If you want to build a successful marketing plan, then it’s important to start with the go-to market strategy. A GTM strategy is what drives your entire marketing plan – so if you don’t have one in place yet, then now is the time. In this blog post I am going to break down the steps for having an effective GTM strategy that aligns with your business goals and has a positive impact on revenue.
What does GTM stand for?
In the marketing context, it is short for “Go To Market”. A GTM Plan is a strategy to capture market share and achieve profitable growth.
GTM (Go-to-Market) Strategy
A GTM Plan is a strategy to capture market share and achieve profitable growth.
A good Go to market strategy will ensure that the business goals, product roadmap and marketing plan are aligned.
What is included in a go-to-market strategy?
A lot of things 🙂 It is more an art than a science because of the number of variables and the uniqueness of each business case. Nonetheless, there are core questions that must be answered in order for the plan to be meaningful.
I find it useful to structure a GTM strategy along the 7Ws, so I will elaborate on that structure.
1. Who do you wish to sell to? Who is the intended Target Audience
In this step we have to identify the audience with the highest propensity to buy your product or service. You need to be able to define the audience as narrowly or broadly as necessary.
“Reach” is the most expensive part of a marketing plan, so the more narrowly we can define the audience, the more efficiently you can sell.
For example, you could define your target audience as “Marketers”. That’s a huge market. But if you defined it as “Marketers in India” it would shrink a bit. If you defined it as “Marketers in India who work in tech companies” it would shrink some more. If you defined it as “Marketers in India who work in tech companies that have a revenue greater than $100 million” it would become quite small.
Typically brands – particularly B2B brands – would find it more efficient to target a smaller audience initially and then expand to other segments.
For example, Freshworks (or Freshdesk as it was known then) at the time of launch was targeted at the kind of customers who used Zendesk.
2. Where can this audience be found? (Key Markets for your launch strategy)
The audience could be plentiful in many locations or sparsely distributed around the world. For an effective GTM strategy, we need to first identify where they are and then apply filters around:
- where the competition may be less
- where the audience is more concentrated and more efficient to reach
- where your brand name is more known
- where it is more profitable to operate
For example, most Indian IT firms grew by focusing on the US market rather than India because you can charge a great deal more for the same service. If you look at their financials you will see that their profitability is always higher in the US than in India.
3.Why do you wish to sell your product to this audience? (Your business vision or mission)
This is an internal question. Why do you do what you do? This is relevant to your GTM strategy because it is used in framing your offering correctly. Google’s corporate mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful .” Once you see this you can understand the reason why they would be excited about autonomous vehicles and google maps and everything else. If they had thought of themselves as a search company things would have moved in a very different trajectory. Not necessarily bad, but different. A product that wants to save their customer’s time will be quite different from on that wants to save their customer money, even if they both operate in the same space.
The “why’ is about your corporate soul, and it is important to get this down accurately.
4.What does the product or service do?
Define the product or service in one sentence.
For example “The product or service does x, y and z for customers when a, b and c are true about the customer”
The more number of customer types, and more variations your offering has, the more number of sub-definitions you will need.
So your offering may make CRM simpler for financial services organizations. But it may do this differently for a bank vs a credit union vs an insurance company. You would need to define it accordingly for each audience. Each product variant – depending on how different it is – may require a separate GTM strategy.
5.Why should they choose your product or service?
This is the trickiest section. You really need to answer the questions of
What makes your offering a good choice for your target audience? And why should they choose your offering over all the other options out there?
There are a number of frameworks that can be used to develop the answer to this as a part of your Go To Market Plan. I use a combination of 4Ps, ABCD model, and my proprietary Branding House.
6.What is the best pricing strategy for this?
You need to look at the competitive landscape and decide what price point you want your product or service to be in. There are many payment models and strategies around pricing. Pricing is also a positioning lever – it cues quality, value for money or luxury as the case may be. If you are targeting a specific competition then your pricing has to take their price point into account too.
7.What does GTM success look like? (KPIs)
What are the key performance indicators for this business? They need to be quantifiable. Your GTM strategy has to be aligned to achieve these goals. Bear in mind that the right KPIs can be critical. Should you measure customer acquisition or profitability? Churn or Lifetime Customer Value? Revenue or EBITDA? You could also keep it super simple and say I want 1 million app installs in one year. And design a process to ensure that each install is profitable.
Since success of both your GTM strategy and marketing plan will be measured against these KPIs it is important to keep them simple, achievable and measurable.
Conclusion : Build your business with a good GTM Strategy
In this article, I’ve shared with you some of the most important aspects to consider when creating a GTM strategy. As you can see above, there is no one-size fits all approach for how your company should create
their own custom GTM plan. It requires careful consideration and an understanding that it will take time to develop and implement effectively. If any of these steps are new or confusing concepts to you, don’t worry! We’ve got plenty more articles on our blog about marketing strategies to help guide you in the right direction as well as provide tools like templates. Sign up for my newsletter for more practical advice about marketing.
Learn about Frugal Product Marketing in this video I made for the Institute of Product Leadership.