Growth is the dream of every business owner. The prospect of growth is never more exciting or uncertain than when your company is executing a go-to-market strategy.
So many moving parts demand a comprehensive strategy flexible enough to respond to challenges but strong enough to keep its shape in the face of innumerable pressures.
Our guide today will give you the 101 on go-to-market strategies and some actionable tips to create your own GTM plan.
What is a Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy?
At its core, a go-to-market strategy is the methods and practices your company employs to introduce a new revenue stream. This could mean a product launch, a new feature, or an expansion into a new market.
Go-to-Market Strategy vs. Marketing Strategy
Your GTM strategy is not the same as your marketing strategy.
You can think of a GTM plan as the transition phase between creating a new revenue source and the act of turning that source on. Perhaps more accurately, it’s the plan to turn that source of revenue on.
This is in contrast to a marketing plan that is more narrowly focused on promoting the product and generating demand for it.
What’s in a GTM Strategy?
Any good GTM strategy should have these three aspects.
Your GTM process needs to remain efficient and flexible in the face of any challenge. Your leaders should be competent and in synch with the grand strategy to execute the vision without the need for inefficient chains of command. Lower-level workers need to understand the vision just as well, so they can adapt to challenges and call for necessary support before problems become unmanageable.
2. Repeatability and Scalability
Go-to-market is a process that directly feeds the growth of your business. In essence, it is growth because it involves expanding revenue channels and generating demand for brand-new products or features.
This is a process your company has to optimize over time because there are far too many moving parts and unique variables for any one strategy to ever be considered perfect.
A GTM strategy, therefore, needs to be repeatable and iterative. Each new version of go-to-market should build on the ones that came before it, incorporating new perspectives and data on performance.
Since GTM is fundamentally a growth strategy, it needs to be scalable. If your GTM isn’t scaling, then you aren’t growing.
3. A Unifying Perspective
Your first GTM strategy meeting is the time to lay out goals and expectations. More than this, it’s a time to get everyone on board with the vision your leaders have crafted.
All stakeholders need to understand their roles and how they stand to gain from the success of the plan and the company. This kind of unifying vision is what brings people together and forms a cohesive team. It builds motivation and understanding, and leads to a productive strategy.
Examples of Go-to-Market Strategy for Startups and Large Businesses
Go-to-market channels, or strategies, are best understood as sets of goals and how you plan to achieve them. For simplicity, we’ve organized this list into three types of GTM, defined by their primary mode of demand generation.
However, you could also look at these from the perspective of execution and build a plan with those ideas as the foundation.
An inbound-led campaign is the bread and butter of many B2B GTM operations.
It involves generating and capturing demand via content marketing. Content should be marketed through multiple channels to ensure maximum lead capture. Data should be enriched on the back end before being qualified and fed to sales, which focuses on high-quality leads and conversions.
In an inbound-led campaign, your growth is tied to the ability of marketing and sales to work together to drive conversions. The more efficiently they can carry out this task, the more you’ll grow.
Sometimes a product can speak for itself.
A product-led GTM strategy is right for SaaS companies that can roll out features and expansions at a minimal initial cost. The strength of the product means that users will uncover new features and adopt new products organically. Upselling, deals, checkout, and scaling can all be managed from within the product.
In a product-led GTM, growth is tied to the ability of the product to deliver value and promise even more through added features.
An idea can transform a marketplace.
If your company has a revolutionary idea or technology, you can focus on becoming a category leader. This will be based on your ability to assume an authoritative position in your marketplace, either through thought leadership or culmination around a revolutionary product.
For category-led GTM, your growth is tied to your ability to build a movement and spearhead a new marketplace for your developing product or idea.
How Do You Create a Go-to-Market Plan?
Any go-to-market example will involve many moving parts and must be uniquely designed for your company and revenue stream.
Here are three principles you should follow when forming a new GTM plan.
1. Put Together a Strong Team
A go-to-market team needs representatives from marketing, sales, product, technology, customer service, and senior leadership. This is a complex team with many moving parts, so pick leadership candidates based on their ability to understand and articulate a strong vision while allowing for employee flexibility and enabling problem-solving.
2. Identify Your Motion
You’ll need to determine what motion your company will be executing. A motion is defined by the steps your company takes to add and nurture the new revenue stream that’s going to market.
The actions needed for each of these motions are unique, so each one will need a different team with distinct responsibilities.
The three motions identified by GTM partners are:
- A new buyer persona: A new idealized buyer that your company needs to cater to. You’ll likely need new marketing materials, sales strategies, onboarding, and content.
- A new product or service: You may now have new competitors, a new marketplace, and new requirements on educational content and industry knowledge.
- A new geographic location: You may need new sales, marketing, onboarding, and resource strategies to equal or surpass growth in other locations.
3. Follow the M.O.V.E Framework
GTM partners developed the M.O.V.E. framework as a strategic process designed to simplify planning and streamline thought processes. If you’re unsure how to begin planning, these steps are a great place to start.
M.O.V.E. stands for:
- Market: Who to market to?
- Operations: What do we need to perform efficiently?
- Velocity: When and how can we scale?
- Expansion: Where will we grow the most?
M.O.V.E. stands for four questions that your leadership and key team members will all need to agree on answers to before implementing your plan.
Go-to-Market Must Be Constantly Reiterated
It’s crucial to understand that go-to-market is not a singular strategy or action. It can’t be encompassed by a single department or goal other than “for the success of the company.”
The point of acknowledging this is to understand that every GTM plan or strategy needs to be created with the goal of efficiency, flexibility, and a unified vision.
Read more about go-to-market strategies and how to optimize your newest revenue stream as quickly and efficiently as possible in “The Comprehensive Guide to Go-to-Market” ebook.