Lead Generation

What are the top 3 go-to-market strategies?

Maria Waida
Contributor, Sell to Win
Maria Waida
Contributor, Sell to Win

Think you’re ready to launch? Here are the top 3 go-to-market strategies you should use to ensure success.

Picture this: your company has come up with an amazing product or service. The entire team has been working hard to bring it to life. At its core, the offer serves the needs and wants of a lucrative market filled with untapped potential and exponential opportunities for growth. 

But when release day finally comes, all you hear are crickets. And despite all of that time, money, and energy spent, your target audience doesn't seem to know or care about your shiny new product. 

You don’t need to be a sales professional to know that the point of launching a product is to, well, make sales. That’s where using a killer go-to-market strategy comes in. Not sure which one to choose? Then keep reading! 

Related: What if you launched a new business and nobody showed up?

What is a go to market strategy? 

A go-to-market strategy is an actionable plan modern companies use to generate excitement around a product launch. You’ll know whether or not the go-to-market strategy was successful if it was able to turn that excitement into revenue. It is often referred to as “go-to-market” or simply GTM. 

Most GTM strategies are made up of four components: audience, message, value proposition and a lead generation plan. But there are many different ways to approach creating your own go-to-market strategy. That is why it’s important to understand what the best options are, how to execute them, and whether or not your chosen strategy is right for your offer. 

What are the four components of every go-to-market strategy? 

Any sales and marketing expert worth their salt will give you a variation of these four components every go-to-market strategy needs:

  • A clear and specific target market
  • Unique messaging
  • A justified value proposition
  • A step-by-step lead generation plan 

What is the difference between a go-to-market strategy vs marketing strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a short-term plan centered around one particular offer. A GTM strategy supports the company's long-term business goals. The way a go-to-market strategy is used will vary by industry. For example, tech startups typically use both a GTM strategy and a marketing strategy to launch the brand and its products. 

Top Go-To-Market Strategies for High ROI Launches

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the top go-to-market strategies. We’ll also provide practical steps to achieve them and look deeper into why these strategies are so effective. 

1. Search Engine Optimization

In today’s digital world, modern brands looking to launch a new product or service must take control of their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Your SEO go-to-market strategy will determine whether or not your offer makes it to the top of search results for related keywords your audiences are typing into Google and other major search engines. 

When choosing the best possible SEO plan for your GTM strategy, you’ll need to focus on two big picture ideas: who you want to reach and how you’ll reach the top of search results. 

Who do you want to reach? 

For cold leads, you’ll need to focus on broader educational topics or phrases that will attract people who have no idea who your brand is or what you do. For warm leads, your SEO go-to-market strategy will revolve around capturing existing demand or interest and solving problems with the help of your product. 

If you plan to target a mixture of both, you’ll likely want to come up with a plan to reach them both separately since each group will have different needs at the time of their search. 

To determine who your target customers are, start by using market research and historical sales data to get a sense of who you’re already reaching. Then, come up with target customer personas that detail everything from your ideal buyer’s age to their lifestyle choices. From there you can determine what their needs are and why your product solves them. 

After, brainstorm some questions they might search for to find answers to their needs. You can cross check these questions as well as related words and phrases with a keyword research tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner. Choose the keywords and phrases that have a high search volume and low competition. 

Remember: it’s a lot easier and more effective to capture existing demand and interest instead of generating it from scratch. Although it’s tempting to use your own product name as your only target keyword, if no one knows about it yet then they won’t be searching for it online. 

Finally, use the results from your keyword planning tool as the foundation for your marketing content and paid digital advertising. 

How will you reach the top of search results?

If you’re totally new to the market, chances are your competitors go there first and you’ll need to work really hard to outrank them. The good news is that new websites are indexed and factored into search engine algorithm rankings every day so there is opportunity to be featured alongside or even above your biggest competitors in search results. Content such as blog articles, new webpages, and videos are all helpful for reaching your target audience and improving SEO. 

And, in even better news, the mysterious algorithm just got a little less mysterious. As of 2022, Google has taken a more definitive stance on what its algorithm values most and that is helpfulness

There is a lot to know about their latest update but here are the main takeaways for sales teams with products that are about to go to market: 

  • All of your sales and marketing launch materials should be written for humans, not robots. That means writing the way you speak, providing unique information, and crafting a website that leaves leads satisfied after visiting. 
  • Content should aim to help your audience achieve goals. Educational media created around the issues your product aims to solve are a great place to start. 
  • Don't just chase a keyword; have a point of view. While no one is saying to ditch your tried and true SEO tactics just yet, make sure you actually have something to say before posting. 

By following these two key pillars you can create a go-to-market strategy that works for nearly any digital channel. 

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2. Partnering with a symbiotic brand

Sometimes the right partner can make all the difference. 

After conducting extensive market research, smart mattress brand Eight realized that their product (which already offered Wi-Fi connectivity to capture and analyze sleep data) could also be integrated into their customers’ smart homes. A new feature was born! 

But in order to launch this new feature, Eight would need to build custom integrations with every single type and brand of product users would want to connect with. That’s when they had the genius idea to partner with IFTTT, an automation tool that empowered customers to do it themselves. 

Here’s exactly what they did and how their partnership was the secret sauce for their go-to-market success: 

  • The Eight marketing team and the IFTTT marketing team worked closely together to come up with the GTM plan
  • Eight sent an initial launch email detailing the IFTTT partnership that included examples of how to use their new feature with IFTTT’s tools
  • Eight created a dedicated landing page that made the newly launched feature and IFTTT integration very easy to understand
  • Eight created use case videos and promoted them on Facebook and Instagram that tagged IFTTT
  • IFTTT included Eight in their popular annual gift guide
  • IFTTT also featured Eight in their monthly newsletter

Side note: Matteo Franceschetti, Eight’s Co-founder and CEO, shared in IFTTT’s own case study of the partnership that of all these helpful tactics, the one that made the biggest impact on their consumer tech launch was the use of video promotion (specifically the use case videos promoted on Facebook on Instagram). 

If you do choose to use a partnership for your tech brand’s go-to-market strategy, Franceschetti has some words of wisdom for you. 

First, “you need to be descriptive and explain exactly how your users will benefit from this [partnership].” Their successful video campaign illustrating what customers could do with their product and how they could do it is a good example of this.

And second, “make sure [your customers] have a great first experience when connecting things, make sure your setup flow is simplified and provide customer support to help users troubleshoot.”

3. Focusing on a specific location

On-demand mobile video service Vuclip niched down so hard they ended up becoming the number one brand for their product in emerging markets with nearly 7 million subscribers per quarter

How’d they do it? They decided to think outside the box their competitors were fighting over to find a target audience with more need than others. From there they created a go-to-market strategy based on that location and the rest is history. 

Vuclip’s team understood that slow-buffering was the biggest pain point for customers. Instead of targeting markets dominated by competitors (the ones where customers could easily switch off Wi-Fi and onto their cell phone data plans to watch videos), they focused on India, a country where mobile networks weren’t able to reliably support video streaming in all locations yet. 

Here’s exactly what they did to bring this creative go-to-market strategy to life: 

  • Changed their social media handles from Viu to @Viu_In and VIUINDIA
  • Partnered with India’s top sports and TV/film celebrities on launch day to get the hashtag #UrWay2Viu trending
  • Created a community space for users in India where they could get that latest gossip on their favorite Indian TV and film stars they regularly watch on Viu

Simply by changing their name and focusing on the needs and interests of potential users in one geographical location, Viu’s go-to-market strategy netted them:

  • 100,000+ app downloads with an average rating of 4.1 stars
  • 429,000 likes on Facebook
  • 16,600 new followers on Twitter 
  • 468 new followers on Instagram

This all occurred within a month after the launch. It just goes to show that doing your research and picking the best target audience locations can make for a stellar GTM strategy!

How to set your team up for success no matter which strategy you choose

No matter what you choose to do, your go-to-market strategy is entirely dependent on your team. 

Losing sight of the big picture before a product launch is a common obstacle for brand sales and marketing teams. And who can blame them? After months or even years of ideation and development, having to come up with a go-to-market strategy feels a bit like the last 100 meters of a marathon. 

That’s where alignment comes in. 

In his article on why most go-to-market strategies fail, LLR Partners Managing Director Jairo Romero says that your plan should not be a monolith. 

“The go-to-market strategy is often developed as a stand-alone plan for market growth, but it must be closely aligned with your business strategy,” shares Romero. “It needs to take into account how your business operates, how you want to position yourself against competitors, the revenue goals you have set, and the company’s three-year plan.”

And, perhaps most importantly, your entire team needs to be in alignment on all of this. As Romero says, not doing so “will result in a lack of clarity and coordination throughout the company. Your sales and marketing teams may end up pursuing goals that don’t support—and may end up undermining—the company vision.”

Here’s how to get everyone up to speed and on board before you execute your next launch:

Step 1: Specify why and how this GTM strategy supports larger business goals

Help your team relate their work on this particular launch back to the big picture. Answer the questions “why this launch?” and “why now?” Keep your answers short, transparent, and memorable. This will be the north star that keeps your team on task throughout the process. 

Step 2: Outline each individual’s role in the launch

Define who is in charge of what and why it matters for a successful go-to-market campaign. This can be explained both in writing and as part of a pre-launch meeting. And don’t just tell each person individually—everyone on the team should be able to name who is responsible for what at any given moment before, during, and after the GTM strategy goes live. 

Step 3: Make project management collaborative

The goal is to give employees a sense of ownership over your go-to-market strategy. Invite them to brainstorm initiatives, marketing campaigns, and customer messaging together and then actually use their best ideas. Adopt a project management software that makes sharing documents and looping collaborators into existing conversations simple. 

Hold regular weekly check-ins reserved exclusively for discussion about team collaboration. Ask everyone to honestly share what about their collaboration system is working, what isn’t, and what they would like to try instead. Debrief on where you are in the GTM plan and where you’d like to be. If there are any obstacles, address them head on and encourage everyone to be flexible when finding solutions. 

At the end of the day, the best way to get your team into true alignment is to create a collaborative workflow and environment that is tailored to their unique makeup as a group. 

Let the countdown begin

A go-to-market strategy in today’s marketplace is all about reaching the right people with the right offer at the right time. In order to be competitive, it must start with internal alignment and be driven by a targeted strategy. 

Whether you’re looking to maximize market share, reach a new audience, or simply create awareness, having an intentional go-to-market strategy can make all the difference. Choose the one that gets ahead of issues that have historically held your business back in the past. Then, get ready to give your product the green light! You’ll be surprised by how many leads you’re about to win. 

But wait, it’s not over yet! What do you do with all of those new customers you're about to reach? Add them to your CRM of choice, that’s what! 

CRMs like Nutshell offer pipeline management with multiple ways to view and manage leads so your team can capture and work the deals your go-to-market strategy brings in without missing a beat. 

Give Nutshell a try for free for 14 days. Our tool is easy to use, budget-friendly, and ideal for getting the most out of every lead!

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