How to Develop a Go-to-Market Plan That Works [+Free Template]

By pbump@hubspot.com (Pamela Bump)

Even when you put great amounts of effort, time, money, and resources into developing a new product or service, a poorly-planned go-to-market strategy could cause your project to flop.

Some of the biggest brands have even experienced go-to-market failures. Take Apple, for example. In the 1980s, decades before Steve Jobs launched the game-changing iPhone, he led one of Apple’s biggest flops: the Apple Lisa computer.

Although Lisa had some of the best graphic technology of its time, only 10,000 units sold. Critics attribute the failure to Lisa’s misleading ads and high price, despite its low processing power.

Overall, many say the computer itself and the messaging around it was not valuable to Apple’s prospective customers. The release was such a disaster that it reportedly resulted in Jobs’s temporary exit from Apple.

While Apple and Steve Jobs recovered, smaller companies could have a lot more to lose when bringing a product to market with a poor plan. As you develop something new, it’s vital to also start drawing out a go-to-market strategy that’s customized to fit your budget and your buyer persona.

We’ve seen two major methods for developing a go-to-market strategy: the funnel and the flywheel. While the traditional, one-off funnel method focuses on attracting leads and nurturing them into sales, the flywheel approach uses inbound marketing and other strategies to build long-lasting customer relationships.

While the funnel is centered around the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the customer’s journey, the circular flywheel focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting prospects, leads, and customers.

When a lead becomes a customer, the flywheel continues as the company is tasked with attracting them, engaging them, and delighting them all over again with solid customer experiences, new content, and potentially new offerings.

Regardless of whether you’ve adopted the flywheel, or prefer to stick with the funnel, your planning process should include these steps.

  1. Distinguish your buyer persona(s).
  2. Fill out your persona’s value matrix.
  3. Define your content and lead-gen strategy.
  4. Adjust and iterate as you go.
  5. Retain and delight your customers.

To get more detail on the first three steps, you can find an in-depth explanation of them here.

We’ve created a basic fill-in-the-blank template to help you get started on a killer go-to-market strategy. It specifically touches on building a persona, mapping out a customer matrix, and brainstorming a go-to-market content strategy.

Feel free to copy the below template into a document and customize it to fit your product or service.

Go-To-Market Plan Template

Go-To-Market Strategy for ______________

Step 1: Distinguish your buyer persona(s).

Before you start planning your strategy, its key to do a bit of research and identify your buyer persona. You can have more than one, but make sure each is concise, clear, and different from the others.

Here is a free tool to help you develop your persona(s) and a list of questions to ask yourself while you’re creating …read more

Read more here:: hubspot

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