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Running a business

Go-to-market strategy template for your next product

What is a go-to-market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a plan for launching new products and services, considering factors like pricing, distribution channels, and unique selling propositions.

A profitable business relies on several elements working in harmony, including your go-to-market (GTM) strategy. A well-planned go-to-market strategy is an important component of your overall marketing strategy. In addition to shortening the time to market, it also helps your business grow, defines project profitability, and minimizes costs. 

Use this go-to-market strategy template to help your overall marketing plan and create a useful strategy for your next product launch.

Go-to-market strategy benefits

Crafting a go-to-market strategy before launching a new product or service is essential for your success in the market. This plan focuses on the market you’re entering and how your product or service will fit into it. 

Here are some benefits of creating a go-to-market strategy: 

  • Helps you understand the market: You’ll know your market and the best way to sell to them. 
  • Gives you tools to succeed: It will bring brand awareness and customer loyalty by understanding your market’s pain points. 
  • Cuts down the time it takes to get your product in the market: It will let you prioritize tasks and focus on what’s essential.
  • Allows you to overcome challenges: You’ll be able to know what does and doesn’t work and understand how you can improve your product or service to better fit the market. 
  • Position yourself in the market: You’ll find unique opportunities to position yourself and differentiate from competitors. 

The go-to-market strategy isn’t a one size fits all plan, but it guides you through a research process to understand how to increase your chances of success—even if it means tweaking it multiple times. 

Types of go-to-market strategies

When building a go-to-market strategy, there are two main ways to approach it. These strategies will depend on the goals you want to achieve with your go-to-market strategy.

The difference between a sales-led and a product-led go-to-market strategy.

The two types of go-to-market strategies are: 

  • Sales-led: Focuses on acquiring customers through a sales team. This strategy works best for businesses with a high budget for sales and that want to pursue aggressive growth. 
  • Product-led: Focuses on acquiring customers through the product itself by making it the center of your marketing strategy. This strategy works best for less complex products and for businesses that want to spend time on research. 

You may also choose a hybrid strategy combining both approaches, which can give flexibility to your strategy and diversify your customer acquisition. 

How to create a go-to-market strategy (+ template)

As a small business owner ready to launch your next product, it’s important to understand how to create and guide yourself through the go-to-market strategy plan. Here are seven steps in crafting a GTM strategy that will lead to a successful product launch.

The steps of how to create a go-to-market strategy.

1. Start with a template

There are many essential parts of a go-to-market strategy, and starting with a blank page requires more work. Consider using a go-to-market strategy template to guide you through the process, which will include the three main parts of a GMT strategy: 

  • Market intelligence: Helps you understand your market and guides your research and marketing efforts. 
  • Market segmentation: This allows you to identify your target audience to understand their pain points. 
  • Product strategy: Identifies the solutions your product or service will provide and what you can offer to the market. 

Each component builds on each other to help you start crafting your strategy one step at a time. After all, you can’t identify how your product solves a problem without knowing your market. 

A go-to-market strategy template will help you stay on track and keep everyone on your team aligned with the goals.

2. Define the market

Before crafting a successful go-to-market strategy, you need to first define your target audience. Research your ideal customer for your new product with market segmentation, a marketing strategy that helps you identify which product is appropriate for each group of people. 

Then you can build buyer personas by identifying: 

  • Their age
  • Where they live
  • What jobs they hold
  • What spending power they have
  • What’s an urgent and important problem they have

Next, determine whether those customers are already part of your customer base or whether you have yet to reach them. If you need to discover new customers, you’ll also need to determine how to reach them. 

Also, consider what your competitors are offering and which market they are targeting, and figure out how you can differentiate from them. 

3. Identify your value proposition

The next step is to identify your value proposition—also known as your unique selling proposition. This is what you promise to deliver to your customers and how you’re going to solve their problems.  

To find your value proposition, first assess the benefits of your product or service, then determine the possible solutions that those advantages offer your target market.

The goal in defining your value proposition is to think like the customer. Ask yourself what problems or challenges in your life need solving. Once you do this, you can figure out how customers will use your products to meet their needs, and you can align your marketing efforts accordingly.

4. Build your product strategy

Another important part of your go-to-market strategy involves identifying which products to sell and determining how you will position your brand. In most cases, you’ll want to create a unique product strategy for every one of your target markets. 

When building your product strategy, consider:

  • Building a pricing strategy
  • Setting promotions 
  • Specifying bundling plans. 
  • Differentiating from your competitors

Remember, your strategies may need to shift based on customer reactions. You want to stay in tune with their reactions to make small adjustments to the go-to-market strategy as needed. For example, you can monitor social media to help gauge customer reactions to a new product or service. 

5. Determine your channels

The next step is to identify your ideal marketing channels. Marketing channels are the places where you promote and sell your products. Once you determine your target market, you can identify where this group tends to shop. 

Some examples of channels include:

Your marketing channels will vary based on your target market. Whatever channel you select, it’s important to put sufficient time into developing your brand and ensuring it’s consistent. The goal is for customers to have consistent experiences no matter where and when they purchase your goods.

6. Consider your messaging

If you’re looking to get the word out about your new product or service, you may want to consider crafting an external marketing plan. External marketing can increase the likelihood of customers hearing about your product.

You’ll want to ensure your message is consistent across your external marketing content. One of the best ways to do so is to identify who you are as a brand and ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are you? 
  • What language would you use to describe your company and your new product? 
  • How will you ensure your new product is consistent with your current brand?

You may need print or online ads to begin garnering attention for your new product. Besides market research, marketing will likely make up much of your go-to-market strategy.

7. Test and measure your strategy

Determining the objectives of your go-to-market strategy before launch will make it easier to measure success down the line. Once you launch your product, measure the effectiveness of your strategy and find areas for improvement. 

You can, for example, start small by targeting one marketing channel and getting customer feedback. Then, you can optimize your strategy to focus on what works for your business and product. 

Creating an incredible product is only the first step. A successful company finds ways of putting its goods into the hands of its target audiences. By considering all the elements of your go-to-market strategy—including who you will target and how and where you will reach these individuals—you can give your business the best chance of going the distance.

Best practices when creating a go-to-market strategy 

Creating a go-to-market strategy requires a lot of time and research. But when you do it right, it can lead to a successful product launch and help your business grow. 

Here are some best practices to follow when implementing a go-to-market strategy: 

  • Support your current customers: Prepare to support current customers after a product launch and help troubleshoot issues. Providing effective support is an excellent way to keep customers happy.
  • Improve your strategy as you go: Consistently keep track of your product or service’s performance, and find ways to optimize it. Understand what’s blocking customers from purchasing or even looki at new markets. 
  • Strengthen customer relationships: Keep your current customers by nurturing your relationships with them. Provide stellar support and personalized experiences, and solve their problems. 
  • Minimize costs: Find cheaper ways to bring in new customers to minimize costs. Consider different advertising channels and focus on organic traffic. 

It’s important to keep in mind that using a go-to marketing strategy doesn’t necessarily mean your product or service will succeed in the market. You have to test and improve your strategy to lead you to the right market and strategy. 

Run your business with confidence

Using a go-to-market strategy template and taking the time to craft it could increase the likelihood of success when introducing a new product or service to your business model. 

To keep track of your business profits and expenses, you’re going to want reliable financial software. QuickBooks helps you streamline your business’s finances and keep everything connected in one place.

Request payments and get paid up to 4x faster with QuickBooks.

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