• Marketing

How to Develop a Go to Market Strategy in 2023

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 11 min read
How to Develop a Go to Market Strategy in 2023


You've created a one-of-a-kind product, and you're sure it'll be a hit as soon as it launches. After all, it's the result of months of hard work. Still, you don't have a well-structured plan to bring the product to your audience.

You're wondering how to develop a go-to-market (GTM) strategy to stand out. Thankfully, you don't have to look very far for the answer.

Designing a winning GTM strategy requires you to identify your target audience, understand the market thoroughly, and determine your brand's positioning. It's a holistic plan that includes your pricing, marketing, sales, distribution, and overall market presence. But there's more to it.

This article will give you everything to develop a kickass go-to-market strategy in 2023 and confidently launch your product.

What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?

A go-to marketing strategy is a detailed plan for your brand to enter the market, strategically position itself, and reach the right audience beating your competitors. It's an all-inclusive step-by-step action plan for identifying your ideal customers, creating the right message highlighting your unique value proposition, and positioning your product as the best solution.

Seems easy, right? It can be—if you have your entire team aligned on your product message. Essentially, your GTM strategy must answer these six questions:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • Why is your brand different?
  • What is the product-market fit?
  • Where will you sell the product?
  • When will you launch the product?
  • How will you market and distribute the product?

What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?

Product-Led vs Sales-Led Strategy

A product-led strategy is a product-focused approach where the product is responsible for customer acquisition, onboarding, and retention. On the flip side, a sales-led strategy includes sales representatives prospecting and qualifying leads, sending them a pitch, and converting them.

So, which model is better between the two? Find out yourself here.

Product-led Strategy

A product-led strategy is an approach created around product experience. The company's sole mission is to provide a simple, user-friendly solution to the audience's needs. The product is intuitive and valuable enough for users to purchase without needing external convincing.

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The product-led model is organic. Here, customers choose the product themselves, explore it, share it with their friends, and make the purchase.

Product-led Strategy (Source)

Slack, Zoom, Atlassian, and Calendly are just a few of the highly successful examples.

These products experienced mind-blowing growth without a sales team. It's essential to note that all of these products had a perfect product-market fit, and that's why they were a hit.

Here’s what a product-led strategy includes:

  • Product experience is paramount
  • Product converts prospects into customers
  • Customers have to self-serve and explore the product
  • The freemium model attracts users to test the waters before they can subscribe

Sales-led Strategy

A sales-led strategy involves the sales team actively working towards cold outreach, inside sales, qualifying leads, and retaining customers. The approach builds an efficient pipeline as the sales rep research and targets specific customer accounts that are likely to convert.

Once the sales team finds the ideal customer profile, they deliver a personalized pitch that aligns with the target’s pain points to convert them into paying customers.

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Sales-led Strategy (Source)

Salesforce and Microsoft are the leading examples of companies following sales-led strategies.

A few prime characteristics of a sales-led strategy include:

  • Requires conducting research and cold outreach
  • Quick and efficient conversion through a smooth pipeline
  • Bringing well-tailored, highly-valuable solutions to the client
  • Personalized sales led by the sales team to enterprise buyers

Let's ask the question again – product-led vs sales-led strategy, which one is better?

It depends upon your product. If you follow a product-led approach, you must have a freemium model, and your solution must directly meet the customer's pain points. If you follow a sales-led model, you need to let the sales team take the lead, identify ideal customers and optimize the acquisition process.

Product-led Strategy Sales-led Strategy
Point of contact Self-service Sales rep interacts with the prospect
Buying cycle Short cycles that only require registering and entering credit card credentials Long cycles, including qualification calls, demos, and negotiation
Cost efficiency Zero spend in outbound reach Investment in recruitment and training sales team
Process control Can’t control the buying journey Sales team is present to support at every step

9 steps for developing an airtight GTM strategy

Do you remember Nike+ Fuelband? You probably don’t—because its GTM strategy failed.

This was a wearable fitness tracker that helped you track your activity and provided fitness reports. The major loophole was that it was only compatible with iPhone devices ignoring their Android audience.

While Nike did end up releasing an Android app two years later, the device had already missed its shot. That’s exactly why your GTM strategy needs to be well-thought-through, thorough, and effective.

Creating a GTM strategy is an intricate process, which is exactly why we've broken it down for you into nine steps below.

1. Define your Value Proposition

The first step is to clearly outline the problem you're solving for your audience and to what degree the solution satisfies the audience's needs. This is known as the product-market fit.

How do you know your product fulfills that criterion?

Customers who are happy with your product will refer it to their friends and partners. But how do you achieve that level of positioning? Through value propositions.

Clarify why your product differentiates itself from your competitors and how it comes out as the most viable solution for your target's pain points. In short, it's a clear and concise message stating why your audience should choose your product over others.

Here’s a great example of Ranktracker’s primary value proposition:

Define your Value Proposition

Now that you've defined your value proposition, launching a minimum viable product (MVP) is the best way forward. It's a basic version of your final product with enough features to attract buyers. Once it's out, you can collect feedback and strategize updates.

2. Identify your ideal customers

Your ideal customer is the person you initially created your product for. An ideal customer profile (ICP) outlines your target buyers' attributes, pain points, expectations, and overall profile.

Here are four key components that make up the ICP:

  • Company size: How big should the company be, or what should be the company's lowest revenue limit for being eligible to purchase your product?
  • Industry: Are you targeting any specific industries? Is there any industry that does not fall under your target audience?
  • Pain points: What is the exact problem that you’re solving? What kind of companies may have those pain points?
  • Decision-making factors: Which person from the company will be the primary decision-maker? What factors can influence their decisions?

3. Understand your market

Before you break into the market, you must understand your competitors, customers, keywords, and other aspects impacting your product performance. Here's how you can acquaint yourself with the target market:

Market Research

Market researchers rely highly on diversity and inclusion to gain insights to understand the market better. According to Thinknow, a market research agency, 98% of their clients increased their audience with their cultural insights.

It clearly shows the importance of conducting market research to provide your target audience with the solution they want,

  • At their preferred time
  • Through their preferred medium

Keyword Research

Next, conduct keyword research and analysis using tools like Ranktracker’s keyword finder. It's a process of understanding the prime queries your target audience searches for on the top search engines.

Analyze the search volume, competitive data, and keyword suggestions to best understand how your prospects search for your product. Use the keyword finder to identify exact keywords, understand search difficulty, review keyword history, and compile your research.

Keyword Research

Competitor Analysis

Before you set foot into the market, you must understand the kind of products you’ll be competing with. Think about:

  • How much value do your competitors add?
  • What’s your competitors’ market positioning?
  • What are the competitor products' offerings that genuinely resonate with your ICP?

One of the best ways to do this is by checking out customer reviews on portals like Quora, Reddit, and G2. Find that unique selling feature your competitors don't offer and make it your primary weapon.

4. Map the buyer’s journey

Once you're all clear about your target audience and market, you can dive deeper. Try to understand your buyer's journey from being a stranger to a promoter of your product.

Why map the buyer's journey? You can target the customer according to their stage with the right content strategy.

There are two ways to go about this—the traditional sales funnel and the flywheel model.

Sales Funnel

  • Top Funnel: Customers realize they have problems and start searching for solutions.
  • Middle Funnel: Customers are aware of your products and compare them with other options.
  • Bottom Funnel: Customers try different products to make the final choice.

Sales Funnel (Source)

Flywheel Model

A better way to map the buyer’s journey is through a flywheel model. Here, the three stages include:

  • Attract: Grab a stranger’s attention and convert them into a prospect through content that creates brand awareness. It can be through attractive videos and social media ads.
  • Engage: Convert the prospect into a customer by providing more information—host webinars and offer downloadable eBooks. The prospect might use the freemium model or take a demo and subscribe to your product.
  • Delight: This is where your customer reaches the next level and promotes your product to their network. This is when they realize its value proposition. You can further enhance this stage by creating a referral program.

Flywheel Model (Source)

One of the most crucial systems to use here is having a full-fledged customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Use a good CRM tool that aligns with your needs and budget and bring your sales and marketing teams on the same page.

5. Build a marketing funnel

Outline the channels you'll use to market your product to reach your ideal customer. Create the marketing funnel considering your customers’ buying stage and try to market through the medium your ideal customer prefers the most.


You can advertise your product through various paid media, including paid ads on Google, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can include offline advertisements in your marketing strategy through quirky visuals and messages on large city billboards.

Social Media

While there’s paid social media advertising, this is also the prime medium for conducting organic marketing. Some of the best social media marketing practices include:

  • Understand the trends and algorithms of the platform you’re marketing on. For example, the Instagram algorithm works differently from the Twitter algorithm.
  • Social media videos perform better on platforms like Instagram and TikTok than on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Study your audience activity and schedule social media posts when your audience is the most active.
  • Facebook Ads are the most budget-friendly and effective options for small businesses.

Keep your brand messaging consistent and relatable to gain social media followers and create an engaging audience.

Inbound Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best ways to gain leads organically. When your target audience comes across your social media posts or lead magnets like blogs and eBooks, they will want to learn more about your product.

Here are a few ways you can optimize the next steps:

  • Chatbot: When a stranger visits your website, a chatbot platforms will cater to their queries and boost user engagement from the start.
  • Email list: Email marketing is a great way to nurture your prospects by letting them in on your products and offers. You can build an email list through simple mediums like lead magnets, social media, and giveaways.
  • Landing page: Create separate landing pages for each product to ensure a frictionless sale transition.
  • Marketing automation: Automating repetitive processes is another great way to optimize your marketing process. For example, you can automate email marketing and make your life easy at a cost-effective price.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is one of the most effective techniques, as you can reach out to a specific audience segment. Thus, there are more chances of quick conversions.

A few effective outbound marketing strategies include:

  • LinkedIn Prospecting: Find the people who fall under your ideal client list so you can add them to your database. For example, you can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator filters to find your ideal clients' profiles.
  • Cold email: Once you have collected prospects' email addresses, send them a short email stating how your product is the best solution for their pain points.
  • LinkedIn outreach: Instead of cold emails, you can reach out to your ideal customers directly on LinkedIn. Automate outreach on LinkedIn, and the interested individuals will revert. Check out some LinkedIn automation tools to send connection requests, messages, and conduct other repetitive activities.

6. Create a Sales Plan

Now that your marketing plan is ready, it's time to lay out the final sales process. First, ensure that your sales and marketing teams are aligned and that your customer has a smooth conversion process.

You can do this by dividing the inbound and outbound leads into MQLs and SQLs:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads: MQLs are the leads received through different marketing channels. These leads are not yet ready to convert but can be converted into customers if nurtured well.
  • Sales Qualified Leads: SQLs are at the final stage. They are interested in your product and are ready to talk to the customer. These leads can be converted into buyers through a simple push.

The sales and marketing teams must have a shared understanding of the end goals, target audiences, and guidelines for qualified leads. Establish clear communication norms for the teams to work cross-functionally and schedule frequent feedback sessions to ensure a smooth process.

Once your lead is qualified, send a well-structured sales proposal to close the deal!

7. Test your messaging first

Creating a compelling message is of the utmost importance. Your ICP must understand how your product's value proposition is the ideal solution for their pain points.

First, answer these questions:

  • Does your message include what’s in it for the buyer?
  • Can your message hook your target audience within seconds?
  • Is your message clear, concise, and talks about one simple thing?

These are just a few simple questions to ask while creating your message. To take it to the next level:

  • Test different messages and double down on what works
  • Conduct A/B tests with third-party tools before launching your message
  • Opt for paid surveys like Google Consumer Surveys to know what your potential prospects want

Remember to personalize your website with dynamic content and make sure to create varied messaging that resonates with different personas.

8. Adjust and Iterate

Building a winning product is not the end goal. It is just the beginning. To run a successful company, you must stay agile and keep improving. And to keep improving, you need to know where you’re going wrong.

Create a KPI dashboard with all the essential metrics in one place, so you don't leave any loose ends. For example, if your customer acquisition process takes up too much of your budget, you'll have to optimize for a better strategy.

If your lead generation process is too long, use lead generation software tools that help you attract leads for your team to convert. In short, you need to Test, Monitor, tweak, and Iterate.

9. Launch a PR campaign

Once your product is out there, you need to climb to the next step. Launch a digital marketing campaign or a PR campaign to further publicize your product and the amazing solution that it offers.

A press release helps create a buzz around your product and develop relationships with stakeholders across different platforms.

One of the best ways to do this is by launching your product on platforms like Product Hunt, Beta List, Slant, and Softpedia, among others. These are well-renowned websites specially created to help users get early access to new software and startups.

This is how the launch of Ranktracker looks like on Product Hunt:

Launch a PR campaign

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Also check out these platforms to plan your next PR campaign.

Create a Go-To-Marketing Strategy That Lands

Preparing a go-to marketing strategy is time-taking and complex. But if you want your product to be a hit in the market, it's a non-negotiable.

A winning GTM strategy can help you massively enhance your growth potential, get access to new markets, and stay relevant to the audience.

For example, while Kodak successfully launched its product and maintained its brand for a century, it failed to leverage the new market trends. As a result, consumers shifted to other latest cameras, and Kodak witnessed a huge downfall.

Now that you know its importance, follow these nine steps and create a successful GTM strategy.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins

Ranktracker's CEO/CMO & Co-founder

Felix Rose-Collins is the Co-founder and CEO/CMO of Ranktracker. With over 15 years of SEO experience, he has single-handedly scaled the Ranktracker site to over 500,000 monthly visits, with 390,000 of these stemming from organic searches each month.

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