Question Page

What are the steps involved to create a successful go-to-market plan?

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Enable VP of Product MarketingJune 21

Define your why:

  • Why does this feature/product matter? (value)
  • What use cases does it solve for? (messaging) 
  • How does it compare to the "old way" of doing things? (solution statement)
  • How does it compare to the competition? (competitive differentiator)
  • What does good look like for launch? (KPIs)

Define your audience:

  • What personas will benefit from this feature? (audience targeting) 
  • What market segment/industry is it for? (ideal customer profile) 
  • How can my target audience get started? (activation) 
  • What does success look like for them? (implementation)

Product owns the feature up to development complete, while Product Marketing owns market readiness. Use these questions to inform market readiness and intentional, successful launch planning. 

Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
SurveyMonkey Senior Director, Head of Product & Solutions MarketingJuly 12

As part of our GTM launch framework & process roll out, we created a GTM strategy & execution plan templates that correspond with different market launch & customer impact tiers. If you nail the GTM strategy, the plan will fall into place if you have the foundational framework.

Here are some of the things that make up a highly effective GTM strategy & plan. You can pretty much tackle each of these in order, starting with aligning on the process goals & timeline, then working on the GTM strategy, which will then inform the launch execution plan.

1) Align on the launch process

  • Clear launch goals (and accountability)
  • Launch timeline
  • Roles & responsibilities (we use a DACI model)
  • Success measurement & tracking

2) Develop a focused strategy

  • Market & competitive intelligence
  • Ideal customer profile & target personas
  • Product messaging & differentiation (incl. message testing)
  • Product/feature naming
  • Pricing & packaging

3) Collaborate on an effective execution plan

  • Product readiness (both in terms of product releases, but also ensuring product-market-fit)
  • Acquisition strategy
  • Campaigns & demand gen programs
  • Sales & success enablement
  • Effective content/collateral
  • Customer advocacy
Dave Steer
Dave Steer
GitLab Vice President of Product MarketingJuly 14

Great question - you'll see the answer is some of the my other answers. I'll add a few other steps here:

First, be intentional about the core working group. Go-to-market can be vast, so it's important that you have key functions (sales, customer success, marketing, revenue operations, and more) represented. 

Second, align the team on the stage of the business. Sangram Varje and Bryan Brown recently published MOVE: The 4 Question Go-To-Market Framework which offers a maturity assessment of where your company is in its evolution from defining problem-market fit, product-market fit, and platform-market fit. 

Third, make sure that your go-to-market strategy is aligned. I recently worked with a coach who helped us develop our market vision (our sense of where the market was headed) and then the company, product, GTM, and operational strategy to respond to the changes that we saw in the market. It was an exercise that helped me sync GTM with the broader company strategy.

Priya Gill
Priya Gill
SurveyMonkey Head of Global MarketingDecember 13

There are 3 core areas that I ensure I have a solid understanding of before I build my GTM plan (it’s the same for when I have to build messaging & positioning):

  • Market trends & Competitive landscape: Understand what’s happening in the market we’re looking to play in and the customer problems or market gaps we are looking to solve. What similar offerings exist and how does our offering differentiate?
  • Target buyer(s) & their pain points: Get a clear understanding of who my target buyer is (budget, motivation to buy, purchase blockers) and what their pain points are (as it relates to the problem space your target buyer is looking to solve)
  • Product knowledge: What features and functionality are we delivering and how does that translate into a unique value proposition and set of customer benefits

From there, it’s building out the core components of the GTM plan (some of which would be pulled from the research above):

  • Launch goals: how success will be measured
  • Launch tier & customer impact (if applicable): helps stakeholders know the level of involvement, volume of launch activities and the impact of the launch on the market and to existing customers
  • Market & competitive landscape: what are the top market trends, who are the top players in the industry
  • Product & pricing overview: what you’re launching, how much it costs, what’s included (from a capability perspective), what value will it deliver
  • Ideal customer profile: who are the primary and secondary targets, cut by geography, company profile (industry, company size), and/or persona (department, job level, budget size, titles)
  • Product messaging & differentiation: product description, value props and top use cases
  • Customer acquisition strategy: how customers will hear about the product, what the purchase experience will be like, key points to optimize
  • Launch execution timeline & DACI: key milestones to drive towards and what the DACI looks like for each part of the process

Seamless launch execution of the items above, alignment across cross-functional teams and keeping all stakeholders well-informed throughout the process will be key to your success.

Daniel Kuperman
Daniel Kuperman
Atlassian Head of Core Product Marketing & GTM, ITSM SolutionsDecember 7

Communicate -> Plan -> Communicate -> Execute -> Communicate...

No kidding, the 'communicate' step is the most important of them all! I have seen too many GTM plans flail and struggle to be executed due to poor communication and not involving the right stakeholders early enough.

So let's take it from the beginning:

  1. Setup goals: what is the desired outcome? i.e., generate leads? enter a new market? drive signups to a new product? increase the number of upgrades? reduce churn? Get it documented and explained (don't assume everyone understands your metric).

  2. Align stakeholders: identify all the stakeholders required to successfully execute the plan and who will contribute to the expected outcome.

  3. Segmentation and targeting: identify the market segment to go after, with specific firmographic, demographic, and other attributes required to narrow down the target for your GTM, including buyer personas and buying groups.

  4. Create messaging & positioning doc: the foundations of how you'll position the product, feature, or campaign that is part of this go-to-market plan.

  5. Identify routes to market: will this be a direct sales play? will require alignment with channel partners? or primarily web or PLG motions?

  6. Pricing & Packaging: how will the offering be priced and whether it impacts how the product is packaged today, what other pricing considerations (discounts, bundles, trials, etc.) need to be part of the offering.

  7. Campaigns & Comms: marketing campaigns and communications plans, including analysts, press, etc.

  8. Launch: execution of the activities identified in the GTM plan, and monitoring results to course-correct if needed. Note: depending on how you want to track results, some instrumentation may be required prior to launch (e.g. creating dashboards or reports) and may require help from other teams. This should be part of our stakeholder alignment step earlier on.

  9. Debrief: review and discuss what went right and what needs to be improved next time, as well as next steps in the GTM plan.

Martin Raygoza
Martin Raygoza
Google Marketing Head for YouTube Shorts Mexico & Spanish LATAMJanuary 12

There is no one-size-fits-all GTM strategy; it will vary significantly depending on the specific product, target audience, market conditions, and other factors unique to each business.

However, there are some general considerations I can share to help you structure your strategy.

Every strategy should have three main phases: Pre-launch, Launch, and Post-launch.

Pre-Launch Phase:

  • External Analysis: Understand your market (target audience), competitors, industry, government policies (if applicable), threats, and opportunities.

  • Internal Analysis: The easiest way to ensure you don't miss any critical components of your internal analysis is to cover the five Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People. Ensure you create your strategy with all these elements in mind.

The Pre-Launch phase could take the longest, but it will also define 60% of your strategy's success, in my opinion. The other 30% is execution, and 10% is learning and improving.

Launch Phase:

  • Define Clear Goals: This phase is all about execution. But before you can execute a plan, you must have clear objectives and KPIs to measure your success.

  • Activate Your Sales Channels: Understand how to get your product to the end customer. Map out the best channels to achieve this. Be aware that more channels are not necessarily better in this case. You may want to stick to one profitable channel, especially in the initial stages of your product.

  • Ensure They Know Who You Are and What You Offer: At the first stages, awareness must be your primary marketing goal. Whether you're introducing a new product or entering a fiercely competitive industry, if consumers don't know you exist or why you're a better option than everything else on the market, you'll struggle to get them interested in your product.

Post-Launch Phase:

  • Feedback: Ensure you're getting as much feedback as possible from different perspectives: clients, consumers, and distributors. At this point, this feedback becomes your most valuable source of information. It's the actual feeling your product has in the real world, and you need to get the most honest feedback if you truly want to improve and grow.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Amazon Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs)June 5

Although I currently work for a large corporation, I have spent most of my career at small to medium-sized startups. I'll primarily draw from my startup experience to answer this, while also noting some differences I've observed during my time at Amazon. These high-level points reflect the key elements I've included in the GTM plans I've developed at various startups.

  1. Market Research and Analysis: Understand your market, customer, and competition.

  2. What is your Value Proposition: Understand your USP/selling-points and define your messaging.

  3. Product Positioning: Define your product positioning and tailor the message for each market/customer your are going after. Think how this fits your overall brand (particularly important for big established brands). Work closely with your product team here.

  4. Sales Strategy: Define your sales channels, your demand gen strategy, pricing strategy. Work closely with your Sales team here.

  5. Marketing Plan: How are you going to market your product digital and offline, launch tactics etc.

  6. Metrics and KPIs: Define a set of key metrics you are going to use to measure your success.

  7. Timeline, Resources: Define your timeline, budget, roles and responsibilities.

I hope this helps. If there's anything I've missed that you've included in your GTM document, please let me know!

Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Oracle Director of Product MarketingMarch 30

Every Go-to-Market plan differs slightly, but typically includes these steps:

  1. Consider your customer: Understand who makes purchasing decisions and why. A buying center often incorporates multiple people, including the initiator, user, influencer, decision maker, buyer, and approver.

  2. Understand your customer's journey: Recognize the stages a customer goes through when considering your product. These stages are awareness, consideration, and decision. Create content for each stage that captures attention, presents your product as a solution, and encourages a purchase, respectively.

  3. Strategize: Determine your budget, target audience, and most effective channels, which could include digital marketing, public relations, content marketing, or social media marketing.

  4. Write your content: Develop content for each stage of the buyer's journey. This might range from educational blog posts or social media content, to case studies or white papers, and product demos or free trials.

  5. Measure success: Keep track of your results to identify what works and what doesn't. This might involve tracking website traffic, leads generated, or sales conversions. Adjust your GTM plan based on these findings.

  6. Select marketing channels: Choose channels based on your target audience and budget. Options may include digital marketing, public relations, content marketing, or social media marketing.

  7. Create a sales plan: Outline how you will sell your product to your target customers. This might involve developing sales materials, training your sales team, and creating a sales process.

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