The global economy is on rough waters and growth will be a challenging objective for most businesses. As we look forward to 2023, it’s important for businesses to have a clear and adapted go-to-market plan in place to navigate these shifts and position themselves for success. Typically the GTM strategy for a new or existing product falls under the responsibility of a Product Marketing Manager (sometimes Product Manager) and should be developed in sync with the long-term marketing plan, especially for businesses with an established brand and market presence.
There are quite a few great resources on how to create go-to-market plans, including templates (e.g. from Hubspot), and makes little sense to repeat here what is already available on the web. In this blog post, I will provide actionable insights and strategies for developing an effective GTM plan considering one of the key trends for 2023: the rise of Generation Z.
Key aspects included in the blog:
- Define Target Market
- Unique Value Proposition and Messaging
- Pricing Strategy
- Go-to-market Strategy
- Measuring Success
- Continuous Improvement
Define the Target Market for your Go-to-market Plan
The first (but frequently overlooked) step in developing an effective go-to-market plan is to clearly define your target market. Understanding the demographics, needs, pain points, and decision-making process of your target audience is crucial for developing a strategy that resonates with them and helps drive customer success.
As we look to 2023, businesses must consider the rise of Generation Z as a consumer and workforce. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z represents a fundamentally different breed than the Millennials before them. They are digitally native and have come of age in a world of globalization and rapid technological change. This has shaped their values and decision-making processes (both in the personal and professional realm) in ways that are important for businesses to understand.
Unique Value Proposition and Messaging
Creating a unique value proposition (UVP) that effectively communicates the benefits of your offering to your buyer persona is crucial for differentiating your product or service from competitors. It’s important to communicate the unique value proposition of your product or service, in a way that aligns with the needs, pain points, and values of your target market.
Developing clear positioning and messaging is crucial to standing out in a crowded market and effectively communicating the benefits of your new product or service. In the case of Gen Z, businesses must understand their digital-first and community-minded mentality when creating messaging. Authenticity, inclusiveness, and transparency are key values that Gen Z prioritizes and that should be present in the message.
Include Pricing in your Go-to-market plan
Pricing strategy is an essential aspect of a go-to-market plan. The strategy should align with the value proposition and messaging, and consider the target market and competition. Some of the well-known pricing strategies are cost-based, value-based, or competitive pricing. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to regularly review and adjust the pricing strategy in order to align with the market conditions, competition, and perceived value by customers.
Define the Go-to-market strategy
With a clear target market and unique value proposition in place, product marketing managers can move to the next step: developing a GTM strategy that effectively reaches and engages the target audience. This includes identifying the channels and tactics that will be most effective for reaching your target market and how to optimize the use of these channels.
To target Gen Z effectively, businesses must understand the platforms they use and the values they prioritize. TikTok, for example, is the most popular social media platform among Gen Zers and is becoming increasingly important as a marketing channel. Other platforms, such as BeReal, are also gaining traction among this demographic. These platforms are successful because they offer Gen Z what they crave: a sense of belonging and community.
When choosing your GTM strategy there are a few proven options to consider. Product-led, partnerships, community-based, and content-driven approaches are successfully used by companies like Dropbox, Spotify, Airbnb, and Hubspot as key marketing strategies. Depending on the nature of the product or service one of these approaches (or a combination) might the appropriate for your business.
Personalization at scale, video marketing, and influencer marketing are some of the most effective ways of engaging with your target market. These 2023 marketing trends allow businesses to reach their target market with tailored and personalized messaging, increase brand awareness and drive leads and revenue. While personalization is the default in 2023, confidentiality is also very important. Striking a balance between marketing strategies and data privacy should be always the goal.
In addition, marketing leaders must also keep in mind the importance of streamlining Martech (marketing technologies) to make their strategy more efficient and effective. The use of generative AI, automation, and other technologies can make it possible to personalize messaging at scale and make data-driven decisions. However, it’s also important to ensure that the chosen platforms and tools integrate smoothly, enable alignment across the organization and provide a good ROI (return on investment).
While it might be driven by a different group from an organizational perspective, a well-executed sales strategy is crucial for the success of a go-to-market plan. Having a sales team that is well-trained and understands the value proposition and messaging is important for effective communication with potential customers and closing deals. Among others, a good sales strategy should include ongoing training, support, and measurement of key performance indicators to ensure continuous improvement.
Measuring the Success of your Go-to-market plan
Developing a go-to-market plan is only the starting point. It’s important to track the performance while executing the strategy and make data-driven decisions to optimize it to achieve your goals. To do this, define the metrics and benchmarks that will be used to measure success.
These metrics can vary depending on the goals of your strategy but consider including website traffic, lead generation, CAC (customer acquisition cost), CLV (customer lifetime value), and ROI. Other metrics such as online reviews, social media engagement, and online sales can also be important indicators of success in the digital-first environment of 2023.
The business environment is constantly changing and so should your go-to-market strategy. Continuous improvement is key to staying ahead of the curve and adapting to new trends and technologies. This means regularly reviewing your metrics and benchmarks, seeking feedback from customers, and staying informed about the latest developments in your industry.
You should also mind that in the digital age that we are in, customers’ needs are also ever-changing, therefore it’s essential to have a customer-centric approach in your strategy, in order to respond to these changes in a timely and efficient way. Regularly checking in with your target market and gathering feedback about your product or service is a good way to make sure your strategy aligns with their evolving needs and pain points.
The go-to-market plan is essential for a new product launch and for improving the performance of an existing one. Understanding your target market, developing a unique value proposition and messaging, creating an effective go-to-market strategy, measuring success, and continuously improving your strategy are all key elements for business growth in 2023.
But the most important part of the GTM plan is to actually start planning. To help you get started I prepared a go-to-market strategy example case study that is available here. So, take action now and build a winning go-to-market plan for 2023.