When you prepare to launch a new product or expand into a new market, you want to ensure you launch to the right audience with the right message at the right time and place. That’s a lot to get right and to get it right you need a well-informed plan to help you set up your product launch for success. We call this plan a go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
What Is a GTM Strategy?
A GTM strategy is a detailed plan for introducing a new product to the market or taking an already successful product into a new market. It aims to set your product up for success by answering the following questions:
- What unique problem does your product solve for the consumer?
- Who is your target audience and your ideal customer? What are their specific challenges and pain points?
- Where will you sell your product and what competitors are already in the space?
- How do you aim to get your offering in front of potential customers? How will you reach them?
What’s essential to remember is that a good product at an affordable price is not enough to ensure success.
You need to answer these questions thoroughly to inform a strategy that crafts your niche within the market.
Why Do You Need a GTM Strategy?
A GTM strategy minimises the risk of costly mistakes like marketing your product to the wrong audience, targeting an oversaturated market, or using messaging that doesn’t identify consumer problems.
With a GTM strategy identifying an optimum position in the market in relation to competitors, you give yourself the best chance of achieving business goals.
6 Steps to Building a Successful GTM Strategy
Once you have developed a new product and are excited about bringing it to market. You should follow a step-by-step process before launching.
1. Define the Challenge
All good products provide a solution to a consumer challenge or problem. You should be able to state how your product or service solves problems for your target audience.
This is called your product’s value proposition.
Knowing this from the outset will help you understand the demand for your product so you can strategise accordingly.
2. Develop an Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Personas
Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a comprehensive description of your perfect customer. An ICP drills down into the specifics of someone who is frustrated by the problems that your product solves.
However, not all customers are the same. You may distinguish between the many types of people in your target audience by creating buyer personas, which enables you to humanise your potential customers.
The purpose of your ICP and buyer personas is to better understand the people who may buy your product. You need to identify:
- Demographic, for example their age range
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- What do they care about?
- What is their budget?
The more you know about your target audience, the better you can market a product to them by tailoring your GTM strategy to them.
3. Competitor Research
No business or product exists in a vacuum. Your GTM strategy must take into account that there are other businesses competing for the attention of your audience.
To take this into account you need to build a picture of the market you are entering to help work out where you can place your product. You can do this by:
- Researching what resonates with the audience about competitor offerings and what are customer frustrations with what is currently available.
- Finding out what kind of messaging your competitors use to communicate their brand and product story?
Again, this information-gathering exercise will help inform your decision-making regarding pricing, messaging, promotional channels etc.
4. Develop Messaging
Armed with information about your target audience and what your competitors are doing, you need to develop branded messaging around your product.
Clear, consistent messaging across all touchpoints is vital. This consistency means you communicate how your product solves a customer’s pain points with the same brand voice for every interaction.
However, you also need to build an emotional connection with messaging that truly resonates with the audience.
Customers make purchasing decisions based on emotions rather than logic. This is where all your efforts to create an ICP and buyer personas will help you use language that speaks to your audience and builds that relationship.
You may need to develop this messaging over time with A/B testing to see what call-to-actions (CTAs) lead to the best conversion rates for your product or service.
5. Map Out the Customer Journey
You must visualise the path customers take from realising their problem, being aware of your product as a solution, considering it, and finally deciding to purchase.
That’s because your GTM strategy needs to account for providing valuable content to customers wherever they are on this journey – the right content at the right time – to help guide them toward your product. For example, you need attention-grabbing content for those who aren’t aware of your product. Yet, for those who are aware of your product, you need content that establishes your product as the best option.
6. Set Targets to Measure Success
With goals, you have precise objectives to work toward, a deadline, and a means of tracking your progress. Without specific objectives, it's difficult to determine whether your strategy is effective. There are various models for measuring marketing success, and which path you choose depends on your business context and preference.
One such model you could consider are SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
SMART Goal: In six months, you need to grow monthly subscriptions by 20%.
You have a specific, measurable aim within a time frame. Whether it's achievable and realistic will depend on your market sector and previous performance.
Off the back of your SMART goals, you should measure quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs) like the number of conversions, total sales, ad click-throughs etc. This will build a picture of whether you’re meeting your SMART goals and what areas may be letting you down.
Your GTM Strategy
Remember that your GTM strategy is an integral step to give your product the best possible chance of success. It is vital because it helps identify aspects of the market and the audience that will help you customise your marketing efforts.
The research and preparation necessary are all part of growing a healthy, prosperous business. You can find more business advice on our QuickBooks small business blog.
What is a product-led go-to-market strategy?
In a product-led GTM, the product itself serves as the main marketing asset. The product offers so much value that it almost acts as its own salesperson.
What is a sales-led go-to-market strategy?
A sales-led go-to-market strategy relies on sales professionals as key drivers of business growth. It focuses on their responsibility to communicate product benefits to prospective clients. B2B sales teams often have sales-led GTMs.
What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a go-to-market strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a time-specific plan driven by a particular product. A marketing strategy is broader in that it details the longer-term objectives of the whole organisation. If you are a startup marketing your first product, there is considerable crossover between a GTM and a marketing strategy since you need to establish the brand alongside your first product.