Definition

go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: IT channel sales and marketing strategy for the digital era

A go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy) is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach customers and achieve competitive advantage. The purpose of a GTM strategy is to provide a blueprint for delivering a product or service to the end customer, taking into account such factors as pricing and distribution. A GTM strategy is somewhat similar to a business plan, although the latter is broader in scope and considers such factors as funding.

GTM is often associated with product launches, but it can also be used to describe the specific steps a company needs to take in order to guide customer interactions for existing products. Service-oriented firms such as cloud services providers and managed services providers (MSPs) may also devise GTM strategies.

As an initial step, a GTM strategy must define the target market for a particular product or service. In the case of a new offering, the company will decide whether it has existing customers that might be sales prospects or whether it needs to seek an entirely new set of customers. In addition, the company developing a GTM strategy should also zero in on who will be the buyer: the IT manager, a line-of- business manager or a member of the C-suite, for instance.

Next, the GTM strategy should focus on the product or service to be offered and its particular business benefit for the intended customers. With the value proposition defined, the company can determine a pricing strategy. This can prove challenging, especially if a company is shifting from product to service sales and needs to adopt a new model such subscription-based pricing.

In addition, the GTM strategy should also address marketing and promotion. An effective GTM strategy typically sketches out what distribution and marketing channels will be used to reach the target market. Incidentally, a GTM strategy can also be used to build out future customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives.

This was last updated in April 2015

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What distinguishes a good GTM strategy from a bad one?
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To be precise, one important aspect which makes a good GTM vs bad GTM is clarity on the business and its prospects. While talking about clarity it is important that there is a clear cut business plan in place to create an effective GTM. Importance of business plan is GTM and business strategy should go in sync with each other

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Thanks for your input. It certainly makes sense: A company can't expect to have an effective GTM if the GTM isn't in line with the company's overarching business plan/strategy. 
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This is a great definition! I think many people are confused by the name and think that GoToMarket (GTM) strategy is only for taking new products or services to the market. In reality, successful businesses constantly adapt their GTM strategy as new information from the market becomes available. Customer needs, competitor activity, technology innovation and many other factors can require changes in the GTM strategy and the faster a business is able to react to those factors, the more likely they are to keep growing.

I’ve shared my thinking on how technology can help businesses gain an unfair advantage to optimize their GTM strategy and perfect its execution - http://www.gtmhub.com/blog/getting-an-unfair-advantage-by-constantly-optimizing-gtm-strategy/

Martin
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