The role of your Go-to-Market Plan is to map out, in detail, how you will promote and sell your product or service in a way that gives you a competitive advantage and is sustainable.

Remember, you’re not starting with a blank page. The thinking around your Go-to-Market planning should be anchored by your corporate strategy and not be created in isolation. This ensures that your approach is aligned with the direction of the company’s overarching goals and long-term plan.

The what, how and when

Your Go-to-Market strategy and subsequent plan shapes how you’ll bring the company strategy to life in the realm of Sales and Marketing. In essence you’re building your roadmap which outlines everything in an actionable plan for taking your product or service to the market.

The 7 Steps of an effective Go-to-Market plan

Diagram of the 7 steps to building a Go-to-market plan

1. What are your target markets?

Every product or service requires a defined target market to serve for it to be viable. It’s not enough to simply have a brilliant offering. It needs to align with a market (i.e. a group of customers within your available market).

To identify your target market and know where to aim your marketing efforts and resources, ask yourself:

  • What problem(s) does your product or service solve?
  • Which markets have these problems?

2. Who are your target customers?

Now dig a little deeper… who are the individuals within this market that will pay you money for your product or service. Consider if there's a range of people to target. For example, not just the users but decision makers or influencers.

To identify your target customers, ask yourself:

  • Who are the individuals that are experiencing the problem that your product or service solves?
  • How much are they willing to pay for a solution?
  • What are the pain points and frustrations that you can alleviate?

3. What is your market position?

It’s important to understand your environment and your place within it. Know which customers you serve the best (i.e. where can you have most impact and add the most value). Then find your place in the competitive landscape as you will never be operating in isolation. Even if you don’t believe that you have direct competitors, how else could your target customers meet their needs?

To gain this clarity, ask yourself:

  • Where do you sit alongside your competitors?
  • What makes you unique?
  • Where, or how, do you want to sit in customers’ minds?

4. What are you offering?

Being able to effectively describe what you are selling – and its value – is a must. Everything you do will have an impact… when finding new customers, building relationships, and attracting channel partners. You won’t be expecting people to guess or assume what it is you do and how you can help them.

When defining your offering, keep the three C’s front of mind…

Compelling. Consistent. Clear.

Having a compelling offering starts with your value proposition. There is a real art to striking the correct balance to what you want to say and what your audience needs to hear.

Ask yourself:

  • How can you tie the problem and solution together?
  • What exactly do we offer?
  • How and where do you add value?

5. What are your channels?

Selecting channels is about finding the best way to expose your services, products and brand to potential customers. In order words, where will your customers have the opportunity to interact with you and ultimately buy from you? There can be a narrow or broad range of channels to your market.

Ask yourself:

  • How will you serve your market?
  • How do your target customers expect or want to buy from you?
  • Will you sell direct (inside sales or field sales)?
  • Would it be valuable to sell indirectly (via distributors, resellers and/ or partners)?

6. What is your budget?

Deciding how much money to allocate to execute your marketing plan is a critical decision however there is no easy answer. Fundamentally the budget needs to meet your needs, covering all costs to market your product or service, including things like content creation, advertising, promotions, exhibitions, public relations, social media, giveaways and printing.

Then consider what you can afford based on your pricing structure (to determine marketing cost per sale) and your forecast.

Ask yourself:

  • What will you charge for your product or service?
  • What are your estimate sales for your Go-to-Market plan?
  • What are your estimate costs for your Go-to-Market plan?

7. What is your marketing approach

Now you’re able to build your overall game plan for reaching prospective targets and turning them into customers of your product or service. Use all the insight from the previous steps, to now formulate your action plan.

To create your roadmap, ask yourself:

  • How are you going to market for each target market you’ve identified in step 1?
  • How will you embrace all elements of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion)?
  • How will you create a competitive advantage for your offering?

Creating your 'plan-on-a-page'

At Perfectly Picked, we use our ‘plan-on-a-page’ framework to anchor our Go-to-Market planning. This proven process draws on the idea of creating a hierarchy of objectives.

Anchored by your top-level vision and corporate goals we drill down into your marketing goals, communication channel goals and campaign goals. Then, we define the pillars of action that need to happen and take this down further into more granular activities to provide clarity of what needs to happen, how and when.