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How To Build A Successful Go To Market Strategy

There are new products that get released every day. But, how many of them grow? What is the first thing that you need to do before building a product? How is this going to help your business?

That’s what we are going to see in this blog.

As a business, you need to first understand who will be selling the product to. This is called as a Go to market strategy. It helps in understanding the need for your product. Following this strategy helps you analyze whether you already have prospective customers within your customer base or if you need to build one.

What is a go-to-market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a tactical action plan that outlines everything you need to succeed in a new market. 

It can apply to pretty much anything, from launching new products and services, to re-launching your company or brand, or even moving a current product into a new market.

Another way you can think about it is this: it is a more specific version of your marketing toolkit ⁠— one that is focused on getting your product out there effectively. As a strategy, it needs to be specific and simple to document.  

Good go-to-market strategies tend to pair complementary sales and marketing tactics to get the foot in the door as soon as possible. 

Why do you need a Go to market strategy?

Go to market strategy helps you target the right set of users with the correct sales pitch and marketing efforts. It helps your business grow at an optimum rate. It acts as a complete guide that helps you devise plans to drive various aspects of the product such as sales, distribution, price, brand, competitive analysis, and marketing.

Go to market strategy can be applied to new products as well as existing ones. It outlines the steps that are mandatory to succeed be it a market or a customer. A Go to market strategy can be applied to anything from re-launching to re-segmenting to a new release. 

It offers a narrow scope and is focused entirely on the product that you intend to sell.   It gives you a clarity on who your target audience are, how you are going to manage the whole selling process. It puts you in the customers’ shoes and helps you identify the possible issues that a user might face with your product.

Identifying these areas and solving them, makes your product strong which in turn enhances your user experience.

Implementing a  go-to-market (Go to market strategy) strategy has various benefits. It helps in: 

  • Reducing the time to market
  • Reducing the costs associated with failed projects
  • Enhances the ability to adopt changes
  • Creates and manages any challenge related to innovation 
  • Improves customer experience
  • Manages compliance
  • Helps in having a successful launch
  • Avoids failures
  • Establishes a path for growth with proper direction for all

Prerequisites to implementing Go to market strategy 

Implementing Go to market strategy is necessary and if done correctly can provide numerous benefits. You need to consider a few factors before you dive deep into it. This will help you implement a clear market segmentation. 

  • The industry that you are targeting.
  • User size and potential.
  • Customer behavior: Is the user purchasing from the competitor, how do they use the product and how easy it is to convince them (Buyer behavior) .
  • Demographics of the user
  • Usage limits.
  • Benefits obtained.
  • Additional information that the user needs to know.
  • Profit

Go to Market Strategy

How to identify the buying center and personas

Identifying buyer personas is crucial when it comes to any business. This might seem like a norm and most businesses ignore it. But, it is not. According to Harvard Business Review, there are about 6.8 stakeholders who have a say in the purchase of the product. Now, these people fall into the Buyer Center bucket. The buyer center can be segmented based on the roles. We have the initiator, the one who identifies your product and shows interest. The user, this is the person who is going to use your product. The influencer, who convinces the organization that they are making the right choice. The decision-maker who approves the purchase and finally the gatekeeper who decides on upgrades or downgrades.

These roles could be managed by one or many people.

Go To Market Strategy

Based on the industry that you are in and the industry that you are selling to, the roles may vary. For instance, let us say you are looking at purchasing a tool for your individual development (B2C). Here, you are the initiator, user, influencer, approver and buyer. But, imagine the same situation in an organization. What if you have to buy a tool for your team, here the buyer center plays a major role. There is a chance that the chain can get cut anywhere while it moves from one phase to another. 

Therefore, it is necessary that you perform this activity before you launch your product. Brainstorm with your team and research the roles through which your product might have to pass. You need to know who these people are and what motivates/demotivates them from proceeding with your product.

Map a value matrix

Once you identify the buyer personas, you need to map the value matrix. Let’s see what a value matrix is first. 

It is a breakdown of each role in the buyer center. For instance, if you take the role of the initiator, what are the points that they would consider before they pass it on to the next center. How do they find value in your product and how can you market your solution to them.

One way of mapping this matrix is to create a chart with each role and point down the pain points under each of them. Then, if your product solves a problem, call them out as shown in the image below.

Go To Market Strategy

Finally, jot down the pain points and what your product solves as a message. 

Identifying a messaging strategy to different personas

Now that you have the matrix in place, you need to start testing the message. Work on the message and leverage different mediums to take it to your audience. See how people react to it and change it accordingly. 

You will also have to see which medium yields you good engagement and which does not. Stop spending on mediums that do not give you enough conversions. 

Understanding the buyer’s journey

As a next step you need to know your buyer’s journey. This is the path that a potential customer will take. If the path is linear then, your journey will be similar to the open below.

The buyer understands that there is a business problem > researches for solution > shortlists solutions > tests the product and then > purchases it

From a business standpoint, it can be categorized as TOFU, MOFU and BOFU:

Go To Market Strategy

ToFu – It is an awareness stage . At this stage the users is brought to the product using content marketing effort. 

MoFu – In this stage the user learns about the product and is even considering buying it. 

BoFu – This is the stage where the decision is made.

Here is a detailed funnel explaining the buyer’s journey. At any point, the user can leave the funnel. Therefore, making it a lost deal.

Go To Market Strategy
  • Contact: This is where the communication starts and the lead is generated.
  • Qualification: Not all leads are qualified. There can be instances where the user might have misunderstood your product, or maybe they are just interested in the content that you produce. In cases as such, the lead will not be qualified. It is work of the sales rep to analyze the lead and qualify it.
  • Business case: Here the user tests the product to see if it is useful for them.
  • Evaluation: The decision-makers of the organization take a call on whether or not to purchase the product.
  • Negotiation: Price negotiation happens in this phase.
  • Close: The deal is closed.
  • Renewal: Renewal happens based on the subscription term.

Choosing a sales strategy

A sales strategy will help in increasing your revenue. Not all business models work for all products. Therefore you need to understand your foundation here and choose the strategy that will help you grow. In general, there are 4 sales models that you choose to implement for your product.

  1. Self Service 
  2. Inside sales
  3. Field sales 
  4. Channel
Go To Market Strategy

The Self-Service model

This is where a customer purchases the product and decides to find how it works by themself. Products such as Netflix, Spotify etc, fall under this category.

Here the cost of doing the sales is minimal. The product needs to be advertised and the users who need it will purchase it.

Here, you might not need a sales team, but you will need a marketing team that helps you drive traffic to your website or app.

The Inside Sales Business Model

In this model, the lead is nurtured by a sales rep. There is a continuous follow-up cycle in place and the representative constantly contacts the lead until the purchase is made. The cycle can have different ranges depending upon the client. A high volume of sales can be achieved if the representatives have strong convincing skills.

The Field Sales Business Model

The field sales model is when you have a huge team that helps you with sales. Here the customers are at an enterprise level and the sales rep follow up with a maximum of one or two customers at a time. This model is comparatively costlier as you need people with experience. 

The field sales model consists of SDR, Managers, sales reps etc.

The Channel Model

The channel model is when you do not take care of the sales within the organization. You have a team that you have set up as a consultant or a freelancer, who close deals for you.

Generating Interest

Irrespective of the model you choose, you need to create an interest for your users to consider you. This is where you create content. This content optimizes search and helps the users who have the need to find you. Demand generation is categorized into two – Inbound and Outbound.

Go To Market Strategy

Inbound marketing happens via website, content marketing, social media, ads, etc whereas outbound marketing happens via calls, conferences, emails etc.

Creating the content that sells

Inbound leads are easy to convert and much cheaper. This is because the content that you create already educates the user. All that they need to do is to try the product and see it for themselves. The content should be written targeting the keywords which will attract potential customers. 

Go To Market Strategy

Optimize, optimize, optimize

Once you have all the content, sales script in place, you are good to start. But optimizing what you have can give you the advantage to reduce acquisition costs. You need to have a few success metrics in place that will help you optimize your efforts. These metrics should be meaningful, measurable, and optimizable.

Go-to-market strategy examples

The early days of Salesforce

The late 1990s saw an increase in the number of companies that were building customer relationship management software. Out of those, the primary contenders were Oracle and SAP.

Problems arose, however, when in the name of competition, they started adding features that their users did not really need. 

The whole CRM experience was becoming bulky and hard to learn.

Having worked at Oracle for 13 years, Marc Benioff had a lot of experience with customer support as well as CRMs.

He wanted to build a CRM solution that was easy to use and did not waste the user’s time.

Benioff is known for his aggressive marketing tactics.

To support the initial launch, he started a fake protest against a competitor, Siebel, with imagery suggesting that previous solutions are just not working.

What’s more: he even hosted an ‘End of Software’ party.

Stunts aside, Benioff also came up with the tradition of announcing new products and services at a grand conference.

In 2003, Salesforce held its first Dreamforce user conference, attracting ~1300 attendants.

Eight Sleep and IFTTT

Eight Sleep is a startup that sells ‘smart mattresses’.

How did they convince their customers that their mattresses have features?

By partnering with IFTTT.

They created integrations that allowed users to have a night and morning routine.

Further integrations allowed to turn on/off lights, start their coffee machines, activate bed warming, and much more, all through their smartphones.

The rise of the iPhone

iPhones are one of the greatest phenomena in our recent history.

They helped the smartphone industry take off, but also, made technology and the internet more accessible.

To make that happen, Steve Jobs first created a set of principles to be followed.

Prior to even developing the iPod, Apple started building and opening retail stores around the US. 

Apple Stores, as they are now known for their grandeur and simplicity, were the foundation for Steve Jobs’ vision for his products. People can walk in the store, look at the products, fall in love with them, and buy them on the spot.

What started off as a go-to-market strategy now has a cult following. With the exception of 2020, Apple Stores have had a constant queue outside them whenever a new device launched.

For the iPhone’s launch, Jobs went further.

Before the iPhone, carriers used to have the ultimate say in what phones got launched and marketed, since they were the door to the users.

Jobs flipped the scene, and got into an exclusive contract with AT&T for the iPhone. 

AT&T would be the only carrier to sell the iPhone, but at the same time, they would have no say in what features were being shipped.

Once the iPhone became popular, Apple did not need to be exclusive and carriers become dumb pipes.

Fitbit and its Smart Coach

Fitbit is a smartwatch startup.

While this subset of smart devices are quite popular now, back then, it was quite hard to convince customers to shell out money for something with limited features.

This led to most companies focusing on fitness to improve their stance.

Fitbit took it a step further and developed ‘Smart Coach’, a premium personal training app.

The campaign “Get More With FitBit,” involved leveraging both paid and owned channels to reach the target audience.

Getting in shape and staying healthy are two goals that every one of us would like to accomplish.

No wonder their go-to-market strategy paid off.

Go-to-market plan

Craft a good go-to-market strategy

Every ounce of research that you have done until now needs to be made coherent. Take your buying center personas and prioritize them based on your value matrix.

Once you are done with that, work on the distinct messaging strategies for each of the personas.

The buyer journey’s and the value matrix need to go hand in hand when you prioritize who to chase and market to first. 

Miss out on one, and you would have an incomplete picture that would either fail your marketing strategies or waste your resources. 

Check your degree of product-market fit

If you have achieved 100% product-market fit, then you would hardly need to convince users. They would rush in to get a chance at using your product.

Ideal situations like those are one in a billion.

What can do, however, is check how much PMF you have achieved and strategize based on that. A good degree, and you can balance between organic and paid channels. 

You can check your degree of product-market fit by:

  • Conducting user interviews
  • Analyzing competitors and their traffic
  • Launching your MVP and gauging the reaction

Come up with a clear value proposition

Good positioning can elevate your brand and product to great heights. 

It is not that users do not see how functional your product is.

It is that they need to understand how beneficial or experientially fun your product can be.

Every feature needs to be explained as a benefit, and every action they complete should be a by-product of that.

A clear value proposition such as ‘It’s what’s happening’ can catch the attention of your users and intrigue them.

Choose your market-entry strategy

There are three ways you can enter a market.

Direct market entry: you do everything, from marketing to customer service. Every touchpoint is owned by you. The website, the product, the development team, and so on.

This is the best method out there if you want to offer the finest customer experience (vide Apple), but it takes a long time to garner interest or reach profitability.

Indirect market entry: you develop the product, but rely on intermediaries to market and distribute. This can allow you to scale faster but you might not have enough control over your brand’s perception.

The inverted approach works, where you work on customer strategies while outsourcing your product to a digital product agency. This will let you shape your brand image while delivering a cutting edge product.

Bottom line

Using a Go to market strategy to build products makes work easy. It helps you identify everything that you need to know and plan sales, marketing and distribution accordingly. Doing all of this is only half a battle. The other half is developing it. But, we can lift that weight off your shoulders. head over to We will take off your idea from there.

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