Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy should be one of the first projects you work through when developing your business plan. When you’re ready to present your business to the world, you should already have a plan in place that details how your product will be presented to your audience. Your plan needs to be clear on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, how you’re going to reach your market, and where you will promote it. This is how you begin to develop your GTM strategy.
A GTM strategy is “the way in which a company brings a product to market. 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” (Groschupf, 2020).
This is important to know because in the beginning, you are trying to find out if your business will be sustainable, so having a strategy in place will at least keep you on the right track with a process.
How to Begin
To begin developing your strategy, your business should be able to answer 4 questions:
- What are you selling?
- Who are you selling to?
- How will you reach your target market?
- Where will you promote your product?
Here’s a sample framework for a go-to-market strategy:
What are you selling?
In your business plan, you should have a good grasp of what product you will offer to your target market. Therefore, you should have NO problem entering that information into your strategy. You should know the specifics of your product including:
- Where do you have it manufactured?
- Is it patented or in the process of being patented?
- The story: how did you come up with the idea for the product?
Who are you selling to?
This is your target market. You should have a clearly defined buyer persona that details who you will market your product to. Make sure that you are thoroughly versed in your customer’s pain points, as these will be the primary way you want to construct the messaging geared towards them.
Understanding your buyer
All good marketing starts with an understanding of who the buyer is. The more you understand your prospects, the more targeted and cost-effective your marketing and advertising efforts become. The more you understand your customer, the better you can optimize your site for conversions. The sales cycle (more on that in a minute) becomes more efficient as you send higher qualified prospects into your sales pipeline.
Use the diagram below to really ask yourself “Do I know my customer?”
Now that you have discovered and realized your ideal customer is, you want to make sure you articulate the right message at the right time. Your sales strategy should ensure that this process goes off without a hitch.
How will you reach your target market?
You need a sales plan. Basically, it “lays out your objectives, high-level tactics, target audience, and potential obstacles. It’s like a traditional business plan but focuses specifically on your sales strategy. A business plan lays out your goals—a sales plan describes exactly how you’ll make those happen” (Hart, 2020).
To reach your target market, you must have a solid sales plan in place. With a sales strategy, you already know your process beforehand if you reach out to a customer and want to try to sign them on. Your plan should be etched in your brain so that there are no questions about what steps should be taken. In addition, you should also have a contingency plan in place just in case your initial idea doesn’t work out. Therefore, building out a step-by-step approach when prospecting is key.
- Outreach: Create a strategy that will allow you to explore only those leads that meet your initial qualifications? Establishing a set of parameters should be easy to do at this point because you’ve created a buyer persona in the previous section, so you should already know who will be most likely to buy your product.
- Inbound: In this strategy, your goal should be to create a plan that details how your team will connect with prospects that were targeted via inbound marketing methods such as email marketing, SEO, social media, or content marketing. In other words, those that responded to something that was distributed by your marketing team.
- Outbound: How will you deal with cold calling? Cold emailing? This is where you lay out those tactics and have a plan in place for dealing with them.
Where will you promote your product?
The last piece of the GTM is determining where you will advertise to the masses. Those customers you want will have to know you exist before you can get your product in their hands. To find them, however, you must go where they are. They won’t just fall in your lap. Ideally, these days, most marketing occurs on social media—that’s a new business’ first choice. Once there, they then use other digital marketing methods like email, display advertising, and SEO. Starting out, you might have to use them all just so the customer becomes familiar with you. So, the key is to test these different methods and see which ones work best for your business. From there, you simply “rinse and repeat”—if it works, continue to use it until it doesn’t work any more.
Sample GTM Strategy? Why, Of Course!
Now, let’s revisit our go-to-market strategy with some sample content entered:
Once you create a strategy, it’s easy to see the full picture of how you will make your debut to the world!
This is just the beginning
As with any business startup, this isn’t going to be your permanent strategy. In fact, it quite possibly can be considered outdated as soon as you release it, as the business landscape changes daily. As you become more familiar with efficient marketing methods and determining a good prospecting strategy, your initial plan will undoubtedly change, and you’ll happily adapt.
However, just make sure that you are aware that this is an important part of your overall business launch. Therefore, take the time out to create one, even if it’s basic. It will give you a great overview of where your business needs to go and the best course of action to take to get it there. Good luck!
Groschupf, S. (2020). The Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy. Retrieved 22 March 2020, from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/gtm-strategy
Hart, M. (2020). How to Create a Sales Plan: Guide + Template. Retrieved 22 March 2020, from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/ultimate-guide-creating-sales-plan