When launching a new product or entering a new market, you would want to get the best possible results in terms of sales, brand awareness, ROI, or other broader business goals.
However, without a documented marketing plan, you are likely to lose more than you gain. That’s why businesses rely on go to market strategy (GTM) to increase their odds of achieving their goals.
In part one of the GTM strategy guide, you learned what is GTM strategy, why it is important, and the key components of efficient GTM strategy. If you haven’t read part one, make sure to go through it.
In part two, we will see some go to market strategy examples of successful GTM strategies of all time and how to create a GTM strategy in times of crisis like COVID-19. Let’s get started.
What Is a GTM Strategy?
Although we have discussed the definition of GTM strategy in part one, here we are elaborating this a bit more so people who haven’t read the part one can also understand this article easily.
A GTM strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how a product would reach its end-customers. In general, every GTM strategy outlines the value proposition, target audience, the entire marketing plan, and the sales strategy.
Remember, a GTM strategy is different from a marketing plan. GTM strategy is a short-term approach. It is applicable only when launching a new product, entering an unfamiliar market, relaunching a former brand, or bringing an innovative feature to an existing tool.
Whereas, a marketing plan helps you stay competitive and reach your business goals after you have successfully entered the market.
Best Go To Market Strategy Examples
You always need some inspiration to get started. Now that you know what GTM strategy is and why it is important, let’s take a look at the nine successful GTM strategy examples to seek inspiration from.
1- Launch of Smart Coach by Fitbit
Fitbit manufactures activity trackers. A few years ago, they launched a premium service and personal training app, both of which can be integrated with the user’s Fitbit.
Fitbit’s go-to-market strategy for the Smart Coach involved:
- Using paid and owned channels to reach the target audience. Their target audience consisted of people who own Fitbit devices.
- Leveraging push notifications, social accounts, and emails to reach potential customers.
As a result, Fitbit earned around $192 million in revenue through its GTM strategy.
Key Takeaway: If you are releasing a new feature, inform your existing customers first.
2- Eight Sleep’s Partnership With IFTTT
A smart mattress manufacturer, Eight Sleep, created a GTM strategy for a new feature of their existing product.
Eight Sleep partnered with IFTTT (a free service that lets you create conditional statements and integrate various apps) to develop a new feature that allows its customers to simplify their night and morning routines.
Users can connect their mattress with their smart home system to
- Turn lights on or off.
- Start their coffee machines.
- Lock the door.
- Activate bed warming.
Customers were able to perform all these activities from their smartphones and virtual assistant devices (like Alexa).
Eight Sleep’s go-to-market strategy for the new feature involved:
- Sending emails to the entire user base to help them realize the possibilities.
- Creating a dedicated landing page to inform and educate users about the new feature.
- Highlighting the benefits and use cases of their feature on Facebook and Instagram.
- Getting themselves included in the GIFTTT guide and newsletter.
As a result, Eight Sleep’s customers welcomed this new feature and asked them to add more features.
Key Takeaway: Apart from informing your existing customers, leverage social media marketing and get featured on major publications to broaden your reach.
3- Upscope Leveraging Live Chat to Target a New Segment of Customers
Upscope is a screen sharing software. When Upscope started, there were already lots of screen sharing software available in the market.
To make themselves stand out, they created a GTM strategy that consisted of:
- Creating ways to use live chat to target a new segment of customers (technical support, onboarding specialists, and customer success teams).
- Leveraging content marketing to drive traffic to their website.
- Partnering with existing live chat companies, such as LiveChat, Zendesk, Drift, and Intercom, to get listed on their websites.
As a result, Upscope has acquired over 600 customers and is increasing.
Key Takeaway: Partner with other businesses who have a complementary audience as yours. Use their existing reach to boost your brand awareness.
4- New Storytelling Feature Launch by VSCO During COVID-19
VSCO allows users to capture and edit visuals (both photos and videos). VSCO launched a new tool, “Montage.” It is a multimedia creation tool that brings visual storytelling to life in a new dynamic way through a video.
Their GTM strategy involved addressing the current environment and the challenges we are facing as humans. Their product announcement message was also crafted keeping in mind how their product helps us connect in the age of social distancing.
Their email copy reads, “as the world slows down, we know that these times can be difficult and uncertain. And in a small way, we hope our community connects you with others around the world.”
This is great because they first addressed the current situation and then how their product helps us solve this problem.
Key Takeaway: In times of crisis, aim to help your community. Explain how your product can help your customer in difficult times.
5- Nisolo Launches New Slipper to Make Work From Home More Comfortable
Nisolo is an ecommerce brand. When most people around the world stay at home due to the fear of COVID-19, Nisolo launched a new slipper to make work from home more comfortable.
Nisolo just ensured their marketing message doesn’t look promotional and shows that they care about their customers.
Nisolo’s email copy first focuses on the email subscribers’ emotional wellbeing and then announces its new slippers.
Key Takeaway: Leverage the current trends and create unique products that help the users.
6- Huawei’s Entry to the Indian Market
Huawei is one of the most prominent telecom suppliers in the world. However, when Huawei was planning to enter the Indian market, the telecoms equipment market was overcrowded. Their biggest challenge was to make an impact to outdo their competitors (Apple and Samsung).
To increase their chances of succeeding in India, Huawei developed a GTM strategy that involved:
- Building local R&D centers. Huawei predominantly hired locals to show commitment to creating values for Indians.
- Huawei partnered with a leading Indian English-language news channel to sponsor a contest. In the competition, Huawei smartphones were projected as aspirational products, contrary to the popular belief that Chinese products are of low-quality.
As of now, India is Huawei’s second-largest research base outside China. In the first three quarters of 2017, Huawei had a growth of 60% in India’s enterprise business, which is higher than the global average (43%).
Key Takeaway: When entering new markets, identify your biggest challenge and create strategies to solve them first.
7- TaxJar’s Content Marketing Strategy to Build Trust
TaxJar offers tax solutions to businesses. At the time of launching, TaxJar looked at themselves as a technology company first, and a tax company second. TaxJar’s primary aim was to make their product better than what was available in the market.
They also noticed that most of the content on the internet related to tax was either hard to find or difficult to understand.
TaxJar started publishing the best possible educational content to help their target audience understand everything about sales tax. As a result, TaxJar was able to build trust with their target audience and started getting customers.
When it comes to sales tax, more than 20,000 businesses and developers trust TaxJar.
Key Takeaway: Conduct market research to identify gaps in the current market and fill them to build trust with your audience.
8- Symyx Plan to Grow Revenue, Penetrate Into New Market Segments, and Increase Brand Equity
Symyx specialized in informatics and automation products. In 2008, Symyx created a GTM strategy to ensure the successful launch of its ELN (Electronic Laboratory Notebook).
Symyx’s GTM strategy included:
- Print advertising to boost brand awareness and build confidence.
- Author or appear in 12 feature articles in target publications to emerge as a thought leader in the ELN market.
- Publish case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their product.
In the same year, Symyx generated $9.6 million in revenue.
Key Takeaway: Make the most of PR strategies and demonstrate what value your products can generate.
9- Slack’s Product-Led GTM Strategy
Slack is one of the leading business communication platforms in the market.
Slack’s GTM strategy was to rely on product features and usage to increase customer acquisition, retention, and expansion.
Slack didn’t aim to sell software. Instead, it sought to sell a positive user experience.
In the memo shared by Stewart Butterfield to his team before they released the product, he said, “People buy “software” to address a need they already know they have or perform some specific task they need to perform.
However, if we are selling “a reduction in the cost of communication” or “zero effort knowledge management” or “making better decisions, faster” or “all your team communication, instantly searchable, available wherever you go” or “75% less email” or some other valuable result of adopting Slack, we will find many more buyers.”
Slack ensured their product is better than any other business communication platform in the market. They also made sure that their product is beginner friendly and easy to use. Slack created a “customer development team” to better serve their customers.
As a result, Slack became the fastest growing SaaS company of all time. Slack grew from $0 billion to $4 billion in valuation in just four years.
Key Takeaway: Make your product better than your competitors. Create an excellent customer support team to help your customers make the most of your product.
GTM Strategy in Times of Crisis
Launching a product at the time of crisis, like COVID-19, is different than entering the market during regular days. You need to be very cautious with your sales strategies, marketing messages, and who to target.
1- Optimize Your Messaging, Targeting, and Pricing
As a business owner or a marketer, it is your responsibility to ensure your messaging doesn’t hurt your target audience’s sentiments.
For example, during the COVID-19 times, using words like “get in touch” or “meet our team” isn’t a good idea. Instead, you can use phrases, such as “call our sales team,” or “let’s get on a video call to discuss business opportunities.”
Make sure to optimize the people you are targeting. For example, if you were targeting small businesses before COVID-19, check if they are operating now or are adversely affected by the crisis.
At the same time, the world economy is plunging. Many people and businesses are struggling financially. If you can afford, reduce your product’s pricing for a limited time.
For example, ABB has waived off the fee for its numerous software services until the end of 2020 including ABB Ability Connected Services, RobotStudio, ABB Electrical Distribution Control System, and iUPSGuard software for hospitals.
2- Focus on Making Things Easier for Your Customers
In any type of crisis, people are going to be stressed. To help reduce the stress, look for eliminating any barriers to helpful information, offer additional access to support resources, and reach out to existing customers to understand their situation. Also, create extra resources that are relevant to this time.
For example, Campaign Monitor sent an email to all its subscribers that gave them an option to “pause the marketing emails for 30 days.” Campaign Monitor has also added a link to new content that is relevant to the times of COVID-19.
This is great because not everyone wants to receive promotional emails at this time. When a brand takes an initiative to make its customers’ life easier, it will be remembered for longer.
3- Help the Community to Earn a Good Name for Your Brand
Helping the community shows you are not just here to make money, and you care about the people around you.
Therefore, it is crucial to help your community in any way you can. It doesn’t matter how big or small your contribution is.
For example, to help first responders fight COVID-19, Under Armour delivered 20,000 face masks to Johns Hopkins Health System. Under Armour also donated $1 million to Feeding America to support hunger relief efforts due to current school closures and quarantines.
4- Think Beyond the Immediate Crisis
While it is necessary to optimize your GTM strategy in times of crisis, it is crucial to think beyond the immediate crisis. Considering the current situation, even when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, social distancing and masks will become the new normal.
Brands with offline stores will have to think of ways to sell products and accept payments while prioritizing social distancing.
Companies that relied on-field sales agents to sell their products will have to think of new ways to get their product across, such as self-service or inside sales business models.
The best way to “think beyond the immediate crisis” is by building a team of creative people who can brainstorm and predict how the world might change.
Note: It isn’t only about your company or your industry, but about how the world might change after the crisis. Think about how you can use it to your advantage to create new business opportunities.
Wrap Up and Takeaways
A GTM strategy helps you ensure that your product launch succeeds and acquire customers in the tough competitive market. During a crisis, optimize your marketing message, and focus on making things easier for your customers. Plan for beyond the immediate crisis to stay competitive in the market.