Go-to Market Strategy
What is a go-to-market strategy?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan-of-action that helps organizations bring their products and services to the market. It outlines all the steps a business needs to complete in order to effectively penetrate target markets and reach new customers.
GTM strategies help businesses outline the distribution channels they’ll use for sales, along with the supporting marketing strategies or features they’ll highlight to make an impact. It focuses on understanding customer needs and preferences, which makes a go-to marketing strategy a great way for businesses to ensure their products are being delivered with maximum efficiency and value in mind.
A successful go-to-market strategy should result in increased sales, higher customer satisfaction and a more profitable business over time. It’s essential that business owners—no matter the size—understand how to formulate and implement one in order to strategize their brand’s long-term business growth.
Examples of go-to-market strategies
There are a number of effective go-to market strategies that businesses and marketing departments can choose to adopt. Below are some of the most popular used today:
This go-to-market strategy involves selling products directly to customers. It can be done by focusing on an online platform such as a business website, mobile app or online store.
Distribution channel sales
This GTM strategy means partnering with other companies, such as retailers or distributors, to sell products to their customers. It’s a strategy that’s usually initiated by a manufacturing company who then allows distributors to sell their product on their behalf.
This strategy is used to offer a basic version of a product or service for free, while giving access to more premium features upon paying a fee. A freemium market, like the one Wix uses, has the goal of engaging users with your product and eventually converting them into paid customers.
This go-to-market strategy means using targeted advertising to reach specific customers on distribution channels. Whether it's social media, search engines or others, creating a business website is essential before embarking on a targeted advertising go-to-market strategy.
As its name suggests, this means selling products or services to enterprises, or large organizations. This type of GTM strategy is usually done with the aid of a sales team and often demands a customizable product that can be adapted to the needs of such large businesses.
A GTM strategy that’s niche involves targeting specific customers by segment. It should focus on specialized products or services that can be customized to the specific market and audience segment.
Influencer marketing has also developed into a type of go-to-market strategy for brands with lots of social media sales potential. It involves partnering with influential online personalities to share content that promotes sales.
A subscription model is a type of GTM strategy where businesses sell a product or services in return for a recurring fee. Netflix is an example of this.
What is a go-to-market strategy framework?
For businesses who want to use a go-to-market strategy, a framework is a set of tools and processes used to develop and execute it. The framework typically includes customer segmentation, product-market fit analysis, pricing models, channel selection, marketing tactics and more. An effective go-to-market framework can help businesses design and implement strategies that capture market share and market penetration, increase sales and optimize customer experience all-in-one.
A go-to-market framework should be tailored to each business, taking into account factors such as target market, product features and more. It should outline the competitive environment influencing a business, including industry trends. Lastly, in order to gauge the performance of a business’s GTM strategy, their framework should include a plan for tracking data and applying analytics.
Go-to-market strategy vs market strategy
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a subset of a business’s overall marketing strategy, focusing specifically on how it reaches its target customers to generate sales. GTM strategies involve the use of specific tactics such as advertising, product launches and promotions in order to maximize the value delivered to customers, while minimizing costs and efforts.
Marketing strategies, on the other hand, encompass a broader range of activities that a business uses to promote its brand. These can range from building awareness and positioning products in the marketplace, to driving demand and increasing customer loyalty.
To be the most successful, a business’s marketing strategies should align with their go-to-market strategy, and vice-versa. While both are important components for success, it’s generally recommended that a business develop it’s GTM strategy first, since it lays out the foundation for all other marketing activities.
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A go-to-market strategy is essential in order to successfully represent a product or service in its marketplace—but there are definitely some challenges involved in the process. Pay attention to:
Limited market reach
By focusing on a specific market segment or distribution channel, companies may limit the broader potential reach of their offering.
Cost and return on investment
Some go-to-market strategies are expensive when compared to the ROI expected. Companies should understand if the resulting brand awareness is enough to justify a potential loss.
Focusing on a specific segment or niche can encourage competitors to do the same, which increases competition for the same product or service. This can make promoting and selling it more difficult, and eventually may lead to price squeezing.
Extended or slower growth
This potential drawback is particularly relevant for a go-to-market strategy that focuses on enterprises with a long sales cycle. The longer the sales cycle, the longer it will take to create revenue and growth.
Dependence on partners
Relying on distributors or influencers can be complicated if they don’t work as effectively as a business anticipates.
Adopting and running with a specific go-to-market strategy is important, but hyper focus on one type can make it difficult for companies to adjust and pivot to changing markets should they need to.
Most go-to-market strategies—even while eventually effective—may take considerable resources and investment to succeed.