Overseas Expansion: What is a Go-to-Market Strategy & How to Develop a Winning Plan for your brand, product, or service entering a new territory
How do you prepare to enter a new market? What is your objective in entering the new market? Why can’t you achieve this objective in your existing market? In running a business, most importantly when releasing a new product, the last thing you want is to launch it without a proper go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
Without proper planning, it’s safe to say that things will definitely not go your way. You need to plan in order to know whether or not you’re targeting the right audience, or if you’re too early or too late to a given market, or if the market’s already saturated with similar solutions.
It may be an extra step to take but it’s essential. After all, you don’t want to run the risk of wasting time and resources on launching an unprofitable product.
To avoid those potentially disastrous hitches and hangups, you need to craft a thoughtful, actionable, effective go-to-market plan. But more often than not, that process is anything but easy to navigate.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to build a killer GTM strategy. This guide can be used for startups, B2B businesses, and virtually any new venture you plan on launching.
What is GTG?
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a step-by-step plan created to successfully launch a product to market. A good GTM strategy is able to identify your general target audience, includes a marketing plan, and outlines a sales strategy. While each product and market will be different, a GTM strategy should identify a market problem and position the product as a solution.
In simpler terms, a GTM strategy is the way in which a company brings a product to market. It’s a roadmap that measures the possibility of a solution’s success and predicts its performance based on market research, prior examples, and competitive data.
Why do you need a go-to-market strategy?
Even the brightest ideas can fail when they’re not executed effectively.
The success of products, services, and even businesses depend on a solid GTM strategy.
For example, a founder may assume a market need for a product and invest in its development.
However, without a clearly defined ICP, coordinated messaging, and product positioning, it would likely fail.
By contrast, a GTM strategy would give the founder structure to develop their product, while ensuring all key business units are aligned to the same plan.
The founder and their business could then refine and iterate on their plan to ensure success.
While a go-to-market strategy isn’t guaranteed to prevent failure, it can help you manage expectations and work out any kinks before you invest in bringing a product to market.
The 4 Components of a GTM Strategy
Product-market fit: What problem(s) does your product solve?
Target audience: Who is experiencing the problem that your product solves? How much are they willing to pay for a solution? What are the pain points and frustrations that you can alleviate?
Competition and demand: Who already offers what you’re launching? Is there demand for the product, or is the market oversaturated?
Distribution: Through what mediums will you sell the product or service? A website, an app, or a third-party distributor?
READ MORE: What is Telegram Marketing and How to use it to increase Storefront Foot fall or Online Visits?
9 Steps to Build a Go To Market Strategy
- What is your business case?
The start of your go-to-market strategy should explain what the stand of this product is in your business plan and strategy. This can be a short explanation of how it ties into your other offerings, or how you’re approaching a new market. Whatever your reasoning, be specific, concise, and honest.
- Define your market strategy
Where does your product sit in the market and how will you tell users about it?
The next section will cover how you plan to engage with customers, create value, and hit that strategic objective you just explained. Some of the things you should cover here include:
Value props: What makes you different from the competition? Why would someone choose to buy you over what’s already available? For example, you integrate with more tools they already use, or you have a mobile version.
Positioning: Where does your product fit in the market? How do you want people to view you in relation to other products out there? (i.e. you’re a “luxury AirBnB” or “a more affordable and powerful version of Slack”)
Messaging: How do you talk about the value you create? Don’t get overwhelmed here. It’s enough to just pick 3 pain points you solve for users or benefits you provide.
Sales and support materials: What is necessary to support and sell the product? What resources, tools, and support do you need?
Customer journey: How many stages are there in your customer’s buying journey and what are the behaviors they take before and after purchasing? How much should people already know about you when they engage with the product?
Personas: Who uses your product? What are their specific characteristics and behaviors? Try to narrow this down to 1 or 2 user personas and get specific.
Use Cases: How will those people use the product? How can you help them imagine a life that’s better because they’re a customer of yours?
The goal here is to simply paint a picture of where your new product sits in the market and how you’ll talk about it.
- Lock in your pricing strategy
How much are you going to charge for your product and why?
Pricing is more than just a financial decision. Your pricing structure needs to make sense based on your business model, but it’s also a signal to people about the value you’re going to provide.
Think about the message you send with your pricing. Are you a premium product that will need to be aggressively sold? Or are you trying to undercut the current competition and open up new customers?
- Create your external marketing plan
What sort of external marketing are you going to use to tell people about your new product?
Marketing is important no matter what your go-to-market strategy, but especially if your product is marketing intensive. If you’re expecting customers to find you via ads and content (versus you selling to them) then you should pay special attention to this section of your plan.
- Specify your sales strategy and supporting materials
How are you going to empower salespeople to help you get a piece of the market?
Sales is by no means easy. Make sure that the people going out and representing your product have all the resources and knowledge they need to be successful.
Here’s a few things you should include here:
Tools and resources: How are your sales team going to find, engage with, and sell to potential customers? What tools are they going to use for managing relationships and demoing the product? Are they in the loop with the latest Instagram trends and other key marketing channels your customers are active on?
Client acquisition: What’s the right approach for finding clients? Inbound sales? Outbound sales? Cold calling? Resellers and partners?
Training support: How are you going to train the sales team so they’re knowledgeable enough and confident in selling the product?
- Sync up with support
How will you support new users and customers with questions or issues?
Any time you’re launching a new product you can expect some added pressure on your support team and nothing sours an experience of a new product and your company in general than poor support.
Make sure your support team is prepared for whatever’s coming their way by including things like this in your go-to-market strategy:
Tools: What tools are you going to be using to build and manage relationships with your customers? Do you have a CRM or some other tool you already use and are familiar with? Will support be done in real-time or over email?
Onboarding and support: How will new users know how to use your product? Do you have an onboarding or training series ready for them?
Retention strategies: How will you make sure people stick around? Or identify and nurture people who look like they’re going to leave?
Satisfaction measurement: What will tell you that you’re successful? (repeat usage, NPS scores, upgrades, etc…)
- Know where this product fits in your overall roadmap
What priority will this new product have over other features/products/initiatives?
The responsibilities of bringing a new product to market don’t end once it’s launched. In fact, it’s usually the complete opposite. Every time you launch something new, you’re adding another item to your list of things that need to be prioritized. When you go to market with this new product, will it still get your attention? Or will your team move onto other projects?
Here’s what should be addressed in your go-to-market strategy:
Priority for development team: How (and in what order) will new features or bug fixes be addressed?
Market feedback: How will future plans be communicated to customers?
Employee feedback: How will other people on your team keep up-to-date with this new product?
- Decide on success metrics
What is the main purpose of this new product and how will you know if it is a success?
Every go-to-market strategy needs a success metric — something you can look at and judge whether or not your product is doing what you wanted it to do. These should include the following:
Meaningful: Is it tied to a specific business goal that most people can agree on?
Measurable: Is there a number attached to it or some way to quantify the results?
Operational: Will you be able to quickly see the effects of your changes?
Motivational: Is it something you and your team want to work on?
- Clarify your ongoing budget and resource needs
How will you continue to support this product?
Again, your responsibilities don’t end once this product is out in the market. Along with all the things we’ve covered about how to get your product out there, you need to know how you’re going to keep it there. This means budgets, resources, time commitments, and anything else that gives a good idea how everyone should expect this product to impact their day-to-day.
Building a go-to-market strategy is critical before bringing your new product to market. With the steps I shared in this guide, hopefully, you’ll be well on your way to launching a product or service that solves for your future customers and becomes profitable in the marketplace.