What is the Difference Between a Go to Market Strategy and a Marketing Strategy?

Planning ahead vs regular, repeated routines; that’s the basic answer to the question, “What is the difference between a go to market strategy and a marketing strategy?”

A go to market strategy is heavily focused on new product launches or breaking into new markets. It’s a plan that is product-specific, targeting the audience that would be most interested in the product’s release. 

A marketing strategy, on the other hand, details all of the marketing actions a business will take in order to build their brand, generate interest, and get their product in front of the right people. 

A marketing strategy details the repetitive processes a business should take in order to reach their target market.

Go To Market Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

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Breaking It Down: The Purpose of a Go to Market Plan vs a Marketing Strategy

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.

Let’s take a look at the key differences between these strategies by answering the following questions:

  • What’s their purpose?
  • Who’s responsible?
  • When should they be implemented?
  • How will they work?

Go to Market Strategy: Get the Ball Rolling

What’s the purpose?

A go to market plan is designed to make sure that your new product reaches the right audience or that an existing product reaches a specific audience within a new market. 

The sole purpose of this strategy is to secure effective product positioning; making sure that your potential customers understand the value of your offering. 

Who’s responsible?

Your product marketing team should be the main driver behind your go to market plan. They are responsible for co-ordinating 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.

Marketing Strategy: Keep the Ball Rolling… Faster

What’s the purpose?

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.

Who’s responsible?

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 marketing strategyImage: Incisive Edge

The Takeaway: Make Your Message Relevant

Whether you’re looking at adjusting your marketing strategy or developing a go to market plan, it’s important that you ensure your message resonates with your target audience. 

Markets are constantly changing and companies are always growing. It’s important that you stay ahead of the curve, keeping an eye out for fresh opportunities all the time.

If one of your major goals is to optimise your brand presence online, a detailed plan will help you connect with your targeted audiences and perform well during product launches.

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.

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