How to create a go-to-market strategy for your business

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 November 2022

Published 5 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Knowing how to create a go-to-market strategy is essential for the success of a new product. A go-to-market strategy allows you to be as efficient as possible with your resources when launching a new product or targeting a new audience. It also helps you determine whether your product is the right fit for a particular market. In this article, we explain what a go-to-market strategy is and provide the steps for creating an effective strategy when launching a new product.

What is a go-to-market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy, also known as a GTM strategy, is a detailed plan to launch a product to market. It's a step-by-step roadmap to help a business understand how to launch a product and evaluate its success and potential performance. This strategy uses market research and competitor data.

A go-to-market plan identifies a target audience, covers a marketing plan and includes a sales strategy. The idea is that the go-to-market strategy identifies a place in the market for the product and details how to capitalise on this. These strategies are not only limited to new physical products. You can also apply them to services, new businesses or relaunch of an existing product or service.

What is the purpose of a go-to-market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy helps you make launch your product or service successfully. These strategies ensure you focus on the right target audience and that you don't bring your product into an oversaturated market. Implementing a well thought out go-to-market plan helps you avoid the common mistakes and oversights that can affect new product launches. Your plan lets you bring the product into a marketplace where it's perfectly suited. This results in more sales straight off the bat.

That doesn't mean your go-to-market strategy totally prevents failure. A go-to-market strategy helps you understand the possible barriers you might face and better manage your expectations of the product launch.

Related: What is the hidden job market? Everything you need to know

The 4 components of a go-to-market plan

It's important to understand the essential components that these strategies involve. Covering each of these areas helps you deliver a high-impact launch with minimal room for failure. Any go-to-market plan involves the following:

  • Product-market fit: What problem your product is trying to solve and which market it fits into.

  • Target audience: Who is going to purchase your product and why they might be interested in your product.

  • Competition and demand: Understand the market your product is launching into, how saturated it is and who your main competitors are.

  • Distribution: How you're going to market and sell the product or service that you're offering.

How to create a go-to-market strategy

Knowing how to create a go-to-market strategy is essential for any type of business launching a new product or service. A successful strategy involves quite a lot of research and hard work. It may be a time-consuming process, but it's certainly worth it if it results in a more successful launch. Follow the steps below to create a go-to-market strategy:

1. Identify buying personas

Creating buying personas helps you understand and narrow down your target audience more specifically. This makes it easier to know exactly how to launch your product into the right market and reach the right prospects through your marketing campaigns.

A buying persona is a fictional representation of your ideal target customer. Include as many specific details about this person as you can - such as their age, gender, interests, behaviours, pain points, job title, financial position, their preferred method of contact and so on. Clearly defining this assists you in prospecting and lead generation. Knowing exactly who your ideal customer is makes reaching them much easier.

2. Design a value matrix

A product marketing team designs a value matrix to make sure your messaging clearly aligns with the problem you're trying to solve. Doing this involves breaking down each buying persona, outlining their problems and knowing how your product can solve these problems. This is essential for creating powerful marketing messages.

To create a value matrix, create a chart with each buying persona in a column. Outline their pain points below each column. Then include how your product solves these pain points in a separate row. You can create a message that captures the pain point and adds meaningful value to the buying persona. This value matrix helps you understand and map out the buyer's journey.

3. Create your sales funnel

Now that you have your buyer personas and value matrix, outline how you're going to take these potential customers through the sales funnel. Your sales team may guide you regarding the sales funnel whilst including multiple steps to it. A sales funnel covers the initial point of contact, qualifying the lead, evaluating their business, negotiating a deal, closing the deal, and eventually renewing the deal.

Having a sales funnel gives your sales team a clear path to follow. It makes sure you deliver the right value to your prospects, and it provides a more efficient journey from lead to customer. A well-planned sales funnel is necessary for developing a solid sales strategy.

4. Choose a sales strategy

A sales strategy guides potential customers through the sales funnel. There are various types of sales strategies to choose between. Choose a sales strategy, or multiple strategies, that match your product, market and business model.

The sales strategy determines whether to use salespeople, how many salespeople you need and how they are going to reach customers. Maybe you want customers to find your product organically without a salesperson, or you want salespeople to reach out to prospects. This strategy needs to be based on the buyer's journey and what type of sales strategy is most suitable for your product.

Related: What is sales commission?

5. Generate product awareness and demand

Marketing plays a vital role in raising awareness about your product and reaching the right customers. You could create an inbound or outbound marketing strategy to achieve this. Choosing the right approach to create interest in your product is essential.

An inbound marketing strategy refers to your customers finding you and reaching out to you first. An outbound strategy refers to the way your sales representatives reach out to leads and start the conversation. You could also apply both approaches. When learning how to create a go-to-market strategy, it's essential to map out the exact marketing actions that you may need.

6. Create content to get leads

If you choose an inbound marketing strategy, it's time to start creating content to acquire leads. Inbound marketing generally makes it easier and cheaper to acquire leads with a higher chance of a conversion. This is because these leads already have some knowledge about the product, and they have already shown an interest in it.

Content marketing is necessary to acquire these leads. Your goal is to produce the right content to attract leads at the different stages of their buying journey. This content could include blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts, strategic emails and more. SEO is critical to any good content marketing strategy. Just make sure that the content is informative and helpful, inspiring leads to move to the next step towards becoming a customer.

7. Find ways to optimise your sales processes

Now that your sales system is set up, it's important to have metrics to follow for improving your sales teams performance. This includes setting up KPIs like conversion rates and sales volumes to make sure you're hitting your sales targets. This helps you understand where to focus your sales efforts and improve.

A good go-to-market strategy is not just about setting a sales strategy - it's also about optimising it. The metrics you choose help you lower your acquisition costs and increase your number of sales. Continually monitor these metrics to maximise your sales cycle and profits.

Related: What Is an employee retention strategy and why is it important?

8. Create a customer retention plan

Now you have a plan for how to gain customers. The next step is making sure to hold onto these customers. It costs a lot more money to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.

Some strategies for customer retention include upselling and introducing loyalty programmes or other strategies to incentivise a purchase. A good go-to-market strategy takes a long-term approach. Focusing on customer retention is necessary for holding onto a consistent base of customers.


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