Developing a Go-To-Market Strategy

Developing a Go-To-Market Strategy

What is a go-to-market strategy?

Simply stated, a go-to-market (GTM) strategy provides a strategic action plan that clarifies how you will reach your target customers and successfully compete in the marketplace. You can create a GTM strategy for a new business and also for a new brand, a new product or service launch, or business location. Your GTM strategy brings together all of the critical elements that drive your business: market and competitive analysis, branding, sales, marketing, distribution, pricing, and consumer insights.

Benefits of an effective go-to-market strategy

Developing a comprehensive GTM strategy is a huge commitment of time and resources, but it will help inform and ensure a viable path to market success. A GTM strategy has numerous business benefits, including:

  • Ensuring successful product/service launches
  • Reduced time to market
  • Reduced costs due to failed product launches
  • Managing innovation challenges
  • Providing a successful customer experience
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance
  • Establishing a path for future growth

To formulate an effective GTM strategy for your business, you will want to create a detailed plan utilizing the following steps:

1. Define your target markets

What markets will you pursue? No product or service fits every market. Refining your ideal target markets is a vital element to formulating your GTM strategy. You want to identify where you can most effectively differentiate your brand and attract the most profitable customers who resonate with your offering. Consider:

  • Which markets have the most significant and most urgent need?
  • Where are there gaps in the market?
  • Which markets are most accessible?
  • Which are the largest markets with the least competition?

Evaluate each market for accessibility, alignment, and overall opportunity— make sure you are fishing for your clients in the right pond.

2. Define your target customer

The driving force here is gathering customer intelligence. You want to become a master at generating actionable consumer insights through surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, in-store interactions, etc. Here are some questions that require thoughtful deliberation:

  • Who are your most loyal brand advocates?
  • What needs are you trying to satisfy?
  • What problems do you want to solve?
  • What is the ideal experience you’re aiming to create?
  • What emotions are you trying to elicit when customers interact with your brand?

Your objective is to understand who your customers are, how they behave, and what they experience. The better your consumer insights, the better chances you have for executing an effective GTM strategy.

3. Establish your brand positioning

Go-to-Market Strategy FrameworkBrand positioning is the “process of creating a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of its target market.” In other words, brand positioning describes how a brand differentiates from its competitors and where, or how it resonates in consumers’ minds. Four crucial elements of a best-in-class positioning statement include:

  • Target Customer: What are the attitudes and demographic description of the target group of customers your brand is attempting to attract?
  • Market Definition: In what category is your brand competing, and how is it relevant to customers?
  • Brand Promise: What is the most compelling benefit (emotional/rational) that your brand can own relative to your competitors?
  • Reason to Believe: What is the most convincing evidence that your brand delivers on its promise?

Often brand positioning statements are confused with company taglines or slogans. Positioning statements are for internal use to guide your marketing and operating decisions. A positioning statement helps you make critical decisions that affect your customer’s perception of your brand.

Conversely, a tag line is an external statement used in your marketing efforts. Examples of taglines include:

  • BMW: The ultimate driving machine
  • Target: Expect more. Pay less
  • Nike: Just do it
  • Coca-Cola: The real thing

Insights from your positioning statement can be utilized for a tagline, but it is essential to distinguish between the two.

4. Define your value proposition

Understanding your offering’s key features and benefits is the first step in defining your unique value proposition. Next, you must understand precisely how your product connects with customers, the solutions it solves, and the benefits they derive. To help determine your product’s unique value proposition, put yourself in your target customer’s perspective and consider:

  • What do you want your target customers to think and believe?
  • How do you want them to feel?
  • What would you like them to remember about your brand and their experience?

Get to know your customers and obsess about them. The better the insights you gather, the more effective you will be at defining your products and services. This will also help you create better marketing messages going forward.

5. Define your distribution channels

Your goal isn’t simply to identify your channels, but to ensure that each channel is as seamlessly integrated with each other as possible. Channels could include a retail location, the internet, a customer service call center, face to face salesperson, or a direct partner.

Warby Parker’s primary channel is its website, Whole Foods’ primary channel is its retail locations, Toyota’s primary channel is its dealerships, and Verizon’s channels include its authorized dealers (partners), retail stores, and website. Customers must have a consistent brand experience no matter what channel or touch point through which they interact with you. Key channel analysis questions include:

  • Where do you reach your target customers? Where do they buy?
  • What is the right distribution model?
  • How would customers prefer to interact with you?
  • How much interaction do your target customers require?
  • Can you create and maintain a competitive advantage?
  • Does the channel fit your offering? (e.g., selling complex services or certain high-priced products online is difficult).

6. Build a budget

When creating your budget, you’ll need to understand your product pricing and estimate costs associated with your GTM strategy. Things to consider when establishing your pricing model include:

  • What is your offering’s value to target customers?
  • Are there current price expectations?
  • How is it priced relative to your competitors?
  • Can you create a competitive advantage with your pricing model?

To help mitigate risk, identifying the economic, competitive, and internal risks associated with executing this strategy is worthwhile. Determine the most significant risks that could affect your ability to reach your goals and develop strategies to address how to overcome them.

7. Define your marketing strategy

Now you need to pull it together with a marketing strategy for each target market you’ve identified. You want to create competitive advantages for your offering that starts with your brand positioning and value proposition. To develop your marketing plan, consider:

  • How do you reach the buyers and influencers of your target markets?
  • What messaging will motivate them to purchase?
  • Your marketing objectives and strategy could change throughout the product lifecycle, so be ready to adapt.
  • Measure and track your key performance metrics weekly and monthly so you can adjust your strategies, investments, and human resources.

An effective GTM strategy serves to delight your customers and disrupt your competitors. Our Alpharetta marketing team is ready to discuss how you can better prepare for the road ahead. We can help you identify ways your business can tap into the power of branding, create value, and ultimately catapult your business performance.

Looking for an Alpharetta marketing company that serves Atlanta and understands business growth? Contact Us.