Developing a go-to-market strategy

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  • Agile and project planning
  • Organization and evaluation

The next time you’re at a thrift store, take notice of the products you’ve never heard of or sen before—there will likely be quite a few of them. From a device that turns frozen bananas into smoothies to a hair wand that snaps decorative feathers into chunks of hair, a thrift store is a monument to products that were ultimately unsuccessful. 

And while some of those products were victims of changing marketplaces and vanishing trends, we’re willing to bet that quite a few inventions were just casualties of terrible (or nonexistent) go-to-market strategies. 

So, to keep your next idea on shelves and out of the yard sales of tomorrow, we’ll walk you through the details of what a GTM strategy is and why having a great one can transform the success of your product. While discussing physical products here as a default, it’s important to note that your product doesn’t need to be physical to benefit from a go-to-market strategy. Services, apps, and more also apply.

What is a go-to-market strategy? 

A go-to-market strategy serves as a roadmap for companies to introduce new products or services effectively to the market. The goal is to maximize market opportunities by identifying target audiences, understanding their needs, and differentiating offerings from competitors. A solid GTM strategy aligns various departments within the organization to ensure a cohesive approach to launching and promoting the product or service.

So, isn’t that just a marketing plan? Nope. Marketing plans are comprehensive documents that delve into detailed strategies, tactics, timelines, and budget allocations for various marketing initiatives across different channels—think social media, print, and commercials. GTM strategies are more tactical and focused on execution, outlining specific steps, roles, responsibilities, and resources needed to successfully execute the product launch and the initial market entry activities. The GTM just deals with the particular launch, whereas the marketing plan can last indefinitely. 

And they’re not the same as a marketing strategy, either. They’re related but not the same. A marketing strategy is broader and defines the overarching approach a company will take to achieve its marketing objectives and goals.

So, while a go-to-market strategy framework focuses on the specific approach for launching a new product or service, a marketing strategy defines the broader approach to achieving marketing objectives, and a marketing plan details the specific actions and tactics for implementing the marketing strategy within a specified timeframe.

Who owns the go-to-market strategy?

This is an “it depends” answer. It depends on how the roles are defined in your particular business, and the responsibility is likely to fall over many different people. For instance, product managers or product development teams often shape the GTM strategy. Still, executive leadership—including CEOs, CMOs, and other senior executives—provides support and direction. Then, you’ll probably need business development teams to weigh in on identifying partnership opportunities, strategic alliances, distribution channels, and new market entry strategies, and sales and marketing will also be involved to help with their aspects of the GTM. This is all good news because going to market can’t be accomplished with one person alone, so having the right people involved at the right touchpoints can help with a successful launch.

The go-to-market strategy framework 

The nice part about developing a GTM strategy is that it’s been done hundreds of thousands of times before, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Every GTM strategy addresses four key components:

  1. Product-market fit: This ensures that the product you’re launching is something people want to buy and you have enough customers to support your growth over time.

  2. Competition and demand: How much competition is there, and have they already cornered the market? What other products are like your product?

  3. Target audience: To whom are you selling? Define your target audience's characteristics, needs, behaviors, and preferences.

  4. Distribution: How are you getting your product into the hands of your buyers? Evaluate distribution options, such as direct sales, online sales, retail partnerships, distribution partners, or resellers.

Benefits of a go-to-market strategy 

It’s not easy, but is it worth it? Absolutely. Here’s why:

Risk mitigation

A GTM strategy helps companies identify potential risks and challenges early. This allows for contingency planning to mitigate potential obstacles and ensure smooth execution.

Faster entry into the market

A GTM strategy helps companies get products into hands faster. It streamlines decision making, reduces implementation delays, and enables faster market penetration and revenue generation.


A GTM strategy provides a clear roadmap and direction for introducing a new product or service to the market. It outlines specific objectives, target markets, value propositions, and execution plans, ensuring alignment across teams and departments.

Market focus

If there’s no market, there’s no profit. A GTM helps businesses make sure resources are allocated strategically to target the right customers with the right messaging and offerings.

How to create a go-to-market strategy 

You may be wondering what’s included in a go-to-market strategy. Let’s get going:

  1. Conduct market research: You need to really know the market. We’re talking about market trends, customer needs, pain points, and buying behaviors.

  2. Develop your value prop: Determine how your product compares to your competitors. Ensure your value prop resonates with the target audience and communicates a clear and compelling reason to choose the offering over alternatives.

  3. Figure out your distribution: Determine the most effective and efficient distribution channels to reach your target market. Develop partnerships and relationships with distributors, retailers, or other intermediaries to expand market reach and penetration.

  4. Determine your sales and marketing strategy: Develop a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy to create awareness, generate interest, and drive demand for the product or service. This should include targeted marketing campaigns, promotions, advertising, and PR initiatives.

  5. Write a launch plan: Develop a detailed plan outlining the specific activities, timelines, responsibilities, and resources required for the product or service launch.

  6. Measure, optimize, and pivot: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of the GTM strategy against the set KPIs, using analytics and feedback to make data-driven adjustments and optimizations.

How Lucidspark can help you create a go-to-market strategy

Go-to-market strategy template example (click on image to modify online)

Going to market requires so many components that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And that pressure, added to the pressure of a failing launch, can be downright terrifying. But if we’re being honest, the fact that you’re committed to a GTM strategy in the first place is setting you and your product up for success. 

Following the go-to-market strategy template, you’ll have a detailed plan that proactively addresses risks, provides you with a deep knowledge of your customer and market landscape, and outlines how you’ll effectively put your product into the hands of people who need it. Lucid supports every team involved in a GTM strategy, centralizing planning, designing systems, and establishing a collaborative environment—so you can focus on developing the best product possible.

Learn how Lucid can help marketing teams brainstorm and launch campaigns that drive revenue and increase brand engagement.

Check it out

About Lucidspark

Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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