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What is Go-to-Market? Master Your Product Launch (With Tips)

Shockingly, 66% of businesses fail to implement a systematic Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy despite nearly two-thirds recognizing its necessity. 

What's missing? In many cases, it’s the understanding of what GTM really means and the lack of attention and resource allocation GTM teams receive. 

In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know to develop a GTM strategy, communicate between teams and stakeholders effectively, and execute your GTM process without a hitch.

What is GTM strategy

GTM strategy is the plan for bringing a product or service to market and growing it over time. It’s your roadmap to launch your new product or feature. 

Understanding the core components and the effective implementation of each step in your GTM strategy will separate you from your competition. 

We'll dissect each element of the ideal GTM strategy, forming a solid plan. Then, we'll dive into implementing each component effectively and how you can use the latest technology and AI to help you excel and drive your launch forward. 

Core components of GTM strategy

With a sharp, well-thought-out GTM strategy, you’ll increase your chances of launch success. Here are the 10 components you’ll need to understand and execute on along the way:

1. Objectives

2. Metrics and KPIs

3. Budget

4. Target audience

5. Positioning

6. Price and packaging

7. Product messaging

8. Rollout phasing and tactical plans

9. Asset needs

10. Executional plan (tasks)

Building on this foundation, you must design every part of your strategy to provide your product team with a complete instructions manual, from development to marketing through sales to customer service. This approach simplifies planning, executing, and measuring new market launch activities. 

With Ignition, you receive a ready-made GTM strategy that you can build out with the help of our AI tools for competitive analysis and automated processes. This ensures consistency, efficiency, and accuracy in every campaign. 

The critical importance of effective GTM strategy implementation

According to a Harvard Business Review study, only 29% of organizations feel confident in their GTM implementation. This highlights a glaring opportunity for businesses to improve their launch results.

go to market ignition GTM workflow screenshot

At Ignition, we see effective implementation as the key driver of market penetration and customer engagement. It's about bringing the strategy to life to ensure each team member understands their role in this orchestrated effort. 

Now, without a captain, your GTM ship might just sink. That’s why having a clear GTM leader is essential. Though this varies from organization to organization, the Product Marketing Manager is the natural choice for the job. They will be responsible for coordinating the strategy buildup and launch, monitoring KPIs, and making quick decisions to pivot to reach the launch objectives.

Communication is possibly THE most important part of this job. Any product launch can flop if information is missed due to ineffective comms. There are dozens of stakeholders involved in the GTM process, so having the right tools to manage communication, collaboration, and effective information sharing can be a game changer.

Ignition integrates Product, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service teams on a unified platform, enabling access to an updated single source of truth. The platform also allows you to automate communications with external stakeholders and adapt the content they have access to to their needs.

A well-defined and properly aligned GTM strategy can be a game changer in realizing market potential and driving launch success.

Crafting your Go-To-Market strategy: A step-by-step guide

Crafting a GTM strategy is critical for any business launching a new product or service. The product's success (and your bottom line) hinges on its quality and ability to connect with the appropriate market. This is where your Go-to-Market plans ensure your product appeals to your target customers and aligns with your business goals.

This section will guide you through developing an effective GTM strategy. 

Define your goals, objectives, and KPIs

For a successful market launch, defining your goals and knowing how to measure them is essential. 

  1. Set clear, measurable goals: Decide on clear targets like increasing brand awareness, keeping more customers, or getting more leads. These goals should match what your business aims to achieve. We use the SMART approach, meaning goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  2. Align with business objectives: Ensure your market launch goals match your primary business objectives. For example, if you aim to lead in customer satisfaction, include specific launch goals to improve customer experience, directly supporting your broader business aim of market dominance.
  3. Quantify your objectives: If reducing customer acquisition cost is a goal, specify a target percentage reduction. This precision will help you direct your marketing and sales efforts effectively.
  4. Develop success metrics: KPIs help you see how well you're doing in reaching your goals. Choose KPIs that match your targets, such as sales figures, customer growth, or market share. These should provide precise data to guide your decisions and allow you to change tack and improve your strategies as needed.
  5. Review and adjust regularly: Monitor your KPIs to understand how your launch is performing. Be ready to make changes based on the data and evolving market conditions. Balancing immediate needs with long-term goals ensures steady growth and market stability.

Clearly quantifying your goals and objectives and constantly reviewing their progress against them steers your marketing and sales activities toward your business objectives.

Establish a budget for your launch

You can streamline the Go-to-Market budget by leveraging existing resources and focusing on key activities that directly contribute to the feature's launch and adoption. Here's a pared-down budget plan:

  • Product Development and Finalization: Costs for final tweaks based on internal testing, primarily involving your existing development team.

  • Marketing and Promotion: Utilize existing channels (website, social media, email lists) for announcements. Budget for content creation and advertising expenses.

  • Sales Enablement: Budget for sales training materials or sessions.

  • Monitoring and optimization: Consider what analytics tools you need to monitor the adoption and performance of the new feature, with a focus on user feedback for further improvements.

By concentrating on these core elements and leveraging existing resources and channels, you can efficiently execute your GTM strategy with a streamlined budget.

Research and understand your market and target audience

If you don’t understand your market and target audience when shaping your GTM strategy, you might end up shouting into the void, wasting resources, and missing the mark with potential customers. Audience research is the heart of your GTM. 

  • Perform a market analysis: Dive deep into your target market. Study financial and user trends, and market needs to develop a plan that improves your market position. 
  • Examine your competition (aka competitor analysis). What strategies are they employing? What can you learn about their successes and failures? Use this information to differentiate your product from theirs. 
  • Determine your Ideal customer profile (ICP): Who is your perfect customer? Consider demographics but also their needs and preferences. What drives them — price, quality, or innovation? Understanding these aspects helps create a product that generates loyalty and meets specific market demands. 
  • Gather sales cycle insights: How long are the sales cycles? What steps are involved, and what is the response time from lead inquiry to sale? Is one lead channel more successful than another? These can help you to formulate an agile and efficient sales process. 
  • Research effective marketing channels: Identify which channels (social media, email, direct sales, etc.) best reach your target audience.
  • Establish feedback loops: Whether through surveys, customer interviews, or social media engagement, these provide continuous (and valuable) feedback from your market. 

Ignition provides a comprehensive platform to assist with market analysis for your product launch. It offers tools to automatically collect and analyze competitive and customer research, integrating these insights into your planning process. The platform helps you build sales battlecard templates with key data and AI-driven insights, evaluate win/loss scenarios, and collect user research through integrated studies. This streamlined approach aims to make your market analysis more efficient and aligned with your project plan, ensuring you have the necessary assets for each launch stage.

Now that you’ve identified your target market, better understand your competition, know how to identify your target audience, and you’ve outlined sales, marketing, and feedback channels and tactics, it’s time to make your product stick. 

Develop a robust value proposition

A unique value proposition is central to successful Go-to-Market plans. This involves three key components:

  1. Positioning: Clearly define how your product or service fits into the market. Consider what makes it unique and why customers should choose it over competitors. This can include features, benefits, or specific aspects that make your offering stand out. Use the information you gleaned from your competitor analysis to turn their weaknesses into your strengths.
  2. Price-setting: Establish a pricing strategy that reflects the value of your product and appeals to your target market. This strategy should balance competitiveness with profitability, considering factors like production costs, market demand, and perceived value. Consider how you want to package your product — will it be a subscription or part of a larger offer?
  3. Messaging: Craft brand messaging that resonates with your target audience. This includes the value you provide them — how your product solves their problems and meets their needs in a way that competitors do not. 

Tools like the Value Proposition Canvas allow you to chart crucial aspects of your product’s appeal. Focus on creating a value proposition that resonates deeply with your target audience, addressing their unique needs and goals.

go to market Value Proposition Canvas

A strong value proposition highlights why your product is unique and customers should buy it and guides the final step in your GTM strategy. 

Plan the marketing and sales tactics

There are several steps involved in your marketing and sales tactics, including:

  • Choosing the right marketing and sales channels: Maximize your reach and ROI by targeting suitable platforms and audience segments. Pick the channel options that align with your audience, chosen metrics, goals, and objectives to ensure higher conversion rates.  
  • Preparing your sales team: You’ll need a plan for your sales strategy, and you’ll have to map out any sales collateral, such as training materials and sales battlecards
  • Determining the necessary assets for a successful launch: Your launch will include various assets, such as fundamental and promotional materials and content marketing assets, all ideally stored in a central repository accessible to the entire team. The scope of what you prepare will vary based on the launch's magnitude and the resources you have at your disposal, such as the capacity of your design team or your budget for external services.

Aligning your marketing and sales plan ensures you communicate your product or service effectively. 

Rollout phasing and tactical plans

You’ll have to decide on the strategy for introducing your new product or service to customers, from content marketing to direct sales efforts.

  • Phasing: Consider whether and when you’ll need to carry out an Alpha release to gather initial, detailed design feedback from a select group of trusted users. If necessary, plan for a Beta release to a broader audience for a more extensive test in real-world conditions, identifying any last adjustments required. 
  • Timeline: Establish a timeline highlighting different milestones to ensure everyone knows the deadlines for each phase.

Execute your GTM strategy

This is the moment where theory meets practice. Executing your detailed plan will take a lot of coordination and task management.

  • Tasks: After everything is complete, it's time to chop up your launch into smaller, manageable pieces that everyone can tackle until it all comes together. Lay out all the tasks in simple terms, then assign some deadlines and figure out who's responsible for what.
  • Communication: Part of the execution is planning how and when you’ll be communicating with different stakeholders so you can ensure everyone is on the same page, aware of their roles, and understands the timeline and expectations throughout the launch process.

Ignition’s platform includes a complete project management suite to plan, delegate, place timelines, and monitor your GTM plan’s progress.

Uncertain about the specifics of your complete launch plan and documentation? Design one that aligns with your project plan, detailing the required assets for each component.

Screenshot of Ignition GTM plan

Real-world examples of successful GTM strategies

Behind nearly every successful product launch is a winning, clearly defined, and comprehensive GTM strategy.

By dissecting the GTM strategies of industry-leading organizations, we gain invaluable insights into how to apply different tactics across various sectors, from tech startups to traditional businesses.

Zoom's GTM strategy: Zoom's product-led growth model focused on simplicity, reliability, and a freemium model, leading to rapid expansion and becoming synonymous with online meetings.

Slack's GTM strategy: Slack revolutionized workplace communication with a user-centric design and seamless integration capabilities, rapidly growing its user base through word-of-mouth and a freemium model.

SalesForce's GTM strategy: SalesForce pioneered the SaaS model in CRM. They created customer loyalty and market leadership by offering customizable solutions and continuous innovation.

Canva's GTM strategy: Canva democratized design through an intuitive platform that targets professionals and amateurs. Due to its ease of use and versatile features, it led to widespread adoption.

Dollar Shave Club's GTM strategy: By disrupting the grooming market with a subscription-based model, Dollar Shave Club capitalized on direct-to-consumer marketing and a memorable branding strategy.

Blue Apron's GTM strategy: Blue Apron led the meal kit delivery market by combining quality, convenience, and gourmet recipes, creating a new niche in food services.

MailChimp's GTM strategy: As a simple email marketing tool, MailChimp evolved into a comprehensive marketing platform through constant innovation while focusing on small business needs.

Each example shows that tailored GTM strategies are effective across industries, demonstrating the need to know your market and customers well. These strategies can also boost careers, as seen with a marketer who advanced to a director position with a significant salary increase.

Leveraging technology: Ignition’s unique GTM platform

Let's explore the significant role of technology in GTM and learn why Ignition is the unparalleled choice for GTM success. 

The role of technology in streamlining GTM

Integrating advanced tools like Ignition into GTM strategies revolutionizes how businesses plan, execute, and analyze their market approaches. This integration accelerates the market planning and product launch process. It also encourages effective collaboration between teams, paving a path for growth. 

Integrating centralized applications, automation, and end-to-end visibility is crucial for supercharging GTM strategies. 

  • Centralized applications streamline processes and information, creating a single source of truth for teams. 
  • Automation enhances efficiency, reducing manual work and accelerating decision-making. 
  • End-to-end visibility provides comprehensive insights into every aspect of the GTM process, enabling informed strategy adjustments and proactive problem-solving. 

These core features are fundamental in transforming how businesses approach their launches, making them more agile and effective.

Ignition: The only all-in-one GTM platform

go to market concept to launch

Ignition is a comprehensive Go-to-Market platform, offering unparalleled features that set it apart from other tools. 

Some of the key features of Ignition include:

  • AI-driven workflows: Ignition's advanced AI accelerates operations and allows businesses to anticipate market trends and make informed decisions swiftly — transitioning from reactive to proactive market engagement.

go to market Ignition AI-powered coplot

  • Comprehensive product management: Facilitates clear communication and prioritization of product roadmaps.
  • Research and insights: Offers robust tools for competitive intelligence gathering, essential for staying ahead in the market.
  • Measurement and tracking: Enables teams to measure the impact of their strategies and track Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

go to market Ignition OKR screenshot

  • Cross-functional integration: Seamlessly connects with other systems, ensuring cohesive GTM operations.
  • Free GTM planning tools: Provides accessible planning tools and templates for all teams.
  • Dedicated agency support: Productizes GTM processes for agencies, streamlining operations for client success.
  • Alignment of teams: Bridges gaps between Product, Marketing, and Sales, maximizing revenue opportunities.
  • Automated tools: These include tools for competitive battlecards and win/loss analysis, which are crucial for effectively positioning products.

Ignition eclipses the typical toolset, offering a unified platform that aligns with market and innovation trends and product governance. Our platform’s buy-in and budgetary advantages prove the significance of our impact on GTM planning and execution.

The future of Go-To-Market strategies 

Tired of half-baked product launches that barely make a ripple? It's time to stop playing it safe and doing what the others do — start making real changes to how you develop and execute your GTM strategy. 

With a dedicated Go-to-Market platform like Ignition, you're not just launching but setting the market on fire. This is about strategy with teeth, tools that deliver, and moves that turn heads.

Our AI-driven platform offers tangible benefits, including enhanced market analysis through automated data processing, a customized value proposition crafted using advanced analytics, and strategic competitive positioning informed by real-time market insights. 

Are you ready to stop being a background player? Step up with Ignition and make your next launch unforgettable. It's your move.