Whether you’re launching a new product or expanding your business into a new market — to do this effectively, you need a solid go-to-market strategy. Essentially, a go-to-market strategy (GTM) chalks out how your business can attract potential customers in a new market or grow your product line in existing markets. This strategy must be based on one thing and one thing only: how to reach the right people at the right time and with the right message. Your GTM plans will also help you differentiate from your competitors — and ultimately improve your brand’s sales and profits.
Whether your business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer), a GTM strategy is key for both types of customers. In this article, we’ll guide you through the basic components of building your GTM strategy and conclude with some inspiring examples of brands that nailed their expansion plans.
How to build a go-to-market strategy
While often confused, a business plan and a GTM strategy are not the same. The key difference is that your business plan provides a macro level overview of the business and market, whereas a go-to-market strategy operates at the micro level. Below, we’ll dive into the core components that you need to consider while framing your GTM strategy.
Know your market and distribution plans
Defining your market is a crucial first step, helping you understand both your target consumer and how your competitors are operating. This will give you a solid overview of the existing market and help you find ways to optimise your marketing efforts for both the short- and long-term. To better understand your target consumer, we recommend creating buyer personas. Testing the product with a focus group, or running a pilot in your new market, will also give you critical feedback before your official launch.
Here’s a handy checklist of questions that will lay the foundation for your GTM plans:
- Which markets do I want to target: local, national or global? How does the demand and competition look in these markets?
- Who is my buyer? Do I have a set of buyer personas?
- How does my target customer in X country differ from consumers in existing markets?
- What is my competitive advantage and what is the demand for my product category?
- What is my distribution plan? How will my product or service be distributed to the end customer?
How to price your new product
The price of your product or service determines whether it’s going to need more marketing or sales efforts. In a nutshell, if your product is a luxury item or in an expensive category like cars or electronics, it’s possibly better suited to sales than marketing, as larger economic decisions also come with questions from the customer. Having a touchpoint to answer these questions is essential for higher value products. While determining the pricing of your product, it might also help to revisit your buyer personas, understand their purchasing power and habits and most importantly, take into account how your competitors are pricing their products.
Work out how to best sell your product
Next up, you need to work out how best to sell your product. If you’re working with a self-explanatory item like a pen or headphones, then you can focus on marketing, instead of sales. But if the use case needs to be explained to consumers, we suggest building a knowledgeable sales team who can explain your product’s USP, features and benefits, helping convert your target audience into willing customers.
Know what to communicate
Whether you’re entering a new market or launching a new product, your messaging will be crucial for consumers to both get to know your brand and understand what you’re selling.
To be as effective as possible, your messaging should always address the pain points your product is aiming to solve. You’ll also want to put your messaging to the test, seeing if it inspires your target audiences and eventually leads to conversions. Working with focus groups is the easiest way to do this, and will give you valuable insights into how well your messaging is resonating.
Plan your purchase funnel
Creating a solid content strategy that you can drip feed to potential customers will help keep your brand top of mind, and eventually nudge them down the path to purchase. All your marketing material, website, blog, social media and your customer care must support your product and educate your customer.
Invest in advertising
Once you’ve identified your market, target audience and messaging, it’s time to spread your brand or product far and wide. Go back to your buyer personas and check which channels will work best for targeting them, adjust your messaging to each of these channels, and as always, make sure to track and measure your campaigns!
Flexibility and open channels for feedback
A good GTM strategy should be a living plan, adapted with learnings as you grow. This means that your strategy must be flexible to changes from the market, and open to innovate. Relationship building for acquisition and retention are also important elements of GTM strategy. Does your business rely on repeat customers? Then focus on building long-term relationships with them, tackle their pain points and this will aid retention. In a nutshell, sales can help in connecting with the customer, while great marketing campaigns put the product in front of the customer to test and try.
Companies who nailed their go-to-market strategy
Oatly: While Swedish dairy alternative Oatly might be a household name in Europe, they were up against tough competition when making their market entry in the US. Rather than opting for a big advertising splash or putting all their budget into Google ads, they instead connected with local baristas across the US, building up a community of brand ambassadors. These tie ups with local coffee shops also gave customers a chance to learn more about Oatly and test it out at their favourite cafe beforing making a decision to buy. Baristas could talk to customers about their experiences with the new product, and their experience about working with it, the taste, the best way to drink Oatly and so on.
The result? Through the years, Oatly has seen incredible growth globally, and in 2020, they witnessed sales rise by 295%!
Fitbit Smart Coach app launch: If you’re into fitness, you’ve probably heard of Fitbit, a leading smartwatch for tracking physical activity. After their launch, they wanted to expand their product line to more than smart watches. Why? They understood that with an innovative product like theirs, information needs to come alongside the physical product. That’s why they launched the Fitbit coach app, a premium personal training service that syncs with the user’s Fitbit. Their GTM strategy focused on three main aspects: increasing subscribers, brand awareness and boosting revenue from their subscriber base.
For their launch campaign, “Get More with Fitbit”, they picked a selection of paid and owned channels (blog, youtube, social media) to reach their target audience. Their paid ads redirected users to a landing page about the Smart Coach app and they used inbound efforts like push notifications and newsletters to reach potential customers.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, with FitBit earning an estimated $192 million in revenue through their strategy.
Planning your own product or market launch? Our teams can help support your go-to-market plans with a full-scale marketing and advertising strategy. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.