What Are the Five Key Areas of
the Go-to-Market Framework?

Businesses today have access to a wide range of data they can use to better understand their customers—from market profiles to sophisticated buyer signals. What’s worth noting, though, is that a successful go-to-market (GTM) strategy is not just about the data—it's what you do with it. Of course, what’s possible depends on how accessible, reliable, and timely that data is. 

By developing and using a repeatable go-to-market strategy framework—and using the right technology—organizations can optimize their resources and ensure that their new product or service launch goes off without a hitch. In other words, effective GTM planning doesn’t have to be difficult—or even time-consuming.

In this article, we’re going to provide an overview of what goes into a GTM strategy, and why. First, we’ll explain what the general framework consists of (and why it works), and then we’ll touch on what it takes to design an effective GTM strategy—whether you’re an established organization, an emerging small business, or a brand-new startup.

What Is a Go-to-Market Framework, and Why Should You Use One?

A recent article from Harvard Business Review describes the importance of a GTM strategy by looking at how an ineffective approach can potentially drag down the organization, notably sales and marketing. A go-to-market strategy framework as HBR describes it, risks falling short of expectations if it is not informed by current—and actionable—data. 

More specifically, “too many companies rely on backward-looking sales data and an outdated coverage model to determine how many reps they need and where to assign them,” HBR notes, adding that this unfortunate phenomenon often brings with it a diminishing “return on investment of the sales and marketing organization.”

What Are the 5 Main Parts of a GTM Framework?

While there are several different types of go-to-market strategy, a general go-to-market strategy template consists of 5 main components:
  • A well-defined market: Who are you targeting with your product or service offerings, and where does your company fit within the larger industry or market?
  • One or more ideal customer profiles: Within the market, which specific subsets of your customers are the ideal target audience—and what are their unique concerns, pain points, and priorities?
  • An effective distribution model: Assuming you generate interest and demand for your product or service, how will you ensure its smooth distribution and/or adoption?
  • Engaging product messaging: What will be your “hook” to make sure the right audience is engaged? How can you tell the story of your product and what it could do for other organizations?
  • Sensible pricing and payment models: Is your pricing appropriate for what you're offering, and is your assessment of pricing based on real-time data (i.e. competitor prices, market value, and so on)?
To learn more about each of these key components, check out our ultimate GTM guide.

What Does a Go-to-Market Strategy for Startups Look Like?

For startups, the go-to-market strategy or framework works a little differently than it does for a larger, more-established business. In fact, Harvard Business Review considers that one of the biggest differences, noting that:
  • For a larger, well-established organization, uncovering the right data to inform their strategies often “involves analyzing data they probably already have,” adding that they “can also quite often afford to engage in market research and experimentation along multiple fronts.”
  • For a startup trying to get itself off the ground, by contrast, typically “lacks a history and the knowledge it brings.” They don’t often have the time or resources to engage in the kind of experimentation and iteration their larger counterparts can, in other words. That being said, there are also advantages here—”because prior experience, historical data, and commitments that drive existing practices may create blind spots for established corporations, possibly even causing them to overlook innovations that pose an existential threat.”

How Do You Plan a Go-to-Market Strategy? It Starts with Aptivio

The best way to ensure GTM success is by basing your strategy’s foundation around real customer data, including information about customers’ networks and unique buyer intent signals. Unfortunately, far too many companies set their GTM strategies without the benefit of these insights. Why? Because they are nuanced—and because capturing and interpreting that data simply isn’t feasible for the average organization. But platforms like Aptivio make it more than feasible. Our solution empowers companies with the insights they need to develop winning strategies. 

Aptivio is more than just a go-to-market tool—it’s an AI-powered revenue engine for account based sales. From deriving insights from buyer signals to configuring your GTM sales playbook and revealing sales-ready opportunities, Aptivio stands ready to help you reach the market without having to resort to guesswork. Book a demo today to see it in action!