Building a Robust Go-To-Market Strategy
As businesses prepare to deliver new products and services to customers, a rock-solid go-to-market (GTM) strategy acts as the blueprint for launch success. Meanwhile, a fractional CRO amplifies their chances through their deep marketing knowledge and expertise.
This article emphasizes the major role of this part-time C-suite expert. It also covers GTM fundamentals:
- Why product or market launches need a clear, well-defined, but flexible GTM plan
- The five pillars that should be present in any GTM strategy
Nothing ever guarantees a successful launch or entry. However, you are less likely to experience severe birth pains with an actionable plan and a fractional sales management partner. Learn more about these two below.
The Critical Significance of a Well-Defined GTM Strategy
Developing an innovative new product, service, or solution is only the first step. Being able to effectively deliver it to customers is just as crucial for business success. This is where a well-defined go-to-market (GTM) strategy becomes critical.
A GTM strategy serves as the strategic blueprint that guides businesses on how to bring new offerings to market and into the hands of the right customer segments. It is the bridge between product development and a result-producing product launch.
Without a GTM plan, even the most disruptive or unique product risks fizzling out. Take Juicero, for example.
Juicero created a high-tech juicing machine backed by $120 million in venture funding. It was sleek, connected to WiFi, and initially priced at $699. On the surface, it seemed like an innovative hardware product in the making.
However, it died in less than five years. Besides the complicated engineering and the negative publicity,
- The company failed to clearly identify and target specific customer segments that had a strong need for such an expensive juicing appliance.
- The messaging was unclear about the unique value the product provided compared to traditional juicers.
What makes a good plan, though? A strong GTM strategy should possess the following attributes:
- Provide a business with a competitive edge by outlining how to reach customers with their unique value proposition before competitors
- Serve as a playbook that aligns business capabilities and resources to deliver maximum value to specific segments
- Map the customer journey
- Guide the optimal pricing and sales approaches
- Balance ambition with achievability
- Be clear on ideal customer profiles, value messaging, and market positioning
- Outline the targeted delivery of your solution
With a well-defined GTM strategy in place, businesses can confidently take innovations to market while reaching and converting the right audiences.
Five Pillars of a Thoughtful GTM Plan
A thin line exists between success and wasted potential. You can widen the gap by ensuring your GTM plan includes these five fundamentals:
1. Market Segmentation
Clear profiling and definition of target niches enables tailored positioning, messaging, and customer experiences.
For example, demographics, such as age, gender, income level, geography, company size, and industry, provide a foundational data layer for identifying broad segments. Psychographics go deeper into customer beliefs, attitudes, values, and lifestyles. Is the target audience more pragmatic or idealistic? Do they value quality or convenience?
Analyzing needs, behaviors, and pain points paints a comprehensive picture of who your best customers are and what motivates them. What problems do they want solved? How do they research solutions? Where do they spend their time online?
The more crisp and multidimensional your customer segmentation, the better you can handle all the other aspects on the list.
2. Value Proposition
The value proposition is a statement that conveys the core problem you address for customers. Specifically, it
- Clearly defines customer needs or pain points you address;
- Explains how you uniquely solve these issues;
- Is succinct, evidence-based, and customer-focused;
- Quantifies your advantages over other options; and
- Resonates with what your targets care about.
In fact, the most effective ones can convince the audience that they are the only viable solution.
One of the best examples is IKEA. Despite facing intense competition from other furniture makers, this Swedish brand remains top of mind. Why? Because it has successfully positioned itself as the best choice for highly customizable, eco-friendly modern furniture.
Most of the brand’s elements also speak to its value proposition. It popularized flat-pack assembly, where buyers can buy the parts and fit them all together without complicated tools. Its labels mention the material used, while the stores have special sections highlighting the company’s sustainability efforts.
3. Distribution Channels
Distribution channels are your brand’s links to your customers. These range from websites to direct sales, mobile apps, resellers, and social media. Although options are plenty, each becomes more effective when matched with the customer journey.
- During initial awareness, digital touchpoints such as social media and paid ads broaden the brand’s visibility.
- In the consideration phase, educational content through websites, blogs, and webinars informs prospects and nurtures interest.
- When customers evaluate solutions, product demos, free trials, and consultation calls become more appropriate.
- In the purchase stage, an e-commerce site or app makes transactions seamless while sales reps guide complex B2B deals. Integrated payments optimize checkout.
- After purchase, email campaigns, customer communities, and support channels drive loyalty, engagement, and referrals.
Today, people interact with brands in many ways, so focusing all your efforts on a single channel often leads to poor outcomes. Instead, a fractional CRO helps you find the optimal channel mix. This is especially necessary when you want to take a “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) approach.
4. Pricing Strategy
During the first half of 2023, the Louis Vuitton group recorded a revenue of more than €40 billion, an increase of 15% year over year. All business categories, except for wine and spirits, posted double-digit organic sales growth during the same period.
All this is despite news about inflation, economic depression, and recession. Why are people spending money on supposed discretionary items? The reason is simple: consumers do spend, up to a certain extent.
This is why a pricing strategy is vital, especially when you are still in the GTM stage. Your goal should be to
- Maximize revenue up to the amount the market is willing to pay,
- Maintain competitive differentiation from alternatives,
- Establish price positioning that aligns with brand value and perception, and
- Cover the costs and achieve business profit goals.
A fractional CRO helps you set the right price based on these goals. For example, they might introduce discounts and promotions to stimulate attention and gain traction. They might also test price elasticity through surveys, conjoint analysis, and limited market trials.
Then, they analyze demand changes at different price points and sentiments. Did their brand perception improve or worsen after the consumer tried the item? They also regularly assess metrics such as customer acquisition costs, lifetime value, and churn rates. This way, they can adjust pricing over time to optimize conversion and retention.
5. Sales and Marketing Alignment
Too often, sales and marketing operate in silos. This can misalign strategies, messaging, and execution. It can also cause leads to fall through the cracks between teams and waste ad spend because of a lack of sales follow-up.
As a result, the customer experience feels disjointed, and conversion rates decline. An effective GTM strategy builds on the strong collaboration between these two related departments. They share customer insights, work on improving lead handling, and unify workflows and processes to increase efficiency and productivity.
Achieving cohesion between the two is easy when the teams are small. As you scale, however, the misalignment becomes more obvious. You can avoid that by having a fractional CRO on board.
Their outside-in perspective often effectively reveals the root causes of the tension and differences between sales and marketing. They can also design objective, politics-free solutions, including optimizing handoffs and increasing transparency and accountability.
An effective GTM strategy is dynamic. As the market shifts, so should your plan. How fast can you adapt or adjust the five pillars?
Digital Authority Partners (DAP) is a fractional CRO agency that offers on-demand, data-driven, customized GTM support. Contact us today for a free consultation on how to maximize your next launch’s impact on the bottom line.
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