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Go-To-Market Strategy: Key Elements & Steps [Full Guide]

Steven Goh

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Developing a thorough Go-to-market (GTM) strategy is essential for launching a product into a market, it can be a new product in an existing market, an existing product in a new market, or testing a new product’s market. Though unique solutions/products are made, bringing them to the market may be even more challenging.

Without thorough planning, it’s hard to tell if you are targeting the wrong audience or a market that’s oversaturated with similar products. In order to avoid those potentially disastrous hiccups and roadblocks, you need to create a well-thought-out and effective GTM plan. Don’t worry, more often than not, this process is not that difficult.

In this article, you’ll learn how to plan and execute effective GTM strategies for transformative growth.

What is a Go To Market Strategy?

A Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy is a comprehensive plan that details how a company will launch a new product or an existing product in a new market. It aims at providing the tactics needed for delivering goods or services to the end users while considering factors like price and distribution.

With a GTM strategy, you can effectively develop your product and fulfill market demands by keeping important business units aligned on the same plan. The GTM strategy is short-term and involves thorough research and planning. It is important to understand that it’s not exclusive to physical products.

Businesses can employ GTM strategies for various events, such as launching or relaunching a product or service. The GTM strategy enables businesses to understand why they are launching a product, and for whom, and develop a strategy for connecting with and persuading customers to purchase its goods or services.

Why do you need a Go To Market Strategy?

Even if you invest a lot of effort, time, and money into developing a new product or service, it may fail if your GTM strategy is poorly planned. In addition to launching your product successfully, GTM strategies will help you:

  • Build more brand awareness
  • Increase growth potential
  • Reduce costs
  • Understand the market
  • Reduce time to market
  • Understand the business mission

7 Steps to Build a Go To Market Strategy

The key elements required to build a successful GTM strategy include:

  • Define Target Segment
  • Competition & Demand Analysis
  • Value Proposition
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Market & Sales Strategy
  • Sales & Distribution Channel
  • Positioning & Performance
Steps to Build an Effective Go-To-Market Strategy
Steps to Build an Effective Go-To-Market Strategy

Let’s discuss how to execute each step below

1. Define Target Segment:

Knowing and understanding your target segment will guide your marketing strategy and the measures you take before, during, and after the launch. The fact that not everyone will be interested in your product may sting a bit, but everyone can’t be your target market. Targeting people or businesses who are not interested in what you’re selling will make you lose those who are interested and end up selling to no one. Below are the guides that’ll help you define your target segment:

a. Establish Target Segment:

Dividing your potential customers into segments will help you focus on the group of people or businesses that closely align with your products or services so you can better connect to their needs in order to attract new sales.

There are two major categories of the market: business and consumer. You need to know if your product or service is for a business sector or an individual buyer.

Market segmentation will help you understand your target customer base, for example, demographics help the B2C (Business-to-Consumer) and C2C (Customer-to-Customer) sectors while firmographics focuses on the business or industry (B2C/B2B) sectors.

b. Identify Buyer Persona:

After defining your target segment, you need to analyze their characters/attributes. Each person in your target audience is a distinct individual with their own values and ambitions. To better understand your customers on a human level, you can distinguish between the different types of people who make up your target audience by creating buyer personas.

Buyer personas may seem similar to an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), but they perform a different function. Personas help you understand who the decision makers of your products are, their designation, and the influencers of your product or services while ICP shows you the consumer who uses your product regularly, the buyer who owns the budget, the approver who pushes the initiative on a larger scale, and the gatekeeper who's stopping the purchase.

Build and grow your business with an exhaustive list of prospects and ideal customer profile constraints.

c. Ways to Identify Target Audience

Quality data is crucial. The lead generation method is the main way of data acquisition. There are many methods to find good B2B/B2C leads – outsourcing data is one of them. The challenges of leads include - poor data quality, targeting a wide range of people, and targeting the wrong people.

Acquiring data from excellent data providers like Proxycurl gets you up-to-date quality B2B/B2C leads, and aids you towards data-driven prospecting with lots of benefits. Lead generation also helps with other marketing tactics and competitor studies which we will study below.

2. Competition & Demand Analysis:

It’s crucial to understand the competition and demand for your product or service in the market. Before introducing your product to the market, you want to make sure that there’s enough demand and not too much competition. Below are the steps to analyze your product’s competition and demand.

a. Research competitors:

It is important to know and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Performing a competitor study on the competitors in your target space will help guide you on how to introduce your product to the market. You can identify and track prospective founders to get more insights on your competitors.

b. Identify Demand:

Identify the market gap that you can fill before launching your product in the market. There is a need to know if there’s demand for your product and the percentage of people interested in it. Also, you need to know if your product is still relevant in the presence of your competitors. For example, there’s a market for printing your own t-shirts using online tools, but you’ll need something unique to set your business apart. Otherwise, your competitors will overshadow you.

b. Analyze Product-Market Fit:

Performing data analysis or market research will help you analyze your product-market fit. You can conduct a market survey to know the number of people who need or are interested in your product but it’s also important to understand that demand is not always easy to determine.

3. Value Proposition:

The main focus of your market strategy should be your market value not just its features. What value would a customer gain from making a purchase and why should he use your product or service? Establishing your value proposition and creating value for your customers when they make a purchase will help you create better messaging.

Value Proposition Canvas
Value Proposition Canvas Template

a. Craft your business model:

Creating a successful business model is essential for every business. Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding into a new market, it’s essential to document your idea and create a business model like lean canvas.

A lean canvas is a one-page business plan template that helps you break down your idea into its fundamental concepts. It was created by Ash Maurya and it’s suitable for most product ideas at an early stage.

Lean Canva Model
Lean Canva Model Template

b. Establish your USP:

A USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is what makes your business stand out from its competitors. Your USP may be your safety features, customer service, speed, or customization. It is generally a particular feature that your business does better than anyone else in your market.

There’s a need for every business to have a USP. This is what makes you stand out from every other competitor.

4. Pricing Strategy:

Pricing is a business decision. It affects many aspects of your business and sends different messages to your potential customers. For example, it tells your customer how valuable your product is. Sometimes, customers can see lower-priced products as inferior. Your price tag should be worth your product’s quality and pricing should match its quality.

Also, your price tag should be in sync with that of your competitors, for example, if your product’s price is part of your USP, you may want to undercut the competition. If you prioritize quality over price, you may want to charge more than your competition in order to gain a competitive advantage.

5. Market Strategy:

This is all about how you will market your products and the processes involved. Below are important ways to market your products.

a. Define content and lead-gen method:

This is a strategic method aiming to create and distribute interesting, engaging, and relevant content to attract and create leads from a predefined buyer persona.

Your business messaging needs to be developed to communicate the value of your product or service and your ICP to resonate with their pain points. There’s a need for your ads to have an emotional touch. Marketing strategies should focus on ways to generate leads, for example, signing up to get a free Ebook.

b. Optimize website and marketing platforms:

Websites and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. are generally, the best medium through which you can reach out to your potential customers.

Establish yourself on social media platforms, perform SEO/SEM for your website, post content regularly, and work on increasing organic traffic.

c. Invest in promotions:

Utilize paid promotional methods for better booster reach. Optimize and customize your ad copy based on your customer preference. Also, follow the trend, and make good use of public holidays and festivals. For example, create an ad copy to wish your customers a happy new year.

6. Sales & Distribution Channel:

a. Distribution Channel:

This is the channel through which products or services reach customers. If you have a physical product, how do you plan on getting to your customers? Can your customers download your products directly from you? Or is it on a third-party website?

You can interact with your customer through the distribution channel. For example, social media, websites, etc.

b. Choose your Sales Strategy:

How will you position yourself in order to sell your product? Where can your customers purchase your product and what are your revenue generation plans?

Studying your competitors will help you build faster than when you’re developing in a vacuum and also help you understand how to sell your products and replenish resources based on their demands.

7. Positioning & Performance:

a. Set Metrics & Monitor Performance:

It’s necessary to monitor the performance of your product in the market. Your success is not complete without the metrics that define it. Some of the metrics used for monitoring performance include

  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Cost per dollar of sales expense
  • Closing/ conversion rate
  • Length of the sales cycle

The above-listed metrics will help you understand how sales are going in a particular location, improvise what is lacking and measure your success.

b. Determine ongoing budget & resources

Create a budget and take everything into account, including employees, R&D, warehousing, and marketing as well as product development (if applicable). Prioritize and utilize the budget rightfully.

c. Retain & delight customers:

Hold onto your customers with offers, rewards, and big-day sales. You need to be in constant communication with your customers via emails or newsletters.

Essentials for a winning Go-to-Market Strategy

Some of the essentials required to create a winning GTM strategy include:

Essentials for a winning Go-To-Market Strategy
Essentials for a winning Go-To-Market Strategy

Establishing branding

Build your brand, and tell your customers who and what your business is about.

Creating awareness

Advertising your products or services will bring more traffic to your products.

Maximizing market share

A number of strategies can be implemented to maximize market share, for example, building and solidifying customer loyalty, deploying effective marketing, etc. Check out new markets, they may be better markets for your products.

Outperforming competitors

Every competitor has a weak point, always find a way to do better than your competitors.

Strengthening brand positioning

Understand your competitors' brand positioning, compare and create a better one for your brand.

Reducing costs and optimizing profits

Purchase only when necessary, review all expenses and costs and embrace technology.

Syncing with support

Make sure your support team is prepared for whatever is coming their way.

Understanding the buyer’s journey:

This will enable you to customize your marketing materials and engage your target audience.

Target the right audience and narrow down your target segment by being specific as possible.

The above steps will help your business grow faster.

Aim to Outstand the Crowd

Who are you targeting? What are you offering and why should you be chosen? The answers to these questions will help you outstand the crowd and your competitors.

It’s difficult to launch a product, make sure you use the right tool, for example, Proxycurl. In every step, data is the key to getting your customer’s information. Proxycurl has over 117 Million people profiles and business profiles which you can use to identify your buyer persona, market your product or service as well as study your competitors.

Proxycurl offers you fresh data to help you comprehend your customer and competitor. You can choose your customer segment, and get email Ids from various people around the world to publicize your product/service and tailor your email campaigns. Partnering with excellent data providers is a one-stop solution to get extensive data, which reduces your resources and time to identify what it takes to identify potential leads.

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Steven Goh

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