How to actually create a go-to-market strategy

By
February 14, 2022
Alisha Geary

“Go To Market Strategy Template”

These are the exact words I typed into Google. I trust Google for all things. I even search things like “what pants go with a baby blue top”, and Google never lets me down.

Throughout my startup journey founding Faebella, Thirsty Turtl and now Provvy, I looked to Google for many things I needed, always urgently mind you... from “how to write a pitch” and “pitch deck template” to “how to register a business”.

I didn’t have anyone close to me in my family circle who had run a business before (that I knew of). It is quite a large circle actually. Easily 400 people on each side of the family, my Aboriginal side and Torres Strait Islander side. So it was Google for me.

But when I typed in “Go To Market Strategy Template”, Google let me down. Articles came up that listed the process you should go through to create a go-to-market (GTM) strategy for your business. There were a few “examples of Go To Market Strategy templates” but these were just short summaries of 1–2 tactics that other startup’s had had in their GTM strategies.

I was looking for an example of what the strategy looked like as a complete document, something to work off with your team, to show your team, to show investors, to build trust with investors that you had a strategy for getting your product to market.

So I did what all founders do when there is no playbook to work off. I read as much as I could find online and then I started doing the damn thing myself.

I followed a combination of Hubspot’s “Proven Process For Developing a Go to Market Strategy”, Column Five’s “Brand Toolkit”, Strategyzer’s “Value Proposition Canvas” by Alex Osterwalder, Dave Gray’s “Empathy Map” and a branding kit I’d received from Mark Livings during the CEA accelerator.

I selected these docs to inform the creation of my GTM strategy because I wanted to ensure that the team had a thorough understanding of the business, the brand and the customers that we were seeking to serve.

My Miro Board at the beginning of this process.

Step one

I created a Miro Board and uploaded the docs from each source.

For Hubspot’s process, this included:

  • The Buying Centre;
  • The Value Matrix;
  • The Buyer Journey;
  • The Sales Strategies;
  • The Demand Generation Chart; and
  • Content Marketing Wheel.

For Column Five’s Brand Kit, this consisted of their Brand Heart Workbook, which included:

  • Purpose;
  • Vision;
  • Mission;
  • Values;
  • Personas;
  • Competitive Analysis Template;
  • Brand Messaging Template;
  • Brand Voice Questionnaire;
  • Visual Identity Checklist;
  • Brand Questionnaire;
  • Current Visual Identity; and
  • Current Verbal Identity.

Alex Osterwalder’s “Value Proposition Map” looked like this:

Dave Gray’s “Customer Empathy Map” looked like this:

For Mark Living’s Branding Doc’s Recommendations (alternatives below), this included:

  • Bullseye Tool;
  • Target Customer Tool;
  • The Brand Identity Wheel;
  • The Archetypes;
  • The Brand Essence Wheel; and
  • Brand Purpose Lighthouse.

Alternatives

Step two

Fill out everything, preferably with your team or at least the person in charge of your marketing. (If that’s just you, then best get started because there is a lot to fill out.)

As tempting as it is to skim or chuck in a quick sentence for each part of the doc, you actually need to treat each aspect of this process as if it is the determining factor of whether your business will succeed or not… because it could be. Depth is necessary here.

If using Miro, throw in sticky notes and make each a different colour so your eyes don’t just skim over everything you’ve written.

For the most part, you are guessing what your customer’s favourite brands are. You are assuming that they are a 23-year-old woman from the inner suburbs of Sydney. Remember that these are assumptions and at the beginning of your business will be largely unvalidated assumptions. Validating your assumptions is another lesson altogether but basically involves talking to your customer’s and research, research, research.

Knowing your brand and target customer intimately will bring the strategies to you and not the other way around. Realising your customer loves to stop by the gourmet deli on the way home and pick up their favourite olives to have with their go-to wine will prompt you to find a way to advertise to them not only from that deli but also in the olive section.

Step three

From here, you can pretty much include whatever docs you fill out as part of this process in your GTM strategy doc, which I made as a slideshow presentation.

Part of the job of your GTM strategy is to convince the reader that the strategies selected make sense, so you’ll want to include a large part of the research that went into your target market.

My GTM strategy template included:

  • Title Page;
  • Executive Summary;
  • Product Offer Breakdown;
  • Pricing Model;
  • Segmentation;
  • Value Matrix;
  • Buyer Personas;
  • Sales Funnel;
  • Top of the funnel;
  • Middle of the funnel;
  • Bottom of the funnel;
  • Sales Strategy;
  • Demand Generation;
  • Demand Generation Breakdown;
  • Inbound Demand Generation;
  • Outbound Demand Generation;
  • Content Strategy;
  • Yearly Goals;
  • Quarterly Goals;
  • Q1 Goals (What will scale most rapidly? Or won’t?); and
  • Appendix.

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Written by
Written by
Alisha GearyAlisha Geary
Provvy Founder Alisha Geary is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman descended from Gurang-Gurang, Deibau and Wuthathi clans.

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