Aligning your go-to-market strategy

A.T. Gimbel shares about one of the most important, yet difficult things to get right: your go-to-market strategy.

A.T. Gimbel
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February 2, 2021

While you don’t have to get it perfect from the beginning, it’s important to get it right.

One of the most important, yet difficult things to get right is aligning your go-to-market (GTM) strategy. “Better” products can fail due to GTM mistakes, while even “good” products can quickly scale with great GTM alignment. I like the simple 4Ps framework (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) as a way to think about the key pieces that have to align. While there is plenty to discuss on each of the 4Ps, how does alignment really work?

Be sure you are starting in the right place

No matter how great your GTM strategy is, if you are not fundamentally solving a must-have customer problem with a clear value proposition and authentic demand, all the strategy planning probably won’t matter. Make sure you nail the initial customer discovery and Product “P” with passionate, paying customers before trying to optimize the other 3Ps.

Aligning the 4Ps

In one example, let’s say you have a simple software product for small businesses. Assume you have proven authentic demand, and based on value the pricing is $250 per year. With that price point, you might need a low touch sales approach (i.e. online), minimal support/onboarding (i.e. self-service), and viral marketing (i.e. to reduce high customer acquisition costs). Is that possible with your solution? If you require a complicated/long sales process, high support to get users onboarded and not churning, and expensive ad campaigns to acquire customers, then elements of your product and GTM model may need to change. Conversely, if you have a large software product that based on value the pricing is $500,000 per year, then GTM alignment could allow more salespeople, more onboarding/account management/customer support, and marketing through more expensive channels.

Adjusting as necessary

As with most things in the startup world, you don’t have to get this right from the beginning. You can tweak your product, pricing, sales channels, and marketing activities as you adjust to feedback. The key is being honest that your GTM strategy aligns with the value your product brings and the way your customers need to interact with the product (and you). Trying to sell a complex, high support product with a long sales cycle at a low price point may require some adjusting to your GTM model.

While you don’t have to get it perfect from the beginning, aligning your GTM strategy will help you optimize your operational efforts, have scalable economics, and most importantly better serve your customers.

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