What Is a Go-to-Market Strategy and How Is it Different From a Marketing Strategy? (2023)

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In this Moosend guest post, learn the differences between a marketing and go-to-market strategy to inform your e-commerce business’s approach to product launches and more. By Virginia Zacharaki October 12, 2020

What Is a Go-to-Market Strategy and How Is it Different From a Marketing Strategy? (1)

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Businesses always plan ahead, and that is a fact. This is why a marketing strategy is a very much needed practice for brands that want to be prepared, have goals, and see that their efforts will amount to something, sooner rather than later. If businesses want to optimize their brand presence on e-marketplaces such as Amazon, they will need a comprehensive plan to tackle not only targeted audiences and distributions, but product launches as well.

A marketing strategy encompasses all of the marketing actions a business is willing to take. These marketing actions cover a broad spectrum and aim to reach a target market. The representation of these marketing actions and the overall marketing strategy is what creates a marketing plan.

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy, on the other hand, is created to cover new product launches. As such, a GTM strategy is product-specific, tailored around said product, and targets the audience that would be interested in the product’s release, first and foremost.

Sometimes, marketers use the terms interchangeably, mainly because the two terms encapsulate the same meaning when a company launches its first products. This makes sense if one considers that marketing aims to present something to appropriate buyers, and no brand starts with a plethora of products.

However, a broader venture with various products and services will need to separate the two meanings, since a GTM strategy is merely a component of the overall marketing strategy that aims to lead prospects further down the funnel.

(Video) Go-To-Market Strategy: The Simple and Easy Way

The Key Differences

The main difference between a GTM strategy and a marketing strategy is that a GTM strategy focuses on one product. In contrast, a marketing strategy focuses on the actions, distribution channels, and target audience of the value proposition.

Therefore, there are some critical differences between the two strategies.

Let’s start with the difference in purpose. A marketing strategy is created to ensure that a business will manage to keep up with the existing and upcoming trends for an extended period of time. Therefore, it can include marketing actions such as an SMS marketing strategy or perhaps an Instagram growth strategy. Still, it must include a detailed distribution plan and be created around the brand’s target audience.

In other words, a marketing plan aims to attract the audience that will appreciate the value of the brand as a whole and will manage to outshine the competitors.

On the other hand, a GTM strategy is a little more short-lived in the sense that it will serve the purpose by approaching the segment of the audience that will be interested in a specific product.

While a GTM strategy may typically include components of a marketing strategy — distribution channels, for example, or a video content plan — it often is highly targeted towards a specific buyer persona. In the end, it aims to ensure that a product outshines the competitors’ product.

The People

Sometimes, when it comes to a GTM strategy, there could be more than marketers involved in the process.

A GTM strategy focuses on a product’s lifecycle — from the creation of the concept to distribution to discontinuation. Therefore, a brand will need more than its best marketers to create one.

Usually, the process will begin with the product marketing team. It will continue by training sales and customer support teams and collaborating with the marketing team to ensure that the GTM strategy fits the brand’s broader marketing strategy.

On the other hand, a marketing strategy will need an entire team for its creation and implementation. The marketing team will go through a SWOT analysis, rigorous market research, and determining goals before deciding on marketing actions.

Remember, there is no marketing action without a clear marketing plan, such as scheduling Instagram posts or even the GTM strategy itself.

The Time and Place

The last key aspect that sets the two strategies apart is the “when” factor and the “how/where” factor.

GTM strategies are generally related to a product launch, a new benefit, or anything that the pre-existing audience has not experienced yet. Plus, as all marketers know, new launches have specific timelines.

Since a GTM strategy covers those launches, marketers create plans that last a specific time period. In this fixed timeline, marketers need to achieve particular goals.

On the contrary, a marketing strategy is an ongoing process of re-discovering, re-assigning, and reviewing. To better understand the difference between the two, think of a marketing strategy as a marathon, while a GTM strategy as a sprint.

The difference is a little easier to spot with the “how/where” factor. A marketing strategy is an umbrella term and therefore encapsulates every aspect of a brand. This means that a marketing strategy needs to appeal to a more significant chunk of a brand’s audience.

Marketing actions that stem from a generalized marketing plan need to portray its values and unique value proposition. Of course, this takes effort, meticulous competitor analysis, and focusing on metrics that can help the brand determine its weaknesses, such as customer churn rate or customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, a successful GTM strategy requires strong messages and actions to speak directly to the audience that will appeal to that specific product. Creating such messages involves a combination of factors, such as the brand’s tone, the product’s or service’s functionality, and the tone of the platform where the message will be presented.

To create a message and actions that will be meaningful, a brand will need to get feedback from existing customers, using questionnaires or through the customer service team’s feedback.

(Video) Go-to-market strategy examples
What Is a Go-to-Market Strategy and How Is it Different From a Marketing Strategy? (2)
About the Author

Virginia Zacharaki is the Marketing Communications Associate of Moosend, a highly competitive email marketing and marketing automation platform. She is passionate about knowledge, art, teaching, and creating.

The Takeaway

All in all, marketers need to keep in mind that no matter the strategy they need to implement, one thing is certain: The more relevant the message, the better it will resonate with the target audience.

(Video) Go To Market Plan - 6 Steps to Creating a Go-to-Market Plan

Knowing the differences between a marketing strategy and a GTM strategy is one thing, but using strategies to create marketing actions takes a lot more. Studying your data and determining how each marketing action resonates with your audience — or segments of it — is a vital component of creating meaningful and actionable marketing messages.

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(Video) Go-To-Market Strategy Template

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What is the difference between go-to-market and marketing strategy? ›

A marketing strategy focuses on how a company can reach an identified market over time and deliver against its overall value proposition. A go-to-market strategy focuses on how to bring new products or services to market. The former is long-term and company-driven, the latter is short-term and product-driven.

What is go-to-market strategy? ›

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan that details how an organization can engage with customers to convince them to buy their product or service and to gain a competitive advantage.

What is a go-to-market strategy examples? ›

A demand generation go-to-market strategy includes all sales-centric tactics and marketing activities such as cold calling, sponsored webinars, buying lists, email blasts, and television commercials. It focuses on creating audience demand by generating brand awareness and an immediate buzz around the product launch.

What is different between market and marketing? ›

Marketing is a subset of advertising aimed at persuading people to purchase goods and services, whereas market refers to all the people who are looking for those goods and services in one place or another.

Why is a go-to-market strategy important? ›

The main purposes of creating go-to-market strategy are: a) To clarify the reason for launching a product/ service, who are your potential customers, and how to make them attracted to the product. b) To consider all the issues the client could be faced with when dealing with your product/ service.

What are the 3 main parts of GTM? ›

The components of a go-to-market strategy are simple: market intelligence, market segmentation, and product messaging.

What are the four components of go-to-market strategy? ›

Four essential components are involved when it comes to a successful go-to-market strategy.
  • Your Target Audience. The foundation of your strategy, on which all else relies, is your target audience. ...
  • Market Demand and Competition. ...
  • Specialized Content and Messaging. ...
  • Sales and Distribution.
Feb 6, 2022

What is marketing in simple words? ›

Dictionary.com defines marketing as “The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.” In simple words, marketing is the process of attracting potential customers and clients to a product or service.

What is the best definition of marketing? ›

What Is Marketing? Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses. Some marketing is done by affiliates on behalf of a company.

What is market in marketing in simple words? ›

A market is a place where buyers and sellers can meet to facilitate the exchange or transaction of goods and services. Markets can be physical like a retail outlet, or virtual like an e-retailer. Other examples include illegal markets, auction markets, and financial markets.

Who is responsible for go-to-market strategy? ›

Who Is Responsible for Go-To-Market? In general, the product marketer is responsible for heading up the development of the GTM strategy. For some sales teams, this may be a new role.

Why do we go-to-market short answer? ›

Why do we go to markets? Answer: We go to market to buy many things. They are vegetables, soap, toothpaste, masala, bread, rice, daal, clothes, notebooks, biscuits etc.

What are the key elements of a go-to-market plan? ›

Your go-to-market plan includes everything about the product/service - the target market, the distribution, content strategy, engagement strategy and sales strategy. Competition is fierce, so this document is crucial for identifying whether you have applied all the necessary elements to attract your target market.

How do you put together a go-to-market strategy? ›

  1. Thoroughly Understand The Market. ...
  2. Have A Thoughtful And Measurable Plan. ...
  3. Get Honest Feedback And Act On It. ...
  4. Start By Building Brand Equity. ...
  5. Identify Your Brand Standards. ...
  6. Aim For The Path Of Least Resistance. ...
  7. Identify Target Buyer Personas. ...
  8. Align On Markets And Buyer Profiles.
Sep 14, 2020

Who is responsible for GTM? ›

Who is responsible for GTM strategy? Typically a product marketer or GTM owner is responsible for the go-to-market strategy, and these teams tend to work best when reporting to marketing, while being backed by executive teams.

What are GTM objectives? ›

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan that helps you position a new product or service for launch, define your ideal customers, and coordinate your messaging. A GTM strategy also keeps key business units aligned on the same plan. This allows you to meet a market need and effectively iterate on your product.

What are the types of GTM strategy? ›

Let's dive into four common GTM strategies and discuss how you can use them in concert to great success.
Finding Just the Right Notes
  • Business case.
  • Market strategy.
  • Pricing strategy.
  • Sales strategy.
  • External marketing plan.
  • Support system.
  • Definition of success.

What are the 5 go-to-market strategies? ›

The five pillars are product analysis, product messaging, the sales proposition, marketing strategy and the sales strategy. As you will see, there are good reasons to address each in this order.

What are the four 4 types of marketing strategies? ›

4 Types Of Marketing Plans And Strategies
  • Market Penetration Strategy.
  • Market Development Strategy.
  • Product Development Strategy.
  • Diversification Strategy.

What departments are in go-to-market? ›

Go-to-market department definition

A go-to-market department is a designated team that focuses on bringing new products to market. The go-to-market team comprises cross-functional employees from sales, marketing, service, legal, marketing, finance, and IT.

What is a go-to-market strategy slide? ›

A go-to-market strategy slide summarizes an organization's overall go-to-market strategy, and covers distribution, marketing and sales. It usually follows the value proposition, which cover the product, price and positioning. Typically, the go-to-market strategy requires multiple slides to communicate effectively.

What are the 5 main marketing strategies? ›

The 5 P's of marketing are part of what is often referred to as a “marketing mix”. A marketing mix is the actions brands take to market their products and services by using a specific framework with the five biggest components of successful marketing: product, place, price, promotion, and people.

Who is responsible for GTM strategy? ›

Who is responsible for GTM strategy? Typically a product marketer or GTM owner is responsible for the go-to-market strategy, and these teams tend to work best when reporting to marketing, while being backed by executive teams.

Who owns GTM strategy? ›

Almost always, Product Marketers (different than Product Managers!) own the Go-To-Market process, since so much of the role depends on cross-functional stakeholder management, and ensuring that the right marketing assets are being built for the right customer at the right time.

Who leads go-to-market? ›

The product marketer, or product marketing manager, is in charge of marketing the product from day one. Obvious though it may seem from the job title, this role comes with several responsibilities that you may not be aware of.


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