Bringing a new product to market requires just as much orchestration, planning, and coordination as making a hit record. With the best music, you never think about balancing the instruments, finding the right professionals for the recording studio, and the hustle of producers on the sidelines. But without that planning, that hustle, and that talent, the music isn’t going to just find people. The same is true for new products—without the planning and variety of tactics needed to build a balanced go-to-market (GTM) strategy, new products never have a shot of finding the people who need and want them.
Launching a new product involves many risks to ensure successful product positioning and differentiation. Building the right combination for your GTM strategy insulates you from that risk and ensures you have the tools you need to deliver results for your company.
Every GTM strategy, like every good song, is a unique combination of a finite set of tactics. Finding that balance ensures your audience is captivated by your new product, brand relaunch, or fresh service.
Think of your strategy like a timeless classic song that plays in your head on and off throughout the years. It shouldn’t sound like other songs, but your strategy should borrow themes from different genres.
Let’s dive into four common GTM strategies and discuss how you can use them in concert to great success.
Go-to-Market Strategy? You Can Say That Again.
HubSpot’s GTM strategy definition works beautifully (in case you have no idea what GTM means ... no shame): A GTM strategy is a step-by-step plan created to successfully launch a product to market. It generally identifies a target audience and outlines a marketing and sales plan. Although each product and market will always require a custom approach, a GTM strategy should identify a key market pain point and position the product as a solution.
Recap (for all the skimmers out there): A GTM strategy is how a company plans to introduce a new product to consumers.
There should be strategic planning, competitive research, product testing, and innovation involved in your GTM approach, to effectively manage expectations. Please, throw out that idea of “let’s see what sticks,” and find the GTM strategy that will enable your overall success metrics, ROI, and sustainable growth.
Go-to-Market Strategies: Which Instrument Plays When
- Product market fit
- Target audience
- Competitive demand
They might have some commonalities, but it is good to note individual traits of each and not get bogged down in words. There are already so many words on the internet.
Let’s break down the four most common strategies, plus gifs for my visual learners out there.
Inbound marketing strategies utilize many forms of marketing—content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and more—to create brand awareness and attract new prospects organically at every stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
This methodology is really focused on attracting the right audience, at the right time, with the right content. It is an excellent addition to any marketing plan, or solely on it’s own. It will pay off over time, and it benefits from paid media support to speed up the ROI.
Sales enablement strategies focus on increasing sales results and productivity by providing content, training, and coaching services for salespeople for every stage of the sales cycle. This strategy is exceptional for your front-line sales managers, sales representatives, and all-around sales team. It works to support their team first and foremost.
Account-based marketing strategies are focused on B2B marketing, in which marketing and sales teams meld their expertise to locate, target, engage with, and close deals with high-value accounts through valuable content, technology, comprehensive cross-channel campaigns, and more.
ABM is very useful for companies that have an eye on the big fish. You can prove ROI quickly when you land a big catch, and the team loves to see you reel them in!
Demand generation strategies include a wide range of marketing activities that can be more outbound or sales-centric than other approaches, using assets like cold calls, email blasts, list buying, TV commercials, and sponsored webinars.
A blend of these strategies is common. However, on it’s own, it is not proving as effective as it once was. With changing technology and audience privacy preferences, there are a lot of great elements that are still very useful for marketers.
Finding Just the Right Notes
Now you are probably itching to use all of these, because they look so appealing! But do yourself a favor and try to narrow it down by first conducting some market research, asking yourself starting questions and identifying what is your:
- Business case
- Market strategy
- Pricing strategy
- Sales strategy
- External marketing plan
- Support system
- Definition of success
It is also important to clearly identify how your product fits and compliments the rest of your portfolio of offerings.
Once you've done all that, review the different strategies to identify which ones you need to cue in first, which you should play pianissimo, which you should play forte, and which don't fit the song at all.
Making Beautiful Music Together
At SmartBug®, we specialize in the custom blending of sustainable strategy to unforgettably achieve our client’s goals. So in case we haven’t officially met, say hello to the most flexible and powerful approach to increasing leads, revenue, and brand authority out there, and know your SmartBugs are delightedly waving back.
If you're looking to create powerful cross-departmental marketing strategies, we'd love to help. Together we can make some beautiful music.
This blog was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated since.
About the author
Kristin Grages is a Senior Director, Marketing Strategy at SmartBug Media. She has more than 20 years of B2B marketing and PR experience and brings to SmartBug a deep understanding of the intersections and benefits of Inbound Marketing and Sales. Read more articles by Kristin Grages.