Go-to-Market Strategy (FREE Template)
In today’s corporate world especially keeping in view the technology ecosystem relevant to the B2B industry, for you to succeed as a business or initiative you either need a huge amount of luck or a product that no one has seen or even heard of and is regarded as a once in a lifetime innovation.
Of course, both things are not only highly subjective but highly unexpected as well, therefore, to mitigate risk and to plan how you want to enter a particular market in a particular sector you need your go-to-market strategy.
Not only does the go-to-market strategy help you get the maximum return on your investment, but it also aids in planning against possible adversaries in the market that you might encounter as a business. Imagine having information and knowledge along with technical insights about possible events in the future, not only will that give you a tool and deck of tricks to overcome issues if any but will also give you an upper hand in comparison to your competitors.
What is a Go Market Strategy?
In simple words, a go-to-market strategy is an action plan to introduce a new product or service in a particular market or take an already developed product or service to a newer market segment.
As the name suggests usually go to market strategies focus on a short term approach on how to enter a particular market or introduce a product to the market, but researchers and seasoned marketers, actually suggest that your go-to-market strategy should be refined and thorough enough to sustain the initial success of your product or service.
You may be thinking that to have a successful go to market strategy there would be a magic formula or template that you can use to achieve success, while there are some elements that should be present in every successful go to market strategy and plan, the true essence of a go-to-market strategy is dependable on your company, strategic direction, and of course the kind of product and market that you are operating in.
For this, we recommend that you develop customized positioning, segmentation, and enhanced messaging for your product. But this can only be done when supported by research and insights of seasoned professionals specializing in developing go-to-market strategies for tech-based businesses, thanks to technology that is available at just a click.
Commonly business owners sometimes confuse the go-to-market strategy with a business, but both are separate entities and do not overlap. Your GTM Strategy in essence specifies how you will target a certain customer segment and develop a sustainable competitive advantage for yourself over your competitors in the industry. Nowadays go to market strategies are also being used to relaunch the same product even sometimes in the same market. This of course requires intensive research and analysis skills to be conducted to be executed.
Why Do You Need a Go-to-Market Strategy?
Imagine you’re a budding tech-based startup and you don’t have the finances to hire an elaborate marketing team but despite these financial constraints you’ll still need a go-to-market strategy because of course you must work on taking your product to the market and the more effectively you do it the better are the results. Especially in the case of small entrepreneurial ventures that focus on technology, go to market strategy is needed, even if it’s just a tool pack consisting of small tricks and tactics that will help you develop a place for yourself in the market even if you have still not determined your product-market fit and that still experimenting with your buyer persona.
Your go-to-market strategy will be pivotal in the initial rounds and efforts that you will be putting in to get investment for your product or service and then of course it will prepare you as you work towards finally launching your product into the market. The biggest mistake that tech entrepreneurs make when talking about go to market strategy is that they let fear overcome them and they start thinking about attracting and retaining their customers too early. But your GTM strategy is your solution to these concerns because not only will it mold your buyer’s persona for you but will also guide which tactics or tools you should deploy to leverage your customer’s needs and grow further.
Your GTM strategy once developed will hold the answer to your concern that what should I do to get my first set of quality customers on board? Of course, the number of customers or clients that you want to target can be adjusted according to your business objectives. To keep it short and simple, for a tech business the go-to-market plan is like the guiding beam, that will not only be your guide to customer attraction and retention but will be the go-to solution for your team whenever they find themselves at crossroads.
Elements of a Go to Market Strategy
Before we present to you a proven and well researched go to market strategy framework, we would like to go over some key elements of a go-to-market plan with you, so that when we are developing the go-to-market strategy for your tech business using our GTM template, these four critical GTM elements and not only incorporated but focused on as well.
Product Market Fit
When we talk about product-market fit for tech-based business, we relate it to the practice where customers are not only buying your product but using it as well and then telling others to buy it too. This is an ideal scenario for a product-market fit which of course is something that every tech-based entrepreneurial venture should aspire for. Product market fit also refers to how well the product which you are offering aligns with the needs of the market and how easily your product or service’s value proposition fulfills and pays attention to the pain points of the customers.
Target Market Segment
Your target market segment is a section of the market in which you have identified a similar set of customers that share their needs, ideologies, demographics, etc., and are most likely to benefit from the need-fulfilling properties of your product or service. When developing your product, a service coma you should make use of the information that you can derive from your target market segment and incorporate their inherited and subconscious influences and beliefs in your product’s packaging, marketing campaigns UI, etc.
Demand And Competition
Then comes demand and competition. The first and foremost thing that you would like to understand about the market is whether there is a demand or need for the kind of product or service you are offering. Sometimes the demand or need for your product is not that obvious and even the customers themselves are not aware of the need which they are possessing inherently. Therefore, it is your task as an entrepreneur or business owner to make them realize their need and then of course offer your product as a solution. The second thing that you must look at is the competition and the industry dynamics in which you are going to enter and operate. You want to know whether the market is saturated or is there enough space for new competitors like yourself to enter and what are the barriers to entry to the technology sector that you are targeting.
Channels Of Distribution
Now let’s talk about how you will distribute or sell your product or service to your target market segment. Will you deploy your website or develop an app, or would you use a third-party vendor to do so? This question is of course very important because not only does it have a cost impact, but it also has a major role in defining your reach as well as ensuring that the channels that you are using to take your product to the market are the avenues that your target market segment uses and is accessible to them.
How to Create a GTM Strategy – The Steps of Creating a Go to Market Plan
As we have explored the basic and imperative elements of a GTM strategy, let us now use a step-by-step approach to creating a go-to-market plan for your tech-based business. This GTM approach is presented to you after years of experience of taking tech-based businesses to market as well as how the current market structure is booming for tech-based entrepreneurial ventures.
Recognizing The Buying Center and Customer Profile
The first step of creating a go-to-market plan is recognizing your buying center and of course, developing your customer profile. By buying center we mean the different roles different individuals play in the market segment or even in the organization that you’re trying to target in your tech-based B2B business when it comes to deciding on a purchase. And then when we talk about the customer profile it is the same as customer persona, you need to define exact demographics, characteristics, etc. all the information that you can gather about psychographics as well of your target customer so that your product launch and GTM framework is further developed keeping in mind the person or individual or business for whom the product or service is targeted for. The different roles that individuals play in a buying center or buying decision-making unit are as under:
- Initiator: Starts the purchasing system or shows introductory interest
- User: Uses your item routinely
- Influencer: Convinces others the item is required
- Decision Maker: Gives the last endorsement for the purchase
- Buyer: Owns the financial plan
- Approver: Final approver who pushes the drive for a bigger scope (ordinarily somebody in the C-suite)
- GateKeeper: Blocker in getting an item executed or supported
Develop A Value Matrix
In this step, you must use the personas that you have developed in combination with the buying center and craft messages that will be able to communicate how your product or service will cater to the unidentified or identified need of these seven roles are part of your buying decision-making unit. Always remember that these roles can be played by multiple individuals in a particular market segment as well as within an organization when you’re talking about a B2B setting.
Test Your Marketing Message
Now that you have developed a value matrix and worked on the marketing messages you want to put across with your value proposition to different Buyer Personas, it’s time that you test this effort by launching a marketing campaign on different platforms such as social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. But of course, you must ensure that a fair combination of all these different personas is being reached out using different platforms and you’re also able to generate tangible results and analytics from their interaction with your marketing efforts.
Optimizing Your Campaign
Now that you have tested your marketing message you will have derived insights and of course, identified areas for improvement for different segments of your marketing targets. Put your marketing team on this task but they must not only improve but optimize on these weak areas so much so that they are translated into your strengths before you can launch these marketing messages as a part of your go-to-market framework on a bigger and larger scale to finally put out your products value proposition and need satisfaction capabilities in the mainstream market.
Reflecting On Buyer’s Journey
In this step, we take you back to marketing 101 where we want you to reflect on your buyer’s journey that is ToFu MoFu and BoFu, namely known as the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and finally the bottom of the funnel. You need to identify the pain points in a buyer’s journey through the sales funnel as well as compare it to how it reflects onto your company and how well you can manage these pain points using your company’s competitive advantage. For tech-based startups, this is very critical because, after all, lead generation, CPC, all of these are initiated in the sales funnel which is critical to driving your conversion rate.
Select Your Sales Strategy
Now that you have laid down the basic framework of how you want to execute your GTM plan, it is time to select one or even two sales strategies depending on how well they align with your product, service, and of course your businesses capabilities and future goals you are free to choose from the available sales strategies that are recommended for technology-based startups and businesses, some of which we are listing down below.
- The Self-Service Model: Here a customer purchases on their own therefore it is very suited to low-priced and easily accessible services and products.
- The Inside Sales Business Model: With increased complexity in your product, this is the business model that you use where you nurture a sales lead to push it further down into the sales funnel.
- The Channel Model: Here you hire an outside agency or third-party vendor to distribute and sell your product in your target market segment.
- The Field Sales Business Model: This model refers to when you have a complex product along with a dedicated large sales team that closes enterprise deals in the B2B industry.
Deploy Inbound and Outbound Techniques
Now you will have to use both inbound and outbound marketing techniques to not only generate demand, leads but also create brand awareness and brand recognition about your product or service. Always remember that whether you are a tech entrepreneurial business or an established technology-based IT firm, you need to take both inbound and outbound marketing techniques hand in hand in a balanced combination that matches well with your business strategy to achieve results when developing your go-to-market strategy.
Source: Google Images
Always remember that content is king especially when it comes to inbound marketing. Therefore, in this step, we recommend that you develop a content-focused marketing campaign that uses tools and techniques, especially those revolving around SEO-driven content, blogs, etc. to drive traffic towards your product or service itself. Always remember that technology when used correctly and appropriately is your friend in developing your GTM strategy.
Nurture Your Leads and Conversions
As the name suggests this is the stage where you start working on your leads as well as conversions to not only nurture them for the long run but also drive market insights from them because after all, they are part of your target market segment, and their actions and thoughts are pivotal and critical in not only defining the targets of your marketing campaigns but also driving product development improvement in the future and capturing of a larger segment and customer base.
Analyze Your Sales Cycle
Finally, you need to analyze and reflect as well as track your sales cycle and compare its length with the financial investment you’re putting in, the efforts in terms of marketing tactics, and how well the market is responding to your sales efforts. Ideally, you would want to shorten your sales cycle to not only reduce costs but also to increase inventory turnover even when it comes to a tech-based service product. But sometimes of course we do understand that this is not possible given the complexity of the customer segment as well as the price of the product or service that you are taking to market with your go-to marketing framework.
Now would also need to work on reducing costs as a business owner because after all, it has a direct relationship with your revenues and profits which of course you would like to inject back into your tech-based business to further grow and drive sales. One of the easiest and most effective ways of reducing costs is reducing customer acquisition cost and that is done in the industry by targeting an already acquired customer and using techniques such as bundle pricing and upselling to generate more revenue from a particular customer or client and increase their customer lifetime value(CLV).
Customer Relationship Management
This is again a timeline journey back into marketing 101 where of course we would want to keep on developing our customer relationship with the current segment that we have tapped into and keep on growing into the same segment as well by not only acquiring new customers but also entering micro-segments within a segment. Always remember that this step is not only about sales revenue and profit, but also about your future growth and existence in the technology-based market. This initiative as a part of your go-to-market framework will also provide you the insights to develop, improve and optimize your product or service further and be able to capture a larger section of the B2B industry.
Go To Market Strategy Examples
Let us now look at some examples of go-to marketing strategies that would execute it in our tech-based industry, which will not only help us see the GTM approach in real execution but would also help us derive key insights that we can apply to our tech-based business.
- TaxJar: It is a sales tax automation business that targets business owners and corporates in the B2B industry. They leverage the power of content as a part of their GTM strategy and developed SEO-based informative content revolving around sales to educate the key decision-makers in their target market.
- Upscope: Starting as a screen sharing service, people believed that could be just like any other screen sharing software that we have. But it worked by targeting the main paint point of its target users which was the difficulty and technical end of screen sharing. They made it easy and communicated it to those who were critical to this product’s success that are the IT specialists, customer success managers, and even HR on-borders.
- Vuclip: A mobile buffering service streaming service, targeted the pain point in certain markets which was slow buffering. Once they were able to cater to that in their GTM plan there was no looking back.
Go-To-Market Strategy Template – Free GTM Plan Template to Scale Your Startup
We will now present a free GTM strategy template that will help you in scaling your tech-based startup and taking it to the market in the hassle-free and result-oriented method.
- Product Definition
- Market Problem Identification
- Market Problem Validation
- Strategic Objectives
Identifying your Market
- Market and Client Identification
- Market and Competitive Intelligence
- Beta/Market Test
- Go-to-market Strategy
Create your Business Case
- Business Case
- Market Strategy
- Sales and Sales Support
- Service Support
- Product Roadmap
- External Marketing Programs.
- PR and Advertising
- Internal Marketing
- Budget and Resources, KPIs, and Metrics
You can also access it free online, to use for your tech-based startup.
Professional Services That Can Help You Create a Go to Market Plan for Your Business
What’s important to realize in a highlight here is that despite being the business owner and having the vision and objectives for your technology service or product in mind, one is not equipped with the right skillset or market knowledge and sometimes even team support to develop the most appropriate go to market plan for the business. Therefore, we recommend taking the help and support of professionals who not only have years of experience in taking technology-based startups to the market but have also executed GTM frameworks to excellence. Some of the professional services that you can hire to make your GTM strategy process and actual investment are as follows.
- Market Research and Strategic Objective Identification
- Developing Buyer Personas
- Market Segmentation
- Product Positioning
- Product Mix Development
- Demand and Lead Generation Services
- Content-Driven Marketing Plan Development
- Cost Optimization Services
Even though it might seem that these tasks or services being a critical part of your GTM journey can be done in-house which may even tempt you to hire ad hoc firms to handle the backbone of your business’ GTM framework. We recommend that you consult with industry professionals that have worked with dozens of startups operating in the technology realm such as those present at Chasm, to not only develop the best GTM framework but also be stress-free during its development process and receive a bang for your buck.
Our Services That Can Help You Create a Winning GTM Strategy
With clients like Acacus and Levarne in their portfolio, Chasm is one of the industry’s most sought-after GTM strategy developers and specialists and they offer the most comprehensive set of services to not only develop your GTM plan but also ensure its flawless execution with tangible results. Chasm specializes in the following services and is more than ready to offer more to its clients if such a need arises.
Product Validation and Strategic Direction
Leads the product validation process and ensures that not only is the product a right fit to cater to your target markets’ needs but is also stationed for the right strategic direction.
Positioning, Segmentation & Enhanced Messaging
Ensures proper customer-centric product positioning, effective segmentation of the market, and enhanced marketing messaging services.
Demand Generation Strategy Service
Will ensure that your target segment realizes their need and how well it aligns with your value proposition.
Sales Effectiveness and Strategy Consulting
Delivers alignment of sales with your value proposition as well as provides general strategy consulting services.
When talking about a GTM strategy, we at Chasm also like to call it the strategy of strategies because after all a thoroughly organized and developed GTM strategy results from a 360-degree analysis of what you are trying to deliver to the market segment and what you want to achieve for your business. Your GTM plan is how you look at results and it’s not just a marketing campaign or sales-focused arena. It requires a strategic analysis that involves all sections and departments of your organization, and if you are in a budding entrepreneur or tech-focused venture then you need to think on all these avenues before developing your GTM strategy. The go-to-market strategy is no doubt a defining principle and of course, varies from business to business, it takes us a lot of thought process and thorough planning, but the beauty of this is that it can be tailored and adapted to your tech-based business depending on its offerings.