Go-to-Market vs. Marketing: Understanding the Key Differences

The Greatness Blog

Go-to-Market vs. Marketing: Understanding the Key Differences

Learn proven go-to-market methods and real case studies to secure your product launch success. Happy launching!

Considering a Go To Market Strategy for your next launch? 

Launching a new product can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be daunting. In today’s crowded market, it’s essential to have a solid plan in place. That’s why a Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy could be your ticket to success. But how does it differ from a traditional marketing strategy? Understanding the key differences between GTM and marketing strategies is crucial to ensure your product launch is a hit.


In this article, we will dive into the key differences between go-to-market and marketing, and how understanding these differences can help you tailor your strategy to suit your goals. So, let’s get started and supercharge your go-to-market efforts!


Imagine you’re the owner of a thriving restaurant and you’re ready to expand your business to a new location in another city. You already have a strong brand identity, a loyal customer base, and a proven track record of success. But how do you ensure that your new location stays true to your brand and continues to attract the right clientele?


With a well-crafted go-to-market (GTM) strategy, you can introduce your brand to a new audience and educate them on the unique benefits and offerings of your restaurant. Your GTM plan will not only help you target the right customers but also communicate your brand message effectively, ensuring that your new location stays true to your established identity.


You might be wondering, is’t this the same as marketing?


The short answer: No.


What Is the Difference Between Go-To-Market and Marketing?


For those who are unfamiliar, marketing and go-to-market (GTM) strategies are two distinct concepts that often get confused.


Marketing is a broader and long-term approach to promote a product or service to reach the ideal audience and achieve a competitive edge in the market. On the other hand, GTM is a short-term plan focused on introducing a new product or service to the market and ensuring that it reaches the right audience by educating them on its benefits and usage.


While a marketing strategy considers the overall vision and goals of an organization, a GTM strategy is product-centric, targeting a specific segment of the audience. It is a great approach for businesses launching new products or services, but it is important to note that GTM is not a substitute for marketing.


If your brand is new or launching its first product, GTM and marketing could be similar, but as your business grows, it is important to differentiate between them and align their strategies accordingly.


GTM Methodologies: Funnel and Flywheel


When it comes to developing a go-to-market strategy, there are two major methodologies: the funnel and the flywheel. The traditional funnel approach is a one-off process that focuses on attracting leads and guiding them through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the customer journey.

On the other hand, the flywheel approach uses inbound marketing and other strategies to build long-lasting customer relationships. This methodology focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting prospects, leads, and customers in a circular motion.


After a lead becomes a customer, the flywheel continues by re-engaging them with solid customer experiences, new content, and potentially new offerings. Whether you prefer the funnel or the flywheel approach, it’s essential to have a planning process that includes the following steps:

  1. Distinguish your buyer persona(s): Identify your target audience and create a detailed profile of their characteristics, preferences, and pain points.
  2. Fill out your persona’s value matrix: Understand what your target audience values most and tailor your messaging to resonate with their needs.
  3. Define your content and lead-gen strategy: Develop content that addresses your target audience’s needs and use lead generation tactics to attract and convert them into leads.
  4. Adjust and iterate as you go: Continuously monitor and analyze your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  5. Retain and delight your customers: Focus on retaining and delighting your existing customers by providing excellent customer service, personalized experiences, and relevant offers.

Note that a GTM strategy is not a “set it and forget it” approach. It requires hands-on attention. At our agency, when we are in launch mode, everyone is involved in the process. We create a calendar with multiple touchpoints to ensure that nothing is missed. Once the launch takes off and gains traction, our teams actively engage across all social channels. This is how we generate buzz.


The Elements of a GTM Strategy


To create a successful GTM strategy, you need to consider several important elements. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  1. Conduct Market Research and Analysis: Before you launch your product or service, it’s essential to conduct market research and analyze the competitive landscape. This includes researching your target market, identifying competitors, and understanding industry trends.
  2. Define Target Audience and Buyer Personas: Defining your target audience is critical to creating an effective GTM strategy. This involves creating buyer personas, which are detailed profiles of your ideal customers. These profiles should include information about your customers’ demographics, interests, and pain points.
  3. Identify Unique Selling Points and Value Proposition: To stand out from competitors, you need to identify your unique selling points (USPs) and value proposition. Your USPs are the features and benefits that differentiate your product or service from others in the market. Your value proposition should clearly communicate the value that your product or service provides to your target audience.
  4. Develop Pricing Strategy and Distribution Channels: Your pricing strategy should align with your value proposition and be competitive in the market. You also need to determine your distribution channels, which are the ways you will get your product or service to your customers. This includes channels like online marketplaces, social media platforms, direct mail, influencer marketing, and paid channels.
  5. Determine Revenue Goals and Campaign Budget: It’s important to set realistic revenue goals for your GTM strategy and determine your campaign budget accordingly. Your budget most likely will have sales commissions, services fees, and advertising costs.

While a GTM strategy is not a guaranteed formula for success, it can certainly give you a better return on investment than not having one at all. By considering these elements and tailoring them to your specific product or service, you can create a comprehensive GTM strategy that sets you up for success and minimizes the risks of failure.


Inspiring GTM Strategy Stories


One of the most effective ways to bring a new product or service to market is through a creative and engaging go-to-market campaigns. So let’s share some examples that can bring some inspiration.



Online Boutique Launching Contest


Our online boutique client hired us to launch their new collection. We decided to launch with a contest. The contest encouraged participants to post photos of themselves wearing the boutique’s clothing on social media with a specific hashtag. The photos were then collected and displayed on the boutique’s website, creating a sense of community and social proof. The boutique offered a prize to the winner, which encouraged more people to participate.

This go-to-market campaign not only generated buzz and excitement around the launch of the boutique’s new clothing line, but it also created a sense of engagement and loyalty among the boutique’s target audience. By involving customers in the launch process and creating a community around the brand, the boutique was able to build a strong brand identity and establish a loyal customer base.



New Executive Coach Book Launch Event


A new executive coach wanted to launch their coaching services. During our market research, we found that the best opportunity to position the coach as a leader was with a book. So we combined their services launch with a book launch. The GTM plan involved creating an event around the book launch to attract potential clients and generate buzz around the new coach’s services.

The book launch event was held at a popular event space and included a panel discussion featuring the coach and several industry leaders, a Q&A session, and a book signing. The event was promoted through social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising.

In addition to the event, we developed a lead magnet to capture contact information from interested attendees. The lead magnet was a free coaching consultation with the coach, providing a valuable opportunity for potential clients to experience the coach’s services.

The book launch event was a success, attracting a large audience and generating positive buzz for the new coach’s services, including enterprise clients who were looking to bring an executive coach on board. The lead magnet was also effective in capturing leads, resulting in several new coaching clients for the coach.



New Gym Launched with a 7-Day Challenge


To promote the opening of their new location for our Gym client, we decided to launch a 7-day fitness challenge. The challenge was open to anyone who signed up for a membership at their new location. Participants would receive a free one-week membership and would be entered to win a grand prize of a free 6-month membership.


To participate, members had to attend at least one fitness class each day for seven consecutive days. Classes included yoga, HIIT, and strength training, among others. In addition to the free membership and chance to win a grand prize, participants would also receive a free t-shirt upon completion of the challenge.


The 7-day fitness challenge generated a lot of buzz for the new location and resulted in a significant increase in memberships. The gym also saw a boost in social media engagement, as participants shared their progress and experiences with the challenge online. The launching campaign lasted 60 days and our client signed over 300 customers.



A hair pomade launched with micro influencers


An established barber decided to launch his vey own hair pomade. We decided to use micro-influencers and barbers as a part of their go-to-market strategy. Our team started by identifying and partnering with several micro-influencers and barbers in different locations. These influencers and barbers had a loyal following on social media and were passionate about hair grooming.

The company sent each influencer and barber a sample of their hair pomade and asked them to share their thoughts with their followers. The company also provided these influencers with exclusive discount codes to share with their followers.

In addition, we organized a contest for the barbers where they had to use the pomade on their clients and share the results on social media. The barber who had the most impressive transformation won a cash prize and a year’s supply of the pomade.

The results were impressive. The micro-influencers and barbers generated a lot of buzz about the product on social media, and many of their followers bought the pomade using the discount codes. The company also received a lot of positive feedback from the barbers and their clients who used the product. This GTM strategy helped the company reach its target audience and establish the product as a top choice in the hair grooming industry.



In Closing


We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights on go-to-market strategies and how to successfully launch your product or service. Remember, a well-planned GTM strategy can make all the difference in ensuring your success in the market. By conducting market research, defining your target audience, identifying your unique selling points, and implementing a comprehensive launch plan, you can position yourself for success.

And now, it’s time to put these best practices to work! With the right tools and a solid team, you can easily position your product for a successful launch. Schedule a free consultation today and get started on your GTM journey!