Creating a successful launch for your business is an incredibly difficult task. No matter how much market research you’ve conducted, it’s impossible to fully understand the market that you’re trying to get into until you’ve launched.
While we do have a dedicated 40-point pre-launch checklist which you can view and download for free, it’s also useful to have a go-to-market plan to help you have your own checklist of the things you need to do.
In this article, I’m going to guide you through the nuances of the go-to-market plan so that you can launch your product with (relative) ease.
If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, this video on creating a go-to-market plan by Henry Wang is a great watch to get you started on the topic.
What is a Go-To-Market (GTM) Plan?
Put simply, a go-to-market (GTM) plan is a strategic roadmap that shows exactly how a company will market and sell its product to customers.
It includes information about:
- Its target audience
- It’s marketing strategies
- The sales channels and pipelines it will use
- The pricing strategy
- Key milestones to hit in the launch
Why Should I Create a Go-To-Market Plan For My Startup?
You should create a clear go-to-market plan for your startup because it:
- Provides a Clear Launch Direction: A good GTM plan provides a clear direction for your company’s launch efforts by helping you to focus your business strategy.
- Better Understanding of the Target Market: A GTM plan allows your business to better understand and tailor its product to its target market.
- Efficient Resource Use: A GTM plan helps your company to identify the most effective marketing and sales channels so you don’t waste time and money.
When Do I Need A Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy?
From my experience, whenever you’re introducing a new product to the market, you need to have a go to market strategy. You can easily tell if an entrepreneur has considered all of the aspects of the go-to-market plan just by looking at how successful their launch is.
To clarify, you need a go-to-market strategy if you’re:
- Launching a new product in an existing market
- Launching an existing product in a new market
- Launching a new product into a new market
Even established companies develop go-to-market strategies when introducing new products or expanding into new markets.
It’s necessary because market dynamics and competitive landscapes change quickly, so even if a past launch has been successful, relying on the same strategy might not work this time around.
The Difference Between a Go-To-Market (GTM) Plan and a Marketing Plan
A go-to-market strategy is focused on the introduction of a product into a new market, whereas a marketing plan outlines the overall marketing strategy.
While a marketing plan encompasses long-term objectives and serves as a roadmap or digital marketing strategy, a go-to-market (GTM) strategy is tailored to a specific launch.
Sections of a Go-To-Market Plan
So, let’s have a look at what sections you should include in your go-to-market plan. They include your:
- Target Audience
- Pricing Strategy
- Marketing Tactics
- Sales Pipeline
Let’s have a look at each one of these in more detail.
The first step in developing a successful go-to-market plan is to research and understand who your customers are. By doing so, you can identify if there is a specific segment of potential customers or job types that are being underserved by your competition.
Understanding these customers’ needs is crucial for developing a product that addresses their specific challenges.
I won’t go into the details of identifying your target audience here, as I’ve created an in-depth guide to that here, which I’d recommend that you check out.
Once you have identified your target audience, you can then tailor your pricing strategy and sales pipeline to meet their expectations. We’ll cover how to do that in the next sections.
Setting the right pricing structure is crucial to the success of your business.
It is essential to strike a balance between being competitive and maintaining profitability, since:
- Pricing your product too high can deter potential customers
- Pricing too low can result in lower profits and damage your brand’s perceived value.
It’s important to consider the target audience that you defined in the first step, as well as the production costs and marketing expenses for your product.
From my experience, choosing the pricing strategy is one of the most complex parts of starting a business, after getting your potential customer’s attention, so I’d recommend you check out our complete guide here if you’re looking to get started building your pricing strategy.
When developing a go-to-market strategy, it’s important to consider the marketing strategies that align with your target audience and your strengths as a founder.
You should utilise any strengths that you have in marketing and identify the weak spots in your competitor’s marketing strategies in order to advertise your product most effectively. Read this guide if you’d like to learn how to create an effective marketing strategy and this series to get up to speed with improving your SEO skillset if you’d like to reach more customers in the long term.
When determining how to create your sales pipeline for your go-to-market plan, it’s essential to analyse your competitors’ sales strategies and identify how they are reaching their target audience.
By understanding whether your competitors are focusing on high-end enterprise customers or lower-end customers, you can assess the market and determine whether an alternative approach would be more viable.
For example, if your competitors are targeting high-end enterprise customers, you may decide to focus on the lower-end market segment, where there is less competition and higher demand. You can then develop a sales pipeline that focuses on creating low-touch leads that lead to sales without much interaction.
How Do I Create A Go-To-Market Plan?
Now we’ve covered all of the areas of a go-to-market plan, let’s look at actually writing one.
From my experience, it’s best to break the task down into 5 steps so that we cover everything quickly. Those steps are:
- Understand Your Competiton
- Define Your Target Market
- Find Your Sales Process
- Make Your Manifesto
- Be Consistent
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Step 1: Understand Your Competition
Before diving into any marketing efforts, it’s important that you take a moment to analyze your market and competition.
Are you entering an existing category, or are you pioneering a new one?
You should consider what your product represents and how you can stand out, for example as a premium player in a market with few premium options.
Remember, differentiation is key.
Step 2: Define Your Target Market
Knowing your market segment is crucial. If you’re in a competitive space, focus on how you’ll differentiate and communicate that difference.
Alternatively, if you’re pioneering a new category, be prepared to educate the market about your offering’s unique value.
Step 3: Determine Your Sales Process
Your sales process should align with your target market’s preferences.
Whether you go for a product-led approach, a traditional sales model, or a hybrid depends on your audience. For instance, enterprise clients may prefer personalized sales interactions, while SMBs might gravitate toward a self-service model. The key is to adapt to what your market truly wants.
Step 4: Craft Your Manifesto
Your manifesto is the central document that defines your value proposition, messaging, and strategic narrative. It communicates the transformation you bring to your market and why customers should choose you over competitors.
This document becomes the foundation for your marketing collateral, sales deck, and even your website’s messaging. It ensures a consistent and compelling message across all channels.
Step 5: Be Consistent
Instead of sporadic marketing efforts, create a consistent and purposeful approach to engage your target market.
This “Broadway show” involves a set of ongoing sales and marketing activities that revolve around your manifesto. Be intentional about your channels, look for speedy feedback, scale effectively, and focus on mastery in channels that work best for your market.
- What is a Go-To-Market (GTM) Plan: A GTM plan is a strategic roadmap outlining how a company will market and sell its product. It covers target audience, marketing strategies, sales channels, pricing, and key launch milestones.
- Importance of a GTM Plan: Creating a GTM plan is crucial because it provides a clear direction for your launch, helps you understand your target market better, and optimizes resource utilization.
- When Do You Need a GTM Strategy: You need a GTM strategy when launching a new product in an existing market, introducing an existing product to a new market, or launching a new product in a new market. Even established companies use GTM strategies for new products or market expansions.
- Difference Between GTM Plan and Marketing Plan: A GTM plan is specific to launching a product in a new market, while a marketing plan outlines broader marketing strategies. GTM focuses on a particular launch, considering unique challenges.
- Sections of a GTM Plan: A comprehensive GTM plan includes sections for defining the target audience, pricing strategy, marketing tactics, and sales pipeline.
- Creating a GTM Plan in 5 Steps: To create an effective GTM plan, follow these steps:
- Understand your competition and identify how you’ll stand out.
- Define your target market segment and tailor your messaging accordingly.
- Determine your sales process based on your audience’s preferences.
- Craft a manifesto that communicates your value proposition and messaging.
- Maintain consistency in your marketing efforts to engage your target market effectively.
Now that you understand the basics of creating a great go-to-market plan, check out our guide to reaching your first 100 customers and our full tutorial on how to launch your product.