What Is A Go-To-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy is a plan you create to present your product to the market. In most cases a GTM strategy is done when you have developed a new product or are planning on developing it. However, it can also be used when you want to expand your markets and introduce the product to one or several new markets.
Crafting a go-to-market strategy is a crucial aspect to set the ground for a successful product launch. Without a GTM strategy, you are much more likely to fall prey to common mistakes that can cause your product to fail in the market you introduce it to.
Without selecting the proper customers to target and sell your product to, you may miss the opportunity to make a good enough number of sales. Without selecting the best channels to market your product, you may miss attracting loyal customers. So, it’s best to create a GTM strategy that will consider all these aspects and set you up for a much smoother ride.
A Go-To-Market Strategy Includes:
1 The Market Research
Before thinking about creating any kind of product, a smart company would thoroughly analyze and study the market.
Is there a similar product already on the market?
Is there demand for the product?
How much supply is there for the demand?
If there are no similar products in the market, why not?
If there are similar product in the market, is there space to enter?
These are only a few of the questions that you might consider in this phase of the GTM strategy. You can start with some questions to analyze the market, then the more you retrieve information the more questions will pop up and you will start to truly understand the market and the forces that affect it.
A key aspect you need to assess is whether your product will solve a problem of a customer group. This is one of the indicators whether your product will succeed in the market. If you are able to solve a problem, customers will seek your product as a solution and that will generate sales. If your product is not problem-solving in any way, you may only offer an alternative, and selling an alternative is always more difficult.
So, research, research, and then research a little bit more. You can never have enough research under your belt to base your decisions on. But you have to also be capable of interpreting your research and making decisions that are informed and strategic. This is easier said than done, and this is where you can outsource the market research process, either to a consulting firm such as GroKalp, or to companies that collect and interpret data.
Finally, this process will be ongoing, as you cover more parts of your GTM Strategy, you will go back and consult your data and conclusions about the market and be able to remain on course for your ultimate goal of launching your product successfully.
2 Target Customer
The market study will reveal to you a lot of information about the ideal customer to target with your product. To truly take advantage of a defined market for your product, you must deeply analyze the target customer.
Establish demographics (gender, age, income, etc.)
Understand their behavior
Figure out their pain points
When you understand the customer and what they need, it is much easier to present your product and the value you are offering them.
3 Competitor Analysis
It’s very important to figure out who your competitors are in the market you are about to approach with your product. While you can have a great product, competitors may have been offering the same one before you. As such, you must analyze:
Competitors’ products and their features
Competitors’ marketing efforts
After your analysis you will have a much clearer view about the current state of the industry and market. This analysis will help you to create competitive advantage and work towards making your product stand out and be chosen by your target costumer.
4 Product Definition
Once you have done most of your market research, you can start to define the product you are selling. Although your product idea may have been the first step that initiated the GTM Strategy, the actual product definition can only be done after you have thorough knowledge of the market and its needs and gaps.
This is the step in your GTM strategy when you define all the details that make your product marketable. Here you decide if you have a good enough product to generate sales and profit.
What are you offering?
Are you offering a commodity?
Are you offering a product that solves a problem of your target customer?
What is the value your product is providing to your customer?
The product that you will be selling should be thoroughly defined to make its marketing more successful.
5 Operations Setup
This is where you make most of the logistic decisions regarding your plan. Operations should be addressed and defined in your go-to-market strategy.
Are you manufacturing your product?
Are you importing your product?
Are you outsourcing any part of the production?
Are you shipping and delivering by yourself or outsourcing the delivery?
You must include these and many more aspects about the whole process from the creation of the product to the end of its journey. The reason to include the main information about the process of your product launch in the GTM strategy is to make it easier to go back and consult this part time and again. The process will be unique to your own product and plan, so you have to choose the details that matter most in your product launch.
Where will you manufacture your product?
Where will you sell your product?
Will you sell only online or also in physical stores?
Defining all your locations can also be put in the GTM Strategy depending on how it affects your product. For example, if you only sell your product online, there are implications such as its marketing to be taken into consideration.
Do you need any special equipment to manufacture your product?
What B2B deals do you need to make to buy equipment?
Will you buy or rent equipment?
You also have to take into consideration how you will manage the need for equipment if it applies to your product. Defining these details in your GTM strategy helps you take all the measures to a successful production.
Do you need partners?
What do you need partners for?
What kind of value can partners provide to your product launch?
Partners can be a very crucial part of your product launch strategy. They are especially helpful if they already have a good reputation in your industry or a related industry. Partners can help you increase the exposure of your product so more ears can hear about it and more eyes can see your launch. If your partners are well known, customers are more likely to trust you and give your product a try.
How much will you invest in your product R&D?
How much investment will manufacturing require?
How much will you invest in marketing?
How will you fund all these aspects of your product?
You budget is one of the most crucial parts of the whole process of creating and launching a new product. Naturally, you can’t do any of the abovementioned activities without funding. However, by the time these processes are on their way, you may have secured your funding. If you need help to fund your ideas, here is a guideline to fund your idea.
6Marketing Your Product
Marketing is one of the most important, if not THE most important, parts of your product launch. If you don’t inform your target customers about the launch, they will not know about it and therefore will not buy your product. So, it’s very important to inform them and convince them that it is the best option for them.
A crucial aspect of marketing is conveying the value of your product. The target audience needs to know how your product will solve their problem or enhance their life, that is, they need to know what’s in it for them.
There are many marketing tools to you can utilize when introducing a new product.
Branding is the most crucial element of marketing.
Branding is the identity of your company and it should encompass everything you are and everything you do. Therefore, it’s important to carefully move your branding into your product and product launch.
Your product should go hand in hand with the values of your brand and it should complement your company.
When you brand your product, you have to try to seize opportunities to include your values in it, be it in the product itself or in the packaging. For example, if you are a tech company whose values include innovation and you create a new product, you should implement an innovative aspect either to the product itself, to its packaging, or the way you market it.
Ikea does branding well, incorporating a lighthearted and often humorous spirit in their brand, while also providing solutions for their customers. It seems from their brand that they really care that their customers are comfortable and well. This can be seen throughout their company, products, and marketing efforts.
If you are not using social media to market your products, you are missing out a lot!
Nowadays most customers are on social media, and the targeting opportunities are huge. While before you had to pay big sums of money to reach your target audience, now it is much easier and much more affordable to do so.
There are many ways you can utilize social media to launch a product. Even the number of social media platforms available gives an option for each product. For example, the youth are using Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube among other platforms and those are all very different from one another.
If you use Instagram, you can produce a larger amount of content, both photos and videos to launch your product and show its features.
If you use TikTok, you could post several short form videos that are catchy and fast.
If you have a large audience on YouTube you would be able to launch a product through a longer form video.
So, depending on your product and where your audience is spending their time, you can create different strategies to reach your audience and launch your product.
For example, Airbnb has a very strong Instagram game. Seeing how most Instagram users really enjoy aesthetic views of nice and interesting houses, it seems to be one of the best platforms for the company. It is a great way to incite a healthy dose of wanderlust and showcase their beautiful houses.
Website / Landing Page
Most serious companies have websites. If your target customer cannot find you online, they are less likely to trust you. Therefore, investing in a well-made website that is intuitive and provides a good customer experience is a big win, especially for companies selling online.
When you launch a product, a website or even a landing page can be a great way to offer as much information as the target audience needs. In the case of a website, you don’t have to limit your information to keep the attention of the customer, you can rather section the information such that the customer can access whatever information they need or want to get.
A website or landing page can also be used to tease the audience before the product launch so you can also retrieve their email addresses to notify them for the launch. This will greatly benefit your email list for newsletters and identify leads.
Slack is a good example of a company that does killer landing pages which are very likely to convert a lead into a customer by their persuasive writing and great user interface.
A website is also a great way to be found online, where you can create content that incorporates
When you create such content, commonly in the form of blog posts, you can attract people into your page. They can learn about topics related to your product and be introduced to the product in the meantime.
Content with good SEO is a great way to attract leads because they learn something from you and that increases their trust in your company and products.
For example, Shopify is one of the top content players in the game. Although they don’t write the longest blogs, they do offer posts that explain terms and show the basics of the topic. Their strategy seems to be great seeing how they rank on google for a lot of very popular keywords in the industry.
Ads can be both traditional and digital. This all depends on your product and your target audience. If your target audience watches a certain tv program or is located geographically in the same space, you can include traditional ads in your plan.
However, digital ads are much more popular nowadays. You can spend less and gain more, but you can also test and input much more variety in your ads.
You can extract very detailed data from your ad campaigns online and this can help you make more informed decisions related to your ads and products.
A great example of the success of ads is the Nike mantra “Just do it” which was started as an add. It’s very likely that you’ve heard it before and that you know it. This is how far the Nike ad went, maybe your ad can too.
Email marketing is not new, but it is also not going anywhere. A lot of companies make the most profit from their email lists because they have mastered the art of writing convincing emails to their leads.
A good email should look attractive and most importantly it should provide VALUE. You must give your target audience information that they need, or materials that they would appreciate. Don’t forget to also analyze the data of your emails and see how they are performing so you can test and make the right adjustments.
A great example is Buzzfeed, who are really doing amazing with their email marketing, offering multiple options to subscribe based on your individual needs and preferences.
Events And PR
While a lot of companies are opting for digital options in launching their products, you can also go the traditional way which is also common for very well-known companies, namely PR events. PR events have been a common way for companies to announce big changes or big launches. For example, Apple does events to introduce their products. This fits the company like a glove because their products are very well known and awaited with big enthusiasm by their users and fans.
You should assess if a PR event or any other PR activity suits your product launch and deserves to be put in your GTM strategy. If your launch has either a global or local impact, PR events or activities such as press releases can be great ways to inform the people, most specifically your target customers.
To Wrap It Up…
A go-to-market strategy is a crucial document for companies that want to put the effort to succeed in their product launch.
Contact us as GroKalp if you need help crafting your own go-to-market strategy to make your product stand out and reach your target customer.
Introducing a product isn’t easy, but with the right GTM strategy, you’re already several steps ahead of most competitors who overlook it and take the short route.
Take your time, study the market
Draft your GTM strategy
Prepare all the information
Create marketing materials
Have a successful product launch!