Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy
Go-to-market strategy is the plan of an organization with the aim to deliver its unique value proposition to customers and achieve a competitive advantage. It generally includes a business plan outlining the target audience, marketing plan, and sales strategy. Each product and market are different, therefore each GTM strategy should be thoroughly thought out, mapping a market problem and solution a product offers.
Why is it important to have a Go-to-Market Strategy?
There is a mindset prevalent that if a company is having a business plan, it is more than enough to have an edge over the competitors and have a multifold increase in business, but it is not possible without a GTM Strategy.
Even though GTM may sound like a business plan, they are different in many aspects. A business plan is broader in scope and considers every aspect of a business, while a go-to-market strategy is focused specifically on delivering a product or service to an end customer.
A GTM plan is a blueprint of how the product or services are going to be delivered to the ultimate customer. GTM has complete details on the expected working model including the strategy to be adopted for the different market segments including an advertisement, pricing, distribution and scenario mapping. Mostly GTM is useful during product launches as it helps to understand the requirements of the customers and provides an opportunity to develop needs and create a new market for innovative products or services.
How to develop a Go-to-Market strategy?
Define your target markets: Before stretching on services you want to offer, it is better to first understand that your solution is focussed on solving the problems that exist in the market. Growth, geographic location, existing client base are all examples of important considerations that go into selecting markets. Secondary research on market size, growth and dynamics can be very helpful here.
Identify personas of your target clients: Within a broad market, there is typically a wide range of clients. Which segment are you likely to add the most value to? Which segments are most likely to be a good fit for your firm? These are your target clients. Identifying the personas of your clients will help you better understand the pain points of your customers and deliver a high-value product. Research each role to get a general sense of what they do, their goals, and their pain points. It’s critical to learn who these people are, what motivates them, and what their problems are, as they will be the ones to put your product on the map.
Craft a value matrix to help identify messaging: A value matrix is a breakdown of each buying center persona, their business problems, how your product is valuable in solving those problems, and a relevant marketing message tying the problem and solution together.
Once your value matrix is in place, it’s time to test your messaging. Start advertising on marketing platforms using the messages you’ve just created for various audience members.
Understand your buyer’s journey: With your personas and value matrix built, dive deeper to understand the journey a potential customer will take, both from the buyer’s perspective and from the perspective of your company.
From the customer perspective, the buying process is linear:
- The buyer realizes they have a business problem and research the topic
- The buyer shortlists potential solutions
- That list is narrowed down by talking to sales teams from the solution provider and by testing product use cases until a decision is made.
From a business perspective, a buyer's journey is a funnel in which there is a lot of general interest at the top which gradually narrows down as opportunities fall out of the pipeline. This journey can be divided into three sections:
Top of the funnel is the blog and integration listings which leads to the home page containing videos and testimonials to get attention.
Middle of the funnel is live chat, demos, ebooks, webinars for getting consideration.
Bottom of the funnel is the trial, educational emails, one to one product walk-throughs and pricing quotes to get to a sale.
Build your brand in the marketplace: Now you need to fill your pipeline by snagging the attention of your target audience. How do you want your firm to be seen in comparison to your competitors? Do you want to be an innovator? the thought leader? the low price alternative?
Each of these alternatives would, of course, be very different market positioning. For example, if you are trying to reach young, innovative firms, your positioning, and services mix should align with that focus. Young, innovative and exciting.
Define your service offerings: Most firms start here and search for the right target audience. That’s a mistake. The services you offer should flow from the target and positioning, not the other way around.
What services speak to the unique needs of the niche you have decided to focus on? How do these offerings reinforce your positioning? If you are positioning yourself as innovative, are your services truly innovative? Be honest.
If you are positioning yourself as a low-cost alternative, do you have high-value, low-cost services that are not available elsewhere within your market? Be careful not to paint yourself into a corner with a low-price GTM strategy. That could come back to bite you when you want or need to raise prices.
Develop a marketing and sales strategy: Just as your service offerings should deliver on your brand promise, it's time to develop a marketing approach that aligns with your target clients’ preferences. A marketing campaign that speaks their language and specifically addresses their “pains” will be far more effective in reaching and motivating them.
That means you should be discussing the issues that are important to your target clients. Your guest articles should be in publications they read and your speaking engagements at events they attend. Your blog posts should feature keywords they are likely to search for.
Coming to the sales process, develop a sales strategy that is focussed on optimizing your pipelines and increasing conversion rates. Growth requires more than simply picking a sales strategy and building a demand generation process. You must optimize. Track how long your sales cycle is and analyze to shorten the cycle.
Benefits of Go-to-Market Strategy:
- Reduce time to market
- Increase ability to adapt to change
- Manage innovation challenges
- Ensure effective customer experience
- Ensure regulatory compliance
- Ensure a successful product launch
- Avoid the wrong path
- Establish a path for growth