Launching a new product without a go-to-market (GTM) strategy is like diving into a pool without checking the water’s depth.
Jump straight in, and you risk hitting bottom — losing time, money, and resources on an offer that’s not quite right for your audience.
Or you could mitigate disaster (and scale your business more efficiently and effectively) by wading in — using accurate data to create a business blueprint that, ultimately, makes a bigger market splash.
When you’re fired up about a new idea, conducting research and analysing data are likely the least enticing items on your to-do list.
But with the right go-to-market strategy, you’ll launch your product more intelligently to avoid overwhelm and decision fatigue later on.
Sound enticing? Let’s take a closer look at what a go-to-market strategy entails. I’ll also walk you through my proven six-step formula to create a winning GTM strategy today.
What is go-to-market strategy?
Think of a go-to-market strategy as a subset of your organisation’s entire marketing plan.
A go-to-market strategy is ideal for companies:
- Launching a brand new product
- Relaunching an existing product to a new market
While your brand should already have an overall marketing roadmap, you don’t yet have a step-by-step guide for this individual product launch.
That is the purpose of a go-to-market strategy.
Gain valuable information about your target audience, the industry, and the competition to enhance your offering and positioning — all while ensuring product viability.
Don’t create a go-to-market strategy and you risk bringing the wrong offering to the wrong market at the wrong time.
Now, a go-to-market strategy is not a guessing game. Gathering actual data through small-scale testing is essential to ensure product-market fit and work out any kinks you discover along the way.
The bottom line is this: don’t waste time and money on launching your product until there’s a proven, scalable plan — backed by data — to guide you. Your business will thank you.
Your ultimate go-to-market strategy template
Streamline your success with these six steps to creating a go-to-market strategy that works.
1. Create your buyer personas
Before you send your product out into the world, it’s crucial to identify your target demographic. Who exactly is your product for? What are their desires? Their pain points? How does your product delight them?
Most organisations get it wrong when they build out their buyer personas.
Let me explain.
It’s easy to treat your buyer persona as a fictional person. Rather than going out to get actual data about your target market, many marketing teams make assumptions. They jot down general guesses about who they think will love their product.
The best buyer personas use research to deeply understand their customer’s motivations. Sure, they include essential demographics. But they also use real conversations and data points to identify what moves their target market to action.
Once you’ve outlined in-depth buyer personas, it’s time to craft a value matrix. This is a breakdown of each buyer persona to effectively zero in on how your product solves their problems — and create messaging that communicates this.
Investing time in creating in-depth, accurate buyer personas will ensure your product is suitable for the market and pay big rewards in your marketing strategy later on.
2. Research the competitive landscape
You’ve got an excellent overview of your target customer. You know your product can move them away from pain and towards pleasure. Now, let’s take a closer look at your competitive edge.
You wouldn’t enter the boxing ring without knowing who it is you’re fighting. So likewise, don’t launch your product without understanding who you’re competing against, either.
When identifying who your main competitors are, look at trends that could affect your sales in the future — including AI and technological advances that could shift the marketplace and the competitive landscape.
3. Identify your sales funnel and strategy
How will you move buyers through your sales funnel?
To answer this question, you’ll need a solid grasp of your Buyer’s Journey:
- How will buyers become aware of your product?
- What considerations will they have before purchasing?
- What objections will they have in the decision phase?
If you’ve created in-depth Buyer Personas, this information should be readily available.
Using the information from your Buyer’s Journey, identify your sales funnel and strategy. How will you lead your target market through your funnel, from initial contact to loyal, repeat buyers?
4. Define your marketing and distribution plan
It doesn’t matter how in-depth your market research and product planning is.
If you want to make sales, you’ve got to get your offering in front of the right people. It’s as simple as that.
Wildly effective digital marketing strategies typically include a combination of inbound and outbound marketing efforts.
5. Test your go-to-market strategy on a small scale
Remember, the point of a go-to-market strategy is to dip your toe in the water — to ensure product-market vitality before going all-in.
You’ve used research and data to create your sales and distribution strategy. Now, test to see if it works. Look at how the product fits into your overall marketing roadmap.
It’s okay if something doesn’t quite click. This is your opportunity to quickly ditch what doesn’t work so you can scale what does.
6. Define success metrics and analyse the data accordingly
Every go-to-market strategy requires a well-defined set of KPIs and success metrics specific to your goals.
Clearly outline the metrics that matter for your business. Commit to ongoing data-driven experimentation. Consider bringing an experienced growth marketer onboard to help.
Analysing the correct data from your go-to-market strategy is a sure-fire way to ensure your team hits your product launch goals.
When you’re excited about a new product or offering, it’s all too easy to blaze ahead without a go-to-market strategy. Don’t make this mistake. Set your product launch up for success with the proper market research and framework.
Too busy to craft the go-to-market strategy your organisation needs? I get it. You are trying to run a business, after all.
We’re here to help. We obsess over digital marketing, so you don’t have to.