How to Create a Killer Go-to-Market Strategy
Founders often make the mistake of talking about marketing or sales tactics when asked about their go to market strategy. When VCs ask about go-to-market strategy, they are looking for a nuanced take on what customer segments you will be going after, why those segments, and what criteria are you using the identity ideal early customers. As well they want to know how you are going to sell to a particular segment of your total addressable market, not how you plan to spend money on content marketing or digital advertising to reach your customer.
According to a Plan.io post on the topic, a go to market strategy is “a tactical action plan that outlines the steps necessary to succeed in a new market or with a new customer. It can apply to pretty much anything, from launching new products and services, to re-launching your company or brand, or even moving a current product into a new market.”
Investors want to hear clear targeting criteria about who will be the early buyers of your product, why these customers are selecting your product, who will be getting the greatest value from it, and how you’ll be distributing your product.
Watch Steve Jobs talk about go to market strategy:
What makes this pitch from Steve Jobs a compelling “go to market strategy”?
He describes his competitors and hits on the key areas where their product is lacking.
He backs up his hypothesis with data and anecdotes, proving that he has unique insights into the market (3:30).
He connects his go to market strategy with the total addressable market, outlining exactly which part of the market he plans to sell to.
He highlights how the total market is growing and how his product can expand the total market size.
He discusses the customer pain points and shows how his product is solving those pain points.
One Big Error Founders Make When Discussing G2M Strategy
Dreamit Managing Partner Steve Barsh compares the G2M strategy to fishing. If you’re out on the water, you want to “fish where the fish are.” If you’re trying to survive, are you going to go big game fishing to get a trophy catch, or will you fish where you have a high likelihood of making a catch?
Often, we see healthtech startups that spend too much time attempting to do pilots with only the biggest, most prestigious medical institutions in the country, rather than attempting to push their product with smaller healthcare systems that have more bandwidth to pilot the product, a smaller group of stakeholders needed to sign off on approving a pilot or new technology, or a more flexible budget to make sure your pilot or engagement is paid.
If you’re still finding product-market fit, you should focus on the low hanging fruit of your market, i.e. the easiest targets you can find. An added benefit of this strategy is that with each smaller customer you bring on board, you have a more validated product that will allow you to close sales with larger, more prestigious organizations down the road.
Steve advises startups to create a litmus test:
Choose characteristics that define your first group of target customers and why these characteristics make your solution an exceptionally good fit
Justify with data why you are going after this initial group so that you can discuss this strategy with investors as part of a pitch meeting.
Outline the pain points of your customer and why you are uniquely suited to solve these pain points.
Prove that your pricing model is justified.