Here are some things that you can cover in this part of the plan:
- Branding: Who are you as a brand and what ideals does your company stand for? How do you want the world to visualize you when they see your brand?
- Lead generation: What are the ways in which you can garner people to become customers?
- Marketing content: What are the different compelling content materials will you use for your product to be worth your consumer’s money and trust? Are you going to use informative content like blogs and ebooks? Or hit on the less formal side like social media posts? What are the common sales strategies that you may use?
- Website and social media platforms: Where will the information about your new product be available? What platforms are you going to use to communicate with your consumers?
- Ads and PR: How do you amplify the ways how to get people interested? Or how are you planning to let them find you? Are you going to utilize keyword research or search engine optimization? Or use paid ads and host events?
5. List your sales strategy and supporting materials
How will you help your sales team carry out top-tier sales performance?
If your product needs to reach a wider market, then you need a competitive sales team to reach the market. And being in the sales, as we know, is never for the weak heart. You would want to make sure that every sales rep that you will have is equipped with training and tools to deliver and become successful in closing deals.
Here are some things that you should cover in this part of the plan:
- Tools and resources: How are your sales team going to conduct lead generation, engage, and foster relationships with potential customers? What tools are they going to use to manage relationships and conduct direct sales? Are they going to have sales CRM tools or lead generation tools?
- Client Acquisition: How will you find your clients? Through inside sales reps? Will you have resellers or partners?
- Training and support: What types of training will your sales team undergo? What types of training resources will you provide for them to be more knowledgeable about your product?
6. Amp up your support team
How will you answer queries from new customers about your product?
When launching a new product in the market, it is vital to have a well-rounded support team. Not only will it strengthen customer services but it will also elevate your product experience.
Make sure that it is part of the plan to have an extensive range of support! Here are some of the things that you may want to consider:
- Tools: What tools will you utilize to reach customers faster? Will you invest in a known CRM?
- Onboarding: How will you welcome new users onboard? Will you give them a walk-through on how to use your product?
- Retention tactics: What are the ways that you can actually make people stick around your product or your service? How will you nurture existing relationships?
- Satisfaction metrics: How will you measure your overall performance and success?
7. Ask for feedback for future improvement
How will you improve your product in the near future?
Of course, once your product is launched, you think that it would be the end of the roadmap. Wrong.
You’re just getting started!
Every time you launch a new product, you can expect that there will be more work to come. Continuous marketing, product innovation, more marketing, and yes, expansion!
There are different angles from which you can pinpoint where to improve for the next part of your journey. Here are some of them:
- Development team: What parts of the product can you improve?
- Market feedback: How did the consumers perceive your product and how will they know what are the upcoming changes? What are the changes will your value matrix have in the next wave of changes?
- Employee feedback: How will the team be up-to-date with the proposed changes for the new product?
8. Identify your KPIs
How will you determine whether your product and its launch are a success?
Evaluating your performance is essential to the next decisions that you’re gonna make right after your launch.
Every go-to-market strategy needs to identify its success metrics that are meaningful, measurable, operational, and motivational. Will you use ROI as a baseline? Your customer lifetime value? the number of sales that you have in a month? Your value matrix? Well, it is up to you!
Apart from setting your goals, it is also important to have that margin of success so you may be able to fully grasp the things that need improvement and things that you can retain.
9. Work on your ongoing budget
How will you be able to sustain your financial support for this product?
As mentioned earlier, getting out and about in the market is not the end of the road for your product. Of course, part of your go-to-market strategy should include the financial side.
You have to fill up your gas tank to get there. This means that you would need to have sustainable resources, funds, time, and creative juices to sustain the impact and even create more impact on a very competitive business market. Check out some ultimate marketing metrics for your strategy.
Go to the market equipped with the right tools!
Running a business and conducting a product launch does not have to feel like a battlefield!
Indeed, putting a product out there may feel like holding a line for many, but with the right tools, you’re more than equipped for the market.
Aside from having a solid go-to-market strategy plan, you will want to empower yourself with having the right tools that will not only help you get the job done but make you more efficient and ready for anything!
But looking at a market where there are many options, many software that offers this and that… how do you know which one is the right for you?
Well, for starters, you want something that will make you raise your productivity and efficiency. Not only that, but you also want the right features that will help you reach your customers better, attend to their queries, and provide the best experience that you can give.
All these features that you need without having to break your bank.
This is where Sloovi comes in.
With Sloovi being an all-around outreach platform, you’re sure that you can have a better and more organized sales cycle that will help automate all your dreaded tasks and sales activities.
Sloovi’s unified platform can help you overcome all your management difficulties, all while fostering better connections with your customers. This very powerful platform ensures that everything about your sales tasks is monitored and taken care of so you can focus on other avenues for growth and improvement.
With this feature-packed software, you can achieve having a seamless sales organization through the faster-paced decision making with broken silos and share in building a solid foundation of support for both your employees and your customers.
With Sloovi, you can ease the climb to your success. Try out Sloovi for yourself!