In business and marketing, you’ll often hear that building a go-to-market (GTM) strategy is integral for a new product’s success. That’s because it’s true.
Having a robust GTM framework to rely upon can save you a lot of trouble when entering new markets, launching a new product, or rebranding your company. It provides your team with guidelines on how to stand out from the competition, how to approach the customer, what marketing messages to use, and, ultimately, how to market the product in order to win over the audience.
However, building a go-to-market strategy and taking full advantage of it are two different things. In this article, we are talking about how to best use the GTM strategy framework to skyrocket your product’s success.
Read on and take notes!
What Is a Go-to-Market Strategy?
For a product to be a success, there needs to be an audience of people willing to pay for it, and it has to reach this audience, make an impression, and deliver on it.
Simply put, a go-to-market strategy is a blueprint of how a company achieves this.
It represents both a framework and a plan that inform and enable the company’s sales and marketing efforts and set a main course of action. Furthermore, the GTM strategy populates a list of alternative scenarios to secure the success of the product in case of various setbacks.
All in all, it’s your product’s marketing recipe for success.
Some of the tools that go hand in hand with the go-to-market strategy are:
- Market research
- Buyer personas
- Predictive analytics
- Voice of customer research
- Pricing research
- Competitor research
- Market demand research
- Demand creation
- Value proposition canvas
- Customer journey maps
- PESTEL analysis
As you see, there is a lot of research going on. That’s because, to be able to market a product successfully, you need to be aware of the environment where it is going to be launched and figure out the proper timing and approach, or else it may be doomed to failure.
What Type of Go-to-Market Framework to Use?
There are, generally, two types of go-to-market frameworks – marketing-focused and sales-focused. Which one you should choose depends on the type of product that you are launching and the results you want to achieve:
Marketing-Focused GTM Framework
The marketing-focused GTM framework relies on the product to sell itself. However, we all know that this isn’t how things usually work..
The goal here is to build a strong marketing campaign that uses both inbound and outbound techniques and automates sales via a digital platform. This way, you make the audience aware of the product, create hype around it, educate the customer about the benefits, and provide them with easy access to the product all within your online channels.
In B2B, this approach usually works well with digital solutions, such as SaaS products and other types of subscription-based software, and services that can be purchased online.
In B2C, it can be implemented into any products with short life cycles and a low- to mid-price range.
Sales-Focused GTM Framework
In the sales-focused GTM framework, marketing still plays an important role, as it is necessary to create awareness around the product and generate leads. However, once these leads cross the middle of the marketing funnel, the sales team, generally, takes over.
This approach usually applies in mid-market and enterprise B2B sales where there are numerous stakeholders and decision-makers involved, the cycles are long, and the financial obligations are substantial.
However, in both B2B and B2C, the longer the sales cycles and the larger the investment, the more difficult it becomes to rely only on marketing in order to make the sale.
You need a salesperson to present the right pitch based on the client’s needs and case, and to offer them a deal that they can’t refuse.
How to Use Your Go-to-Market Strategy
Regardless of which type of go-to-market approach you need, the overall areas you should focus on when using the go-to-market framework fall into three categories – informing your marketing efforts, powering-up sales, and facilitating the post-purchase period.
Inform Your Marketing Efforts
The point of launching a new product, entering a new market, or rebranding is to find and engage a new audience, and convince them that what you offer is worth their time and money.
To that end, you need to know your product and audience well and be consistent in your efforts.
- Identify and Successfully Target the Best Leads. When you have a GTM framework in place, you can make sure that your marketing team knows what types of leads to target, where to find them, and how to attract their attention.
- Reach the Customer and Make an Impression. In order to generate leads and build brand awareness, you need to know whether your target audience prefers to do their own research using search engines or using social media platforms (and which ones?). Or maybe they are the types of people who want brands to reach out to them?Finding this out, shows you where to be more invested when building a digital presence with paid and organic tactics.
- Tailor Your Marketing Message. Based on the information you’ve collected from the various types of research, you can finetune your marketing message to make the most impact. If you see that the initial approach provided by the GTM strategy is flawed and fails to deliver results, you should make changes, A/B test, and adjust your copywriting and messaging accordingly.
- Gain Competitive Advantage. If the market is already familiar with products such as yours, you will need to position yourself based on the competition, how well it responds to the market’s needs, what the current market demand is, and the state of the relevant technological advancements. If not, you can use the opportunity to establish your brand as innovative and secure your leadership position as a pioneer.
- Create an Irresistible Value Proposition. Based on the information in your go-to-market strategy, you can identify the optimal product-market fit and build a strong value proposition. A properly made framework provides you with information about the customer’s most pressing relevant pain points, day-to-day struggles, and needs. You can use these to highlight what solutions the product provides and how the client can benefit from it.
- Track KPIs and Improve Performance. Without a GTM strategy, your marketing efforts will be focused only on the product. When you market your solution but don’t know the customer, you risk the results being random at best. This will not only make it difficult for your team to attract a relevant audience, but it will make it impossible to set and track KPIs, as there will be no clear goals or targets to assess.
Power-Up Your Sales
Your GTM strategy framework defines the productivity and efficiency of the sales process.
- Identify the Best Sales Channel. As you have seen in the two types of frameworks, you can use the GTM strategy to decide whether you will automate the sales process or hire and train a team of reps.
- Choose a Winning Pricing Model. To be able to sell to the customer, you need to know what they can afford, how they spend their money, and what price they are willing to pay for your product. All this information goes into your GTM.Whether you are giving the client a bargain, providing them a deferred payment, a subscription-based service, freemium access, or whatnot, when chosen well, the pricing model can be a strong selling point. It can convince the customer to choose you over competitors, and, if you pass their quality check, to stay with your brand for the long run.
- Optimize the Customer Journey. When using marketing-focused GTM, the framework will allow you to set up the proper customer journey and optimize it for conversions.The point is to identify what steps the customer takes. For instance, acknowledging a relevant need, realizing that you are their best option, and completing the checkout process – but, of course, in more detail. This way you can ensure that leads are exposed to the proper messaging at each touchpoint, and that you strategically present the product’s selling points to guide them and make their journey seamless.
- Build a Rock-Start Sales Team. When it comes to sales-focused GTM, the process becomes a bit more complicated. Building a resourceful sales team is not an easy job, especially when the product is new to the market. Your reps will need not only to sell the product to the customer but sell the idea of it.To be able to do that, they need to first know the product, then the audience as a whole, and the particular client that they are talking to.
The GTM can provide them with enough information to pitch the product, showcase how their interlocutor can benefit from it, and seal the deal.
- Nail Account-Based Marketing. If your product has a long sales cycle and you rely on a small number of high-end clients to provide your revenue, you should consider account-based marketing. It’s an approach where sales and marketing work together closely to build an individual strategy for each group of customers and design a tailored nurturing process. It allows your reps to build a connection with the customer and maximize the results of each interaction.
Facilitate the Post-Purchase Phase
One major mistake when launching a new product is to focus on creating hype and generating huge sales, but forget about the post-purchase phase.
Customers, more often than not, are hesitant to trust new solutions and tend to experience buyer’s remorse and post-purchase dissonance even when they have spent time researching their options before committing to your brand.
The GTM strategy framework can be invaluable in providing a seamless post-purchase experience:
- Educate Customer Support. When the support team is in the loop of the go-to-market strategy, they can stay consistent with the brand and the product’s goals. Furthermore, their communication with customers can be used to improve and readjust the strategy based on real-life data. This way, you can not only boost customer service satisfaction, but resolve issues with your product and its message in a timely manner, and fix whatever annoys your clients before it starts driving them away.
- Build a Connection to the Audience. The post-purchase period is a great time to build a connection with your audience and lay the foundation for a long-lasting relationship. Using the information in your go-to-market strategy, you can find the best communication channels and the most effective approach to staying in touch with clients.
- Streamline Your Retention Efforts. Many inexperienced businesses focus all their attention and efforts on acquiring new customers. However, retention should be a top priority if you are to stay in business and make a profit. The GTM strategy allows you to make a strong first impression that retains the customer more easily in the future. This allows you to maintain a steadily growing revenue, instead of watching your sales drop after the initial peak at the launch. Furthermore, by using the data you collect, you can adjust your strategy to reduce customer acquisition costs and optimize the payback period.
- Obtain Valuable Feedback. By having exhaustive preliminary data, a well-documented process, and detailed knowledge of the customer’s profile, you can monitor their behavior and ask the right questions. As a result, the feedback you gather from customers will be more effective and will enable you to improve for the better and grow.
A go-to-market strategy is a powerful tool that allows businesses to undertake a scientific approach to launching a new product or service, rather than rely on luck.
By building a strong framework, using it smartly, and adjusting it regularly, you can increase the chances of your product winning over your customer and becoming a success.
The key is to focus not only on how great your new solution is, but to make it possible for the customer to see its value can make their life better.