Creating a go-to-market strategy is one of the most important steps in any business. It’s the first step in building customer relationships, developing product ideas, and identifying market opportunities. However, it can be difficult to create a successful go-to-market strategy without help from an outside party. That’s where customer research comes in. Customer research can provide valuable insights that help you develop your go-to-market strategy.

What Is A Go-To-Market Strategy?

A new product or feature is introduced, advertised, and sold using a go-to-market (GTM) strategy. In order to effectively market and sell the new offering against any competitive forces, your business must first identify the target market (audience), their pain points, and how you can solve them.

Since each new launch should be focused on solving a particular issue, there is no one-size-fits-all GTM strategy. However, by implementing a larger strategy that includes the above-mentioned elements, you can establish general guidelines for what to look for and what to avoid. If done correctly, you should feel very confident that your launch will be successful and will be centered on whatever success metrics you choose (direct sales/downloads, customer acquisition, etc.).

Why Do You Need A Go-To-Market Strategy?

Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-market Strategy [+templates]

Even if you invest a lot of effort, time, money, and resources into developing a new product or service, your project could fail if your go-to-market strategy is poorly thought out.

Even some of the most well-known brands have had go-to-market failures. Consider Apple as an example. Before launching the revolutionary iPhone in the 1980s, Steve Jobs oversaw one of Apple’s biggest flops: the Apple Lisa computer.

Only 10,000 copies of Lisa were sold despite having some of the best graphic technology available at the time. Despite its weak processing power, Lisa’s deceptive advertisements and high price are blamed by critics for the failure.

While Steve Jobs and Apple were able to bounce back, smaller businesses may have much more to lose if they launch a product poorly. It’s critical to begin developing a go-to-market strategy as you create something new, one that is tailored to fit your budget and buyer persona.

The majority of errors and oversights that can ruin the launch of a new product can be avoided by developing a go-to-market strategy. Even if the product is well-designed and innovative, a launch can be hampered by poor product-market fit and oversaturation.

A go-to-market strategy can help you manage expectations and iron out any kinks before you invest in bringing a product to market, even though it can’t guarantee success. We have a free go-to-market strategy template that can help you create a plan that places your product in front of your target audience to assist you in this process.

What Every Successful Gtm Strategy Has In Common

Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-market Strategy [+templates]

Successful GTM strategies share four key components: product-market fit, a defined target audience, an understanding of the competitive demand, and a distribution channel. Let’s examine why they are so important.

Product-market fit

Your product or service must address a particular, identified problem before you launch it (or even begin development). Google, for instance, wasn’t even the first search engine on the market; however, the pre-existing solutions didn’t address relevance, frequently returning useless results.

By identifying important pages on a subject by looking at the number of backlinks they had, Google’s PageRank algorithm overcame the relevancy issue and was able to provide searchers with results that were more likely to lead them to the solution they were seeking.

Target audience

A target audience for your offering must exist, and it must be identified. Who is dealing with the issue you’ve determined to be your product-market fit? How severe is the pain they feel with the current solutions? Are they willing to pay to alleviate those problems, and if so, how much? You can successfully package, price, market, and sell your new offering to potential customers by asking these questions.

Competitive demand

Exist any other businesses that offer solutions to the same issue that your product seeks to address? Who are they selling to and marketing to? Is there still a market for your product, or has it reached saturation point?

Once more, being a late entrant into a field does not automatically rule out the possibility of making a splash or even having a competitive advantage. Your competitors can teach you what errors to avoid (Did they price too high? too little Target too narrow or too broad of an audience? ), and how to repeat success, particularly if your product or service is noticeably superior to the competition’s (like Google’s search engine).

Distribution

Establish your sales and marketing strategy. On your website, are direct sales possible? via a marketplace operated by a third party? Resellers? Can you set up a self-service motion or do you need a lead generation component? You can better price and package your offering to enable maximum monetization by asking yourself these questions.

How To Build A Go-To-Market Strategy

Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-market Strategy [+templates]
  1. Determine the personas and the buying center.

As cliche as it may sound, the first step in putting your product on the market is to think about your customer.

Six to ten decision-makers typically make up a buying group for a complex B2B solution, according to Gartner. The “buying center” is made up of these people.

Although it’s important to keep in mind that some job titles may fill more than one role, each of those buyers typically fulfills one of the following roles:

  • Starts the purchasing process or expresses initial interest.
  • User: Consistently employs your product
  • Influencer: Persuades people that a product is necessary
  • Final decision-maker who approves the transaction
  • Owner of the budget; buyer
  • Approver: The person who gives the initiative final approval and drives it forward (typically someone in the C-suite)
  • A gatekeeper is a person who prevents a product from being used or approved.

Depending on the product, sector, and vertical you’re selling to, these roles change. Gather your team and discuss the various job titles that your solution might affect.

Investigate each position to get a general understanding of what they do, their objectives, and their weak points. Since they will be the ones to popularize your product, it is imperative to understand who these people are, what drives them, and what issues they face.

  1. Create a value matrix to aid in messaging identification.

It’s time to map out your value matrix after mapping the personas for your buying center.

Each buying center persona, their business issues, and how valuable your product is in resolving those issues are broken down in a value matrix.

A pertinent marketing message connecting the problem and solution will also be included in the value matrix.

Make a chart with one column for each persona. List the daily pain points that each persona experiences below. Include them in a row below if your product can alleviate or resolve any of these issues.

Finally, the message must effectively convey both the value and the pain point. Agitating the pain point is the most effective way to accomplish this. While most people will take a pain reliever to treat a headache, they are much less likely to take a daily vitamin to avoid the pain altogether. Your product’s value should be in relieving the suffering, not in acting as a vitamin.

  1. Test your messaging.

After establishing your value matrix, it’s time to test your messaging. Utilizing the messages you’ve just created for various audience members, begin marketing on social media platforms.

The channel on which you advertise, the audience you aim for, and the message you convey will be the three variables you will test.

Think about where your audience is before deciding where to test. LinkedIn, Google Ads, Facebook, and Twitter are potential paid digital ad channels. Test different channels, then keep advertising on the ones that convert well. And stop spending money on channels with poor conversion rates.

  1. Before putting your ads into widespread use, optimize them based on the findings of your tests.

Optimize your audience next. Some ad platforms offer advertisers settings for highly targeted audiences. For instance, LinkedIn provides options for company size, location, and job title and function. To determine who is more likely to click or convert, test various options.

For instance, we noticed that certain industries received a lot of clicks, so we started targeting and using our ad budget to concentrate on those few industries on LinkedIn. Spending money where you’ll get the best return on investment is the key in this situation.

Additionally, you’ll test your message to determine which iterations are most effective with your audience. Your ads’ engagement and conversion rates will show you which value propositions and pain points are most effective.

After gathering this data, you can use the successful insights to inform your larger campaigns.

Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-market Strategy [+templates]
  1. Recognize the buying process.

After developing your personas and value matrix, go deeper to comprehend the path a potential customer will take, both from the buyer’s and your company’s perspectives.

From your customer’s viewpoint, the purchasing process is straightforward. It will essentially go as follows:

  • After realizing they have a problem, the buyer does some research.
  • The buyer narrows down the options.
  • Before making a choice, that list is whittled down by speaking with sales teams from the solution provider and testing product use cases.

From a business standpoint, the buyer’s journey used to resemble a funnel. The top of the conventional sales funnel has a high level of general interest. As opportunities come off the pipeline, it gradually gets smaller.

From a business standpoint, the buyer’s journey used to resemble a funnel. The top of the conventional sales funnel has a high level of general interest. As opportunities come off the pipeline, it gradually gets smaller.

  1. Select from the four most popular sales strategies.

You’ve completed all the necessary groundwork; the next step is to choose a plan of action to introduce your product to the market. It’s critical to take into account your method’s complexity, scalability, and cost because no single approach will be effective for every product or market.

Typically, there are four go-to-market sales strategies, each of which is tailored to a particular product and business model.

The Self-Service model

When a customer makes an independent purchase, it is considered self-service. This business-to-consumer model is frequently used when a customer can discover and purchase a product online from a website like Netflix or Amazon.

Simple products with a low price point and high sales volumes are the best candidates for this. It’s challenging to build, but when it does, it has a quick sales cycle, requires no upfront investment to hire salespeople, and is very profitable.

You won’t need a sales team, but you will need a marketing team to promote your website and increase conversions. Experts in growth marketing, performance marketing, and content marketing would likely make up the core marketing team, though there may also be other team members.

The Inside Sales Business Model

The inside sales business model is used when a sales representative must develop a prospect before a deal can be closed. With a product of moderate complexity and cost, this kind of model performs best.

The length of the sales cycle varies from a few weeks to a few months. In this case, you’ll invest in a sales team, but inside sales representatives are less expensive than field representatives.

This model is fairly simple to build and scale as you add more team members, and it has the potential to be profitable with high sales volumes. In this model, the sales team is typically made up of a sales manager and a small number of representatives.

The Business Model for Field Sales

When you have a complete sales organization that closes big business deals, that is the field sales business model. These are frequently complicated products with high price tags, which also means that there are frequently few deals and a lengthy sales cycle.

Due to the high salaries and experience of the field reps, the sales team in this model is frequently very expensive. Because it costs time and money to recruit and train a full sales organization, this model is simple to create but more challenging to scale.

A sales manager, field representatives, sales engineers, a team of sales development representatives (SDR), and sales operations are among the group’s members.

The Channel Model

Finally, in the channel model, a third party partner or agency sells your product on your behalf. Building this is challenging because it can be challenging to find and educate potential employees about the advantages of your product. They frequently have lower sales motivation than your own sales team would.

However, because you don’t have to pay for your own sales team, this model is inexpensive. It functions best when the product aligns with the partner’s interests. For instance, if you sell phone cases, you might want to partner with companies like Best Buy or Apple that sell comparable goods.

Depending on the industry or size of your clientele, you can combine and match these techniques (i.e., number of licenses or seats). Instead of investing in an expensive sales team too soon, it is better for startups to scale over time.

Proven Process for Developing a Go-to-market Strategy [+templates]
  1. Use inbound and/or outbound techniques to increase brand recognition and demand generation.

Now you must attract the interest of your target market in order to fill your pipeline. Demand generation, which can be accomplished through both inbound and outbound tactics, is how this happens.

With inbound, customers find your brand through marketing initiatives and contact you or express interest in you on their own volition. Social media, content, or paid advertisements that lead to a landing page are a few examples of channels that generate organic inbound traffic.

When a salesperson makes a cold outreach contact with a lead, this is known as outbound demand generation. They might accomplish this by contacting a contact list, sending friendly emails, calling leads, or gathering leads at trade shows.

After generating interest using these techniques, sales conversations start, and the leads are guided to additional educational content before entering the sales funnel.

  1. Produce content to attract inbound prospects.

In general, inbound leads are less expensive to acquire and easier to convert than outbound leads. This is because inbound leads are more likely to be interested in purchasing your product because they are already somewhat informed about the business problem you solve.

The secret to creating that inbound interest is content marketing, which will bring visitors to your website.

By identifying and targeting keywords that your potential customers would use to search for your products or services, your content marketing team will increase the amount of inbound traffic to your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO), which is how a search engine ranks the content on the internet after a query is entered into the search bar, is at the heart of content marketing. This will contribute significantly to your organic website traffic.

How is content marketing carried out? The process of keyword research, creation, and evaluation is circular.

  • Identify keywords that are relevant to your product, evaluate their volume (how frequently people search for that keyword), their difficulty to rank for (i.e., how competitive that keyword is), and discover who is already ranked for those keywords.
  • Create a list of possible content topics incorporating that keyword. Look for existing articles on these subjects to help you plan your content calendar.
  • Put those concepts into action by commissioning a writer to write articles about those subjects.
  • Design: Make your content more visually appealing and engaging by including pertinent photos, infographics, videos, and other multimedia.
  • Promote: Distribute your content and increase website traffic by sending emails to your customer database or posting links on social media.
  • Build links: Get in touch with other publishers and ask them to link to your content in order to increase traffic. You gain site authority as a result, which raises your SEO rankings.
  • Conversion rate: Monitor and evaluate your content’s engagement and conversion rates. Drop what doesn’t work and continue with what does. Restart the cycle of content creation after that.

Conclusion

A go-to-market strategy is important for any business. By understanding your industry and getting ready for market opportunities, you can build a successful go-to-market strategy. Use analytical tools to help you plan your investment and stay familiar with your markets. Always keep in mind the importance of having a timeline for developing your strategy and making sure that your investment is worth it. Thanks for reading!

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