Your go to market plan is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. Every business needs a detailed launch blueprint in order to survive. They also need a comprehensive marketing plan in order to thrive. It’s not surprising that marketers tend to use these terms interchangeably, especially because the lines can get a little blurred when a company launches its first product. There are, however, some crucial differences you might want to be aware of. Marketing is a broad term, there are also many explanations and definitions of a marketing plan and go-to-market plan.
So What is the difference between a go to market strategy and a marketing strategy?
When trying to figure out the difference between a go to market strategy and a marketing strategy, it’s probably best to think of the former as a sprint and the latter as a marathon: You need to know how to perform, both in the short and the long term if you want to succeed. Marketing is a broad term, there are also many interpretations of a marketing plan and go-to-market plan. There is a difference between a marketing plan and a go-to-market plan.
To get started with the topic, let’s use the following definitions:
Marketing – how a company creates value, builds strong relationships and captures value in return.
Marketing strategy – the marketing rationale that a company uses to create customer value and achieve profitable relationships. It details all of the marketing repetitive processes a business should take in order to reach their ideal target market, generate interest, and grow their brand.
Marketing plan – the plan that provides the strategy and details of how to achieve the business’ strategic objectives. A marketing plan supports the business strategy and business objectives. It must also align with the company values.
Go-to-market plan – a subset of the marketing plan that provides the details of how to approach a new market or launch a new offer (e.g. product, service, brand, pricing model).
Let’s take a look at the key differences between these strategies by answering the following questions:
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy details your approach for achieving (and keeping) its competitive advantage over time. Remember: you’re playing the long game here. The main purpose of a marketing plan is to identify your target audience and value proposition, as well as how your product compares with what your competitors are offering.
Your marketing team is responsible for creating and executing your marketing strategy. Their main duty is to support all of your client-facing team members.
When do you need it?
A marketing strategy is somewhat of an organic creature; it’s made up of repetitive processes that must be tweaked according to the company’s evolution. Budgets, tools, trends, and team members will change. This means that you’ll constantly be adjusting expectations, experimenting with new approaches, searching for fresh opportunities, and trimming off any unproductive processes you find along the way.
How does it work?
A solid marketing strategy encompasses every aspect of your brand. It should appeal to a bigger chunk of your audience – not just those who might be interested in “something new”. Your marketing efforts must directly correlate with your brand’s values and your product’s unique value proposition. This can be achieved through thorough competitor analysis, targeted demographic research, and carefully constructed business models. It’s also important to concentrate on metrics that help you determine your weaknesses, such as customer dissatisfaction or churn rate. You’ll need to get feedback from existing customers to discover what your weak points might be and use your findings to fine-tune your overall marketing strategy.
What is a Go-To-Market Plan?
A Go-To-Market (GTM) plan is a strategic action plan specifically focused on the steps needed to make sure that your new service or product attracts the right audience or that an existing product reaches a specific audience within a new market. This could be entering a new market, launching a new product, or re-launching a company after a merger. It is similar to a marketing plan and covers some of the same areas, but is much narrower in scope. The sole purpose of this strategy is to establish compelling, product positioning; making sure that your potential customers understand the value of your offering. The GTM plan is about a specific product or market, whereas the marketing plan is about a specific business.
Your product marketing team should be the main driver behind your go to market plan. They are responsible for coordinating with sales, marketing, and support teams to get your product ready for launch. They have to work with your sales team to develop a pricing strategy whilst also discussing appropriate messaging with your marketing team. Additionally, they might also be responsible for conducting training sessions with internal teams to ensure that all customer queries can be addressed appropriately. A successful product launch takes a village. Your product marketing team is the city council.
When do you need it?
Your go to market plan should be set up before you branch out into the unfamiliar. Whether you’re expanding into a new market or launching a new product, you need to have carved out your path before you dive headfirst into the unknown. You’ll want to set your goals, timelines, and milestones well in advance – it’s a key route to successful growth.
How does it work?
An effective go to market plan hinges off your ability to create strong messages that speak to the people who will find the most value in your product. You’ll require all hands on deck to translate your product vision into messages and actions that appeal to your target customers.
If you have other outlines, areas to include or comments, please share. What other types of resources do you find helpful to be successful? If you need a little help structuring your marketing plan but not sure where to start? We’ve got your back! Download our free Digital Marketing Plan Template to kick-start and guide your strategy.