People often wonder, if a tree falls in the forest but no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? To you, reader, we pose a similar question: if you launch a new product or service, but there’s no defined and engaged market for it, has it truly been “launched”?
The answer, of course, is that yes the product still launches—it’s just not likely to make the sort of splash or impact you would anticipate or hope for. This brings us to the concept of go-to-market (GTM) strategies.
But what goes into a successful GTM strategy, and how can you develop the perfect strategy for your business? In this article, we’ll be answering those very questions.
What, Exactly, Does “Go-to-Market” Mean?
What used to be an idea—introducing a new product or service to the public—has transformed into an industry unto itself. Nowadays, taking a product or service to market is both an art and a science. The art is in generating excitement and interest, while the science is more about aligning the product/service offering to an identified audience.
Expanding this analogy, it’s the science aspect that trips many companies up. That’s because without accurate and actionable data, there’s no guarantee that the launch will be successful. In most cases, your gut or instinct can only get you so far.
Why Is a Go-to-Market Strategy So Important?
Like an interview or a first date, you only get one first impression. If that first impression misses the mark, you’re already behind the eight-ball. To prevent this from happening, you need a data-informed and repeatable approach to GTM strategies. And with that in mind, let’s look at the 5 must-have components of a successful framework you can use to develop a go-to-market strategy template for your business.
What Is the GTM Framework Strategy?
The GTM strategy framework is a repeatable template you can adapt and use to develop a well-rounded GTM strategy. Working from a GTM strategy template or framework—such as the one we’ll outline momentarily—helps to ensure that you’ve covered all the necessary bases.
What Are the 5 Components of a Go-to-Market Strategy?
Regardless of the industry or audience, there are certain components that any GTM strategy will need to account for:
A Well-Defined Market Who are you trying to reach? Whether you’re developing a B2C or B2B go-to-market strategy, it’s important to align your product/service offerings with the actual priorities and expectations of your intended customers.
A Deep Understanding of Your Customers/Audience Once you’ve identified the market, you’ll want to learn everything you can about those customers, so you can effectively tailor your messaging to the most compelling pain points they’re experiencing.
A Practical Distribution Model From a logistical standpoint, what should the product/service roll-out and distribution look like? The more specific your plan, the easier it will be to execute—and with fewer surprises along the way.
Effective Product Messaging Depending on the market, audience, and intended distribution model, what’s the best way to introduce your product or service—in a way that gains traction and positive momentum? This is where the art aspect of GTM strategizing really comes into play. You’ll need to craft a compelling narrative for your product that aligns well with your target audience. This will demonstrate that you truly care about their needs—and have the perfect solution for them.
Sensible Pricing and Payment Models The last thing you want is to generate excitement and interest, only to have potential deals fall apart in the homestretch. Do your research, looking into industry reports and even competitors’ offerings, to find a pricing and payment model that won’t lead customers to explore similar offerings elsewhere.
Who “Owns” GTM Strategy?
The individual or team who should be responsible for developing a GTM strategy depends on a few factors—namely, the size of the organization, the resources available, and the GTM timeline. Regardless of who “owns” it, stakeholders from across the organization should be kept in the loop, if not directly engaged in strategy development. Of course, the old cliché is true that too many cooks in the kitchen can be a bad thing. This underscores the importance of an intentional approach to who is involved, and to define clear roles and responsibilities. Keeping your strategy team small ensures more efficient and effective processes, while avoiding things like misunderstandings, duplicate efforts, and other potential pitfalls.
Getting It Right: What Are the Pillars of GTM Success?
However you go about it, there are a few vital factors that play an outsized role in the success of your GTM strategy. Three of these are:
Market Research Even the best product or service offering risks falling flat if it’s not developed with your target market or audience in mind. In short, the more you understand what makes your customers tick—or what ticks them off—the easier it will be to hit a home run with your product/service offerings and overall GTM strategy.
A Passion for Collaboration A single GTM strategy often consists of many distinct components, including different stakeholders, priorities, and challenges. That’s why collaboration and coordination are so vital: they ensure a shared vision and go a long way toward an effective product or service launch.
A Repeatable Framework As you gain experience with the development and execution of GTM strategies, it should become easier for you to streamline the process by creating your own sort of template or framework—from defining the market/need all the way through messaging, pricing, and distribution.
Aptivio: GTM Future Sight
One of the most critical GTM success factors is the alignment between a company, its products and services, and its market. Aptivio’s platform helps organizations better understand their customers in real-time, so they can develop dynamic, successful strategies backed by data and insights. To learn more about how we use data to identify compelling opportunities, develop in-demand products and services, and bring them to market effectively, see our website for a number of case studies. You can also enter your information for a free Go-to-Market Snapshot, which can help you identify the right opportunities for your business, or book a demo to see it in action.