The Seven Essential Parts of a Go-To-Market Strategy

During a conversation with colleagues, the question “what is go-to-market” came up. We were discussing how the term was thrown about in every meeting, but everyone had a different idea of what it should be. What is included in a GTM strategy? Where does it start? Where does it end?

The simplest definition of a go-to-market strategy is: the action plan to deliver a product or service to customers. It should not be confused with a marketing plan, which is a section of the more comprehensive GTM plan.

A marketing plan is typically built with input from Product and Sales. GTM requires the collaboration of the entire value chain to ensure delivery of consumer experience and targeted revenue. Teams involved are Product, Operations, Demand Planning, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service. The structure varies from company to company.

Usually, the GTM is prepared for a specific product or market. A product launch, a change in the market, a modification of the offer or in the delivery would warrant a new GTM plan.

A proper GTM strategy considers the following:

  1. Goals:  Set clear expectations and KPIs to be evaluated after execution. These are used to measure effectiveness and adjust course of action if necessary. For example, these could be net sales, volume, margin, market share, increase in a particular business, be it b2b or b2c.
  2. Product/service: Detail the value proposition, positioning, and pricing of the offer.
  3. Consumer: Describe the target. Include insights. Who are they? What are their preferences? Where to they shop? How do they consume media?
  4. Competitors: Map out the competitive landscape. What are the competitors offering? What are they doing?
  5. Distribution: Establish where the product should be sold. Are there different segments? Consider that it may be the case that the various channels are visited by distinct consumers, or the same consumer behaves differently in each. If so, should the approach be adjusted for each segment?
  6. Marketing: Build synergy by speaking the same language in promoting the product throughout the consumer journey. Is the messaging compelling in communicating with the consumer to convince them rationally and emotionally? How will the demand be generated? Is the product option present in each moment of the consumer’s decision-making process? What sort of content will be created and where will they be placed? For instance, traditional advert, PR, social, influencers, direct marketing, events, website, SEM, in-store, internal communication, etc. Will there be tools to support retailers or distributors to sell the product?
  7. Customer service: Take extra care in delivering customer satisfaction. What are the shopping and product return experiences for the customer like? Is there a CRM program in place to maintain an ongoing relationship with existing customers?

It is important to stay connected to the market. As with all strategies, make sure communication channels are open to gather results and listen to feedback. Plans can be adjusted if there are key learnings that call for such decisions to be made.