What is Go-To-Market? A Full Guide

Go-To-Market is the term used to describe how a company will achieve a competitive advantage and reach its target audience. The purpose of defining “Go-to-Market” is to deliver a blueprint for offering customers a certain product or service in a manner most likely to ensure sales and client loyalty.

What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?

The Go-To-Market strategy or GTM plan is the blueprint your business uses to determine how to target, reach, and connect with customers. A GTM strategy is similar to a business plan, but business plans cover more additional factors, like funding and investment opportunities.

Companies use their go-to-market strategy for a range of situations, like launching new services or products, introducing current products to a new market, and relaunching brands. The go-to-market strategy helps businesses to determine who the service or product is for, why they’re launching the solution, and how they’re going to convince people to convert.

The main goal of go-to-market strategy

The purpose of a Go-To-Market strategy is to align stakeholders and relevant parties around a strategy for bringing a product or service to a customer. Timelines are established, along with a clear plan of action to reduce the time it takes for companies to introduce successful products or services. Some of the additional benefits of a GTM plan include:

  • Enhanced opportunities to reach and convert customers
  • Improved management of challenges and opportunities
  • Established guidelines for growth and success
  • Ensured creation of better customer experience
  • Enhanced regulatory compliance
  • Decreased risk of additional costs caused by a failed product launch.

What Does GTM Mean in Business?

Go-to-Market in business management and development is the term used to refer to the plans companies use to bring a concept to a specific audience. Though Go-to-market strategies are commonly associated with the launch of new products, they can also describe the steps a company takes to guide create events or introduce rebranded assets.

To create an effective Go-to-market strategy template, businesses will need:

  • Customer personas: Who is the target audience for this market?
  • Market definition: Which markets will be targeted for selling the service or product?
  • Distribution model: How will the service or product be brought to the customer?
  • Product messaging and position: What is being sold, and what is its value?
  • Price: How much should the service or product cost?

While the market definition helps to determine the specific groups of people willing to pay for a specific service, customer personas help you to narrow you’re your focus, or segment your clients according to things like their location, budget, and similar components.

A strong go-to-market strategy involves in-depth research into not just the target audience but the marketplace overall. Companies need to understand where their product or service is positioned in relation to other similar solutions in the market. Similarly, a distribution model needs to be created with the needs of the specific audience in mind. Distribution efforts can often include both direct and indirect methods.

Product messaging and positioning efforts involve working with promotional and sales teams within the organization to define the product or service and determine how to present the solution to the target audience. The right messaging strategy will need to determine what the service or product is, what makes it unique, and how it’s going to reach the right audience. Once again, to ensure successful sales, the company will need a strong knowledge of its target audience and its position in the market compared to the competition.

Pricing needs to be based not just on the costs of manufacturing the products, but also on the position of the proposition in the market.

Go-to-Market Examples

There are plenty of Go-To-Market examples out there to inspire today’s companies. The strategy you choose will be heavily dependent on your research into your market, and your target audience. Some examples to consider include:

  • IFTTT and Eight Sleep: Eight Sleep, a company offering high-tech smart mattresses, created a mattress customer could control with IFTTT – a free service allowing users to control conditional statements and integrate applications. The partnership between the two brands allowed Eight Sleep to reach a new audience of tech enthusiasts, while IFTTT benefited from better reach for their brand name. The go-to-market strategy for the new partnership included an email marketing campaign, a landing page to educate the target audience about the features, and promotion on social media. 
  • Fitbit Smart Coach: American manufacturer of activity tracking devices, Fitbit, launched the Smart Coach premium service for their personal training app. The solution integrates with a user’s FitBit to help them achieve fitness goals. The FitBit team started their GTM plan with simple objectives to build brand awareness and increase subscription revenue. The campaign involved leveraging paid and owned channels of marketing to reach a wider target audience with push notifications on mobile, newsletters, and social media accounts.
  • Microsoft: In 2017, Microsoft announced a vertical go-to-market strategy to accommodate companies undergoing strategies for digital transformation. The Microsoft industry initiative focuses on various vertical markets, including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and government. The use of multiple marketing avenues and integrations with other leading technology tools used by Microsoft customers over the years has accelerated the success of the Microsoft plan.

It’s not just major market vendors and business leaders who develop GTM strategies either. Service-oriented channel partners and managed service providers also devise GTM strategies which involve plans for targeting specific vertical markets.

Go-to-market services

Developing a successful Go-to-Market strategy requires significant time and investment. To assist with this, some companies reach out to teams capable of offering Go-To-Market services. Go-to-market services can include a range of different tasks, including consulting on business strategies, researching marketplace opportunities, and creating marketing or sales campaigns linked to the launch of the development of a specific product or service.

The aim of a Go-To-Market service is to reduce the amount of time and money a business needs to invest in creating value matrixes, identifying buyer personas, and designing strategies for increased sales. While the exact services offered by a company may differ, options include:

  • Audience or customer research: This involves researching a customer or target audience, developing buyer personas on the behalf of companies, and helping them to determine their overall target market. Full customer research can include building a deeper understanding of how to reach target clients and collect customer information.
  • Creating the value matrix: Consulting companies offering help with the Go-To-Market strategy of a brand can use specialist insights to help companies determine the unique benefits and values of their product or service. The value matrix can then be built to convey the purpose of the product to a customer in sales and marketing strategies.
  • Defining marketing campaigns: A consultant offering assistance with marketing campaigns will give insights into how a business can approach their target market with its new solution. Defining a comprehensive marketing strategy can include identifying plans for lead generation, content creation, and website development. 
  • Specifying sales strategies: Expert in go-to-market strategies can also aid companies in developing plans to introduce the product to the market and earn conversions. This can include training the sales team to help them sell the product or service correctly, implementing new tools and resources to improve sales opportunities, and introducing new methods of acquiring leads.
  • Go-to-Market Consulting: A comprehensive Go-To-market consulting strategy will involve having an expert examine all of the aspects of the go-to-market strategy produced by a company. The consultant can then offer advice and insights into how the business can improve the GTM plan, or address challenges that the company is facing in its strategy.

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