The term Go to Market a.k.a GTM is spewed around every once in the while in the world of marketing. But do we really understand what a go-to-market is? There’s often the underlying confusion between a go to market strategy and a business plan. We’ll sort things out for you in this article.

A GTM strategy v/s a business plan

They may be related in certain aspects, but mostly, they are poles apart. A business plan is much broader in scope and considers every aspect of a business. On the other hand, a go to market strategy focuses on specificities on delivering a product or service to an end customer.

So, what defines a Go to Market Strategy?

The goal of a Go to Market strategy is to improve key business outcomes. This is mainly accomplished by aligning to the evolving needs of your customers.

To create an effective GTM strategy for your business, you want to create a detailed plan with the following ingredients:

  • Define your target markets

Most firms start with what services they want to offer. Keep in mind what are the problems you want to solve. Or better still, the kind of markets you want to be in.

Growth, geographic location, existing client base are all examples of important considerations that go into selecting markets. Secondary research on market size, growth and dynamics can be very helpful here.

  • Profile your target client

Within a broad market there are typically a wide range of clients.

Which segment are you likely to add the most value to? Which segments are most likely to be a good fit with your firm? These are your target clients.

It’s not a matter of who can use your service. It’s quite likely that many prospects could. But that doesn’t mean you should target them all. You will likely have no advantage, just a very difficult time closing prospects.

  • Position your brand in the marketplace

How do you want your firm to be seen in comparison to your competitors? Do you want to be the innovator? The thought leader? The low price alternative?


If you are trying to reach young, innovative firms, your positioning, and services mix should align with that focus.

Young, innovative and exciting.

  • Define your service offerings

Most firms start here and search for the right target audience. That’s a mistake. The services you offer should flow from the target and positioning, not the other way around.

What services speak to the unique needs of the niche you have decided to focus on? How do these offerings reinforce your positioning? If you are positioning yourself as innovative, are your services truly innovative? Be honest.


If you are positioning yourself as a low-cost alternative, do you have high-value, low-cost services that are not available elsewhere within your market? Be careful not to paint yourself into a corner with a low-price GTM strategy. That could come back to bite you when you want or need to raise prices. Not to mention the potential for brutal, no-win pricing wars with competitors.

  • Develop an appropriate marketing strategy.

Just as your service offerings should deliver on your brand promise, so too should your marketing approach align with your target clients’ preferences. A marketing campaign that speaks their language and specifically addresses their “pains” will be far more effective in reaching and motivating them.

That means you should be discussing the issues that are important to your target clients. Your blog posts should feature keywords they are likely to search for.

But most important, your marketing plan should be built around making your firm’s expertise visible to your target audience.

If you are new to developing a Go to Market strategy all this may seem a bit overwhelming.

NOTE: Craft the Messaging

You have to spend time getting the messaging right.  It is what will “sell” your product/service to your target market.  I’ve found that by solution positioning your message you will find it easy to integrate your unique selling position and your value proposition.  The objective of your message is to show them that you add value or solve a problem and get them interested enough to take action.

Find your call to action.


An effective Go to Market strategy is based on the art of delighting your customers and surprising your competitors.


Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor (Strategy & Marketing)
CEO at Unspun Consulting Group