PREMIUM SUPPORT & TOOLS
Everyone uses the ‘go-to-market’ soundbite freely in business. It just rolls off the tongue so nicely and sounds so actionable. Unfortunately most people use it in a nebulous way without being concrete or comprehensive. So next time a board member suggests you need to tighten your go-to-market ask them for a good example of one!
A good go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a tactical plan that includes and summarizes all your moves in order to hit the mark in a new market when you’re launching a new product or company. It is concrete and comprehensive, and not just a random collection of shopping list ‘targets’. Put another way, a GTM strategy helps you define your ideal customers, coordinate your messaging, and position your product for launch. It keeps key functions aligned on the same plan, allowing you to meet a market need and effectively iterate on your product.
In case you thought that a GTM strategy was the same as a marketing strategy, we need to set a few things straight; firstly, they’re not.
A marketing strategy is an ongoing process that includes all the marketing efforts, from digital marketing activities — such as content marketing, inbound marketing, paid acquisition or referral marketing — that your business is making. It should be optimizing CAT vs LTV. On the other hand, a GTM strategy, is a far more specific, one-time process that focuses on a specific event. Like any good strategy, it’s not meant to be some unwieldy document, but rather a tool that can be used and shared across your entire company.
An easy way to think of it is as a more specific version of your marketing plan—one with a narrow scope and that is hyper-focused on just one offering, geography and event. Typically there are four types of those GTM events:
Launching a new product in an existing market
Launching an existing product in a new market
Re-launching a product or brand to seek PMF
Testing a new product's market for growth
As you build your GTM you have a choice of two approaches - and these are almost always dictated by your business model and market. Product-led GTM and sales-led GTM.
A product-led GTM strategy uses the product itself to acquire and retain users. In this approach, the product serves as a salesperson by providing so much value, the user can't help but upgrade their package. Calendly and Slack are great examples of product-led growth in action.
On the other hand, a sales-led GTM strategy uses marketing to drum up interest for a product, capturing it in content and demo forms. Salespeople then reach out to those prospects, with the goal of converting them into customers. This is the approach that countless B2B SaaS companies use.
Getting your GTM right is critical for your MVP, then evolving it to hit PMF, and finally again as you take your proposition international. It is a cross functional plan that coordinates technical groups, product and commercial. So building something that is more than a cool sounding plan to wave in front of your board is vital.
To market, to market we go!