6 Essential Steps to Build a Go-To-Market Strategy for Startups

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Last Updated on 1 year by Komolafe Bamidele

First of all, congratulations to you for coming up with an incredible startup idea that can revolutionize the world.

Every business desires to grow and expand. While growth might come from various places, they all have one thing in common: you’ll waste a lot of time spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere without a good strategy.

6 Essential Steps to Build a Go-To-Market Strategy for Startups

This is especially true when you’re trying to enter into a new market with a new product. And that’s where we are going to help you out with this go-to-market strategy guide.

What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?

A go-to-market or simply GTM strategy is a blueprint for how you plan to reach out to, teach, and convince your target audience to buy your product.

Having an efficient go-to-market plan in place can benefit your brand in the following ways:

  • Make the most of your time at the market.
  • Make your market communications more clear.
  • Avoid making costly mistakes.
  • Determine the perks and benefits of your product or service over your competition.
  • Deliver precise instructions to your team when formulating your product launch.

A go-to-market approach is typically a quick strategy. 

However, its successful implementation will contribute to your product’s long-term success.

What Should a Go-To-Market Strategy Include?

What Should a Go-To-Market Strategy Include?

One of the most common mistakes I see in businesses is that they fail miserably in making the foundations suitable. And talking about GTM strategy, it has a lot of potential in strengthening your brand’s foundation.

You should have the following elements at this point to make a good GTM Strategy:

  • Research on prospective customers to learn about their issues and the solutions they require
  • Customer persona along with customer journey that can effectively define your target audience
  • Well defined competitor analysis that can bring accurate information about who are the rivals
  • Pre-selling your product, thus validating your brand in advance
  • Getting customer feedback to evaluate their willingness to pay
  • Clear-cut pricing strategy
  • A positioning strategy for becoming the market leader and dominating it

Now that being said, let’s discuss the GTM strategy in detail.

Step-by-Step Guide to Developing a Go-To-Market Strategy

Here are the seven steps to designing a go-to-market plan for startups:

Step 1: Research the buyer persona you’re aiming for

When you’re first starting, it’s tempting to take whatever customer you can get.

However, not every consumer gains the same amount of value from your offering. Furthermore, some customers will take advantage of your offering and cause more harm than good.

As an example, Justin tv was created to allow users to live-stream their activities. Within a year of its launch, the platform was used to broadcast copyrighted content. This happened because of their poor selection of the target audience. Source Businessinsder 

To stay away from such traps, you can begin by concentrating on a single type of customer you believe will benefit the most from your product or service.

That is unless you operate a two-sided marketplace. But even in such scenarios, each side of the market should be based on a single persona.

As you expand, your theory about which one is your best customer persona will shift. For early-stage startups, this is usually part of the process.

Yes, you may “lose out” if you don’t reach out to your target customer right away. 

However, focusing on a single audience will prevent you from constantly adjusting your positioning, marketing strategy, and product roadmap in response to new personas.

Step 2: Determine the Market Size and Product Demand

As a budding entrepreneur, you should be asking these questions before moving up with that killer idea of yours.

Determine the Market Size and Product Demand for Go-To-Market Strategy

Is there sufficient demand for the goods you’re trying to sell? 

Is it truly necessary? 

Asking these questions before the product launch will provide an accurate idea of whether or not your product will be successful.

The biggest misconception that the new business owners have is that they will soon obtain a certain amount of market share. 

You should start with a bottom-up approach to develop a compelling go-to-market strategy to make that statement true. 

Start with a conservative estimate on how many customers you can get based on the kind of market you are in and work your way up from there.

You will quickly recognise and validate a market for your goods as a result of such marketing experiments. 

You’ll also be able to spot and correct any inconsistencies between product and market, saving time and money on additional product development and/or marketing efforts.

Step 3: Find out the best marketing channels for your startup

After you’ve decided who you’ll target, you’ll need to figure out which acquisition channel will give you the most return on investment.

The following factors will determine the best channel:

  • Different channels your customers use
  • The abilities of your team
  • The amount of money you’d like to spend on it

To begin with, think about each channel separately. What does success entail?

After you’ve laid out each channel, you’ll want to prioritise the one you believe is the most beneficial.

Score each channel on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following three categories to help you prioritise your channels:

  1. If this test is successful, how many clients will you gain?
  2. How certain are you that this test will be a success?
  3. How much time and money will you need to complete this test? 

Add the numbers up and rank your channels after you’ve given them a score. In the event of a tie, the test with the lowest difficulty score takes precedence. 

It’s preferable to take multiple tests because you never know how successful a trial will be until it’s finished.

Step 4: Develop a unique value proposition for your Ideal Customer

Develop a unique value proposition for your Ideal Customer on Go-To-Market Strategy

The most obvious aspect of marketing is the value proposition because a single product cannot be marketed to everyone. 

You must identify a potential audience who are willing to explore your product, a group through which you may simplify communication to the product’s use case.

Here are some helpful approaches to developing a solid value proposition:

  • Come up with as many 30-second elevator pitches as you can.
  • Make a shortlist, then vote for the best.
  • Remove any jargon or buzzwords that aren’t essential.
  • Reduce your pitch to a single sentence that you can deliver in under 10 seconds.

The more specific your target market, the easier it will be to develop a memorable USP message that sets your product apart from the competition.

Step 5: Study your competition

At this point, think about how you can improve your understanding of your audience’s experience and how you can differentiate your offering.

Customer Voice

  • What do buyers think about your competitors’ goods?
  • Are they happy with the present market solutions?
  • How can you improve the design of your product to address a specific issue?

Features and Benefits

  • What are the most important characteristics and advantages?
  • On which customer segments are they concentrating their efforts?
  • In their searches, what terms do customers use?
  • Is the quantity of requests increasing over time?
  • Are they on the lookout for alternatives, and if so, what are they seeking for?

Step 6: Create a marketing strategy that is suited for your business

Create a marketing strategy that is suited for your business on Go-To-Market Strategy

Your brand strategy should reflect the preferences of your target clients, just as your product portfolio should reflect your basic principles.

 A marketing plan that speaks their language and immediately addresses their “pains” will make reaching and motivating them much easier.

That is to say; you should be talking about subjects that are significant to your target audience.

 Your guest publications should appear in magazines they read, and your public appearances should take place at the events they attend. 

Keywords that they are likely to look for should be included in your online articles.

Most importantly, your marketing strategy should focus on making your company’s skills visible to your target audience.

All of this may sound intimidating if you’re new to designing a go-to-market strategy. 

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So, where should you begin? Research is usually the best response, and there are two forms of research that are most useful:

Secondary research: It is a method of gathering information from other sources. This is the process of locating previously published research findings. 

Secondary research is most beneficial for estimating and evaluating potential markets.

 It’s great for setting the scene and framing what you want to accomplish and where you want to do it.

Research on the brand: This is when you (or a service you hire) gathers actual information about your company and the market. 

This will assist you with the last four steps of your GTM approach.

My Go-to-Marketing Strategy is Complete. So, what’s next?

Let’s recap what your go-to-market approach should include:

  • You’ve outlined all of the potential acquisition channels, as well as what success looks like in each.
  • You’ve prioritised your channels based on their influence, confidence, and ease of success.
  • You know what it takes to make each channel successful.
  • You’ve selected how much money and time each marketing channel will receive.
  • To ensure success, you’ve allocated assignments and deadlines.

The steps detailed here are a wonderful place to begin when it comes to building an efficient and reliable go-to-market plan. 

Any plan, however, must be adaptable and relevant to become successful.

You should now focus on implementing your go-to-market strategy until you have your first 1,000 customers. 
Your business will then gain popularity and attract new visitors.

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